We hold records of most police stations in South Australia.

We also hold:

  • the major correspondence series of the Police Commissioner's Office (GRG5/2) which covers a range of petty and serious matters handled by police officers throughout the state
  • a small set of miscellaneous papers of the Police Commissioner's Office (GRG5/4) which covers undocketed correspondence and telegrams
  • records relating to the conduct of police officers
  • the South Australian Police Gazettes, 1861-1973 (GRG5/50)
  • Descriptions and photographs of convicted persons, 1919-1965 (GRG5/58 - indexed by GRG5/59)

For employment matters, you can expect to find high level registers or employee sheet records on individuals.

Access conditions

Records of the SA Police Department are typically available for general public access after 50 or 60 years.

Records containing personal, financial or disciplinary information of employees are typically available for general public access after 60 years.

Less detailed records about employees may be open sooner.

Indexes

Miscellaneous papers c1840-1875

Miscellaneous papers - Police Commissioner's Office, c1840-1875 (GRG5/4)

Index to GRG 5/4 - Miscellaneous papers - Police Commissioner's Office, c. 1840 - 1875 - numerical

Correspondence files ('PCO' files), 1844-c1979

Correspondence files ('PCO' files) - Police Commissioner's Office, 1844-c1979 (GRG 5/2)

The following indexes are arranged by year and include:

  • the date of the letter
  • the author and
  • a brief subject summary.

4/1844 to 868/1855

141/1856 to 786/1856

4/1857 to 869/1857 

1/1858 to 1057/1858

6/1859 to 1345/1859

1/1860 to 1279/1860 

271/1861 to 1042/1861

1/1862 to 1788/1862

1/1863 to 1979/1863 

2/1864 to 1888/1864

1519/1864 to 398/1865 

405/1865 to 1800/1865 

1801/1865 to 1466/1866 

1483/1866 to 240/1867 

246/1867 to 1152/1867

1146/1867 to 7/1868 

5/1868 to 612/1868 

621/1868 to 1536/1868 

22/1869 to 1491/1869 

1/1870 to 1381/1870 

1/1871 to 863/1871

868/1871 to 996/1872 

852/1872 to 22/1873

23/1873 to 406/1873  

407/1873 to 1140/1873 

1190/1873 to 985/1874 

1004/1874 to 1374/1879 

1/1880 to 928/1899  

76/1900 to 1728/1921

1733/1921 to 1806/1929

1813/1929 to 346/1940 

360/1940 to 1701/1949

1950-1955

1956 to 1957

1958

Defaulter and good conduct books 1851-1858

Defaulter and good conduct book - Mounted Police 1851-1858 (GRG5/16)

Index to GRG 5/16, Defaulter and good conduct book - Mounted Police - alphabetically by surname of officer

This series records members of the Mounted Police with offences or commendations recorded against them. 

Defaulter and good conduct book - Foot Police 1851-1858 (GRG5/17)

Index to GRG 5/17 Defaulter and good conduct book - Foot Police - alphabetically by surname of officer

This series records members of the Foot Police with offences or commendations recorded against them.

Digitised records

Digital copies of many of the regional police station inquest registers are available via our Inquests page.

Key facts

Over the years police were not only responsible for regular law enforcement, but also acted as agent for various other government departments, especially in the country districts.
For example, in 1949 Mounted Constable Ward of Orroroo Police Station was also Clerk and Bailiff of the Local Court, Inspector and Registrar of Shops, Issuer of Gun Licences, Issuer of Bull Licences, Issuer of Dairy Licences, Issuer of Miners' Rights and Registrar of Pensions.

Other duties included Electoral Registrar, Issuer of Beehive Licences, Inspector under the Fruit, Vine and Vegetables Act, Representing Officer of the Children's Welfare and Public Relief Department, Assistant for the Harbors' Board, Registrar of Dogs (out of Hundreds areas), Rabbit Inspector and Inspector of Places of Public Entertainment. In the nineteenth century police constables often acted as Crown Lands Rangers.