Military Review

Law enforcers of the Russian Empire. Part of 2

For the Russian Empire, the majority of whose subjects lived in rural areas, maintaining proper law and order and calm in the counties and volosts was a priority. The authorities took measures and allocated certain funds for the development of the police apparatus in the countryside. In 1878, Alexander II approved the proposal to introduce police officers in 46 provinces to 5000. Under this task were allocated considerable funds from the treasury. Since the empire was reforming the police system, all documents in relation to police constables were issued with the wording "temporary". However, as life has shown, the official category of servicemen remained in the police states until the 1903 year.

Law enforcers of the Russian Empire. Part of 2

Uryadnik - the main policeman in the village

Initially, the positions of constables were introduced to strengthen the police in the counties and to supervise the actions of Soviet and Ten locals. In other words, the contractor was not just a subordinate of the bailiff. At the same time he was the police chief for the lower level of the elected rural police. The peasants, as a rule, at the gatherings themselves chose from their ranks ten and sot. These people were assigned to perform certain police functions. They became the helpers and support of the constable on the ground. In addition, the police officer closely interacted with the county elders and village elders.

The appointment to the post of apprentices was carried out by the county police chief in the person of the police officer, who conducted an “entrance test” with them. Most often it was in the form of an interview. An important prerequisite for the successful service of a contractor was to win the trust of local residents, for which he was instructed to "lead an honest and sober life."

The contractor contained his own horse. His armament, as a rule, included a revolver, a shortened dragoon rifle and a dragoon saber. Annual salary was 200 rubles. In addition, he was paid annually 50 rubles for tailoring uniforms, 100 rubles for the maintenance of the horse and 55 cop. to repair checkers. In other words, if you recalculate his salary by the cost of the day, it turned out about 55 cop. per day. With that kind of money, even living in the village was not easy.

The duties of the constable differed in their vastness and diversity of tasks, which at that time were related to the issues of “safeguarding calm and security”. In practice, he had to observe the implementation of sanitary rules, fire safety measures, rules of romance, as well as conduct initial inquiries, identify and stop criminal plans and anti-state demonstrations. The non-commissioned officer carried out public monitoring of all those who had been expelled for residence under the supervision of the police. He was also charged with secret surveillance of all suspicious and unreliable persons in his area of ​​responsibility. He was engaged in investigation of the fugitive, passport-free and the poor of the peasants. Investigated minor offenses, if necessary, carried out the detention of suspicious and guilty persons.

The most important rule of the service was the daily record of incidents, disorder and irregularities in the “memorial book”. Often it happened that after a while these records became important evidence and facts in investigating crimes. In addition, officials at the Ministry of Internal Affairs believed that record keeping increases the general literacy of the consignee and forms the habit of writing.

The social composition of the category of police officers was a very wide spectrum. This police rank consisted of noblemen, honorary citizens, burghers, peasants, and even clergymen. The class proportions in each province were different. For example, in the Saratov province from 97, the 54 non-commissioned officers came from peasants, and in the Samara province from the 120 non-commissioned officers, the peasants were 87 people. This was almost 56% and about 73% of the total staff of police constables in these provinces, respectively. As a rule, before entering the police, many future conscripts had time to work on different jobs - postmen, clerks, clerks, etc. Frequently random people got to the police service. The lack of a cadre of police personnel and poor-quality selection of candidates led to massive layoffs among non-commissioned officers. Thus, in the same Saratov and Samara provinces, 232 people were dismissed from 1878 appointed in 165 year to the positions of non-commissioned officers. A year later, in the same place, 140 conscript officers were prosecuted mainly for misconduct (extortions, beatings, illegal arrests, hiding offenses for remuneration). Police conscripts abused their power over the sots and tens, giving them personal assignments or assigning them to work in their personal economy.

The situation was approaching a critical point and it was decided to conduct an audit of the service of non-commissioned officers. Among the shortcomings and omissions in the service revealed that the majority of police constables were not local residents. Therefore, they felt that they were temporary in their position and in the parish entrusted to them. Suffered legal training and general literacy, since many of them did not even have primary education, and the majority learned to read and write while serving in the army. Moreover, in a number of provinces the rural society met the appointment of volunteers unfriendly. The ground for this was the excess of power, the violation of the rules and regulations established by the laws by the non-commissioned officers themselves, who had rather broad but not quite specific powers. There were cases when a police constable became a threat to law-abiding villagers instead of protecting their "peace of mind and protection from criminal encroachment."

Creating a police guard

As a result of the flaws revealed in May 1903, in the course of the ongoing police reform, the post of constable was abolished. However, it was immediately revived, albeit in a slightly different capacity. The contractor began to be called the volost chief of the team of police guards, endowed with other powers and burdened with other duties.

In connection with the growing pre-revolutionary instability, the general police forces were increasingly used for domestic political purposes to the detriment of the fight against criminality. In accordance with the aforementioned May 1903 law, in the 46 provinces of Russia, a police guard was created to strengthen the rule of law in rural areas. Later the number of provinces increased to 50, where the reformed police structure provided the rule of law in the countryside. It was intended "for the protection of decency, general peace and order in areas under the jurisdiction of the county police." At the same time, one of its main tasks was the suppression of peasant revolts and protests of local importance in order not to divert the main forces of the general police to this. The leadership of the Imperial Interior Ministry believed that the forces and means of the county police guards transferred to the subordination of the governors and district police officers were enough to prosecute criminals and quell unrest in the jurisdictional territories. At the same time, the measures taken allowed the army units to be freed from the uncharacteristic functions of combating robbery and popular protests.

In general, the organization of district police guards differed from the structure of the city police in the capitals and provincial cities. The county police head was headed by a police officer. This position was held, depending on the size of the population and the value of a county town, a police officer in rank from captain to colonel. It was established by law that the total number of police guards in the province was determined on the basis of one officer per 2500 residents. At the same time, along with the formation of the police guard, “special horse teams” were formed from its composition. The number of mounted police could not exceed a quarter of the regular number of guards. The guards were selected from local residents who had served in active military service, usually in artillery or cavalry. The formation of the mounted police guard was a reasonable measure in the conditions of the vast territories of the counties and in order to increase the speed of movement of the police forces at the right time and place.

Police constables, as you know, in different years were vested with various powers. For example, in a separate team of horse guards, specific command duties were assigned to the consignor’s shoulders and he was responsible only for the performance of the task and the correctness of the actions of his subordinates. Another thing is when a police constable provided law and order in the parish assigned to him. On this territory, he was the senior police chief and was guided by the requirements of the laws, instructions and orders of the police officer and the police officer.

To combat crime in rural areas, the experience of the Ekaterinoslav and Kursk gubernias began to create “volatile detective detachments” at the expense of the zemstvos from 1912. However, this project was not implemented, despite the fact that in Ekaterinoslav Governorate such units showed their effectiveness.

Armament and police supplies

Upon entering the police service after making an oath promise, each person was given a personal weapon and ammunition. For example, a city guard, when taking office, together with a revolver, was given out a 42 cartridge for him, and then 30 cartridges annually for service and training shots.

His personal weapon, and most often it was the Smith and Wesson revolver or the Nagant revolver, the policemen wore in a black holster, mounted on a belt. For some incomprehensible logic, in the period from 1900 to 1917, the revolver was worn on the right or on the left side (with the handle forward). A strong red cord with a copper intercept at the neck was attached to the revolver. An alarming whistle hung on the side of an overcoat or uniform on a policeman's button on a metal chain. In addition, the policeman was issued an infantry-type saber with a wooden handle of brown color and black scabbard trimmed with copper parts. A leather soldier’s lanyard of an infantry model was attached to the checkerboard. The people called the police checker "herring." Worn a checker on the left side of the belt with a black belt. Later, in addition to the weapons, a leather paper bag with a buckle-buckle appeared on the policeman’s belt.

Given the fact that for many years there was the practice of recruiting the police with military and civilian ranks, the arming of police officers at that time looked diverse. Higher ranks and police officials were usually worn with parade uniforms of the 1855 model sword of the year. Many police officers had infantry sabers. On the hilt of a cold weapon a lanyard was necessarily attached - a special durable strap that was worn on the wrist. When conducting operations to apprehend armed revolutionary revolutionaries or in cases of suppressing riots, lower police officers could arm themselves with rifles with bayonets.

At the beginning of the 1900, a significant part of the police was reequipped with Nagant revolvers of the NUMX sample of the year, although the former Smith-Wessons remained in service, especially among the provincial police. Officers and civilian police were allowed to purchase, at their own expense, the police, which were not in service, but more modern revolvers and pistols such as Mauser, Browning, Parabellum and others.

At the same time, it should be noted that, until the beginning of the twentieth century, anyone who wanted could freely purchase military weapons in weapon shops of the empire. It was affordable and widely advertised in print. As an example, we will give a brief retelling of one of such advertising publications of the Slava Partnership from the city of Lodz. For a total of 2 rubles, a revolver with 50 ammunition was offered. Permission to the revolver was not required. When ordering 3-x revolvers, one more was attached for free as a gift. For 75 cop. it was possible to buy extra 50 cartridges. The revolver could be bought even by mail, paying for the 35 cop. for its shipping cash on delivery. Popular were small-caliber "Velodog" revolvers designed to protect cyclists from dogs. One of the most popular pistols was the Belgian Browning. It could be bought, depending on the configuration, at prices ranging from 20 to 60 rubles. For comparison: a gramophone cost about 40 rubles, and a cow from 45 to 60 rubles. So the novelties were not affordable for everyone. But cheap weapons, even for workers and lower servants, were offered in abundance.

Free circulation of weapons began to cause concern to the authorities. In this regard, began to apply restrictive control measures to the arms trade. Since 1900, a ban has been imposed on the import of military models from abroad of foreign military weapons. At the end of May 1903, Nicholas II approved an important document entitled “The sale and storage of firearms, as well as explosives and the design of shooting ranges.” Since then, rifled (combat) weapons could only be bought by a special certificate issued by the governor. The turnover of weapons was taken into account in special books that were kept in the weapons shop. However, smooth-bore hunting rifles were still sold without any permits. At the hands of the population was a large number of various weapons. The danger of such a situation manifested itself in December 1905, with the beginning of an armed uprising.

As a result of miscalculations and omissions, for example, the Moscow police turned out to be almost unarmed in front of the rebels. Adjutant General F.V. Dubasov ordered the immediate arming of the Moscow policemen with Berdan single-shot rifles from military stocks. New Moscow Mayor A.A. Reinboth, who took office at the beginning of 1906, wrote in his report: “Upon closer inspection, it turned out that the police were not only not trained, but almost unarmed. So ... on the 4000 policeman there was the 1332 revolver of the old Smith and Wesson system, most of which were out of order, and the 2 p. 20 cop thing". For arming the policemen, Reinboth ordered to give money to bailiffs in the form of award money and to buy 900 revolvers of the Nagant system and cartridges for them to 375. Police guards were also given awards to purchase 3 Smith and Wesson revolvers. Urban "riders" were replaced by Mosin XNUMX-linear rifles. The armed clash between the police and the rebels led to bloodshed and serious consequences for the empire in the future.

To be continued ...
Photos used:
Articles from this series:
Law enforcers of the Russian Empire. Part of 1

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  1. vladcub
    vladcub 1 October 2018 09: 21
    "winning the trust of local residents:" to lead an honest and sober life "is relevant at all times.
    By and large, the then officer - the current rural district police officer and functions practically for you, but the then officer was mostly bored. If you look at the statistics of offenses of the 70-80s years 19, then basically they were: drunken hands, deliberate murder and the largest horse-stealing are very rare. True, the officer there should have made every effort to protect the horse thief from peasant anger. Somewhere on the site flickered materials on this topic.
    I just thought: if the frostbitten ones are drawn somewhere, the current district police officer will call the riot police, and then the police officer could collect a dozen men-hunters and ..... "fenita la comedy". It's harder to do now
  2. Square
    Square 1 October 2018 11: 43
    Plus an article, but the photo has nothing to do with the police.
    In the photo, the officer and soldier of the Life Guards of the Semenovsky Regiment inspect a suspicious passer-by during the December events of 1905. Uniform elements (including the inscription on a crack bag) are appropriate.
  3. 3x3zsave
    3x3zsave 1 October 2018 16: 51
    The cycle is very good, it is a pity that it is not published on Wednesday.
  4. Looking for
    Looking for 1 October 2018 17: 06
    Sukhorukov has the courage to tell us about the structure of the police in Tsarist Russia. Without knowing that the police had neither captains nor colonels, nor lieutenants. The police had their own gradation of ranks and ranks. As well as in the Soviet special agencies.
  5. My_log_in
    My_log_in 2 October 2018 16: 38
    Quote: Square
    On photo officer and a soldier of the Life Guards Semenovsky Regiment ...

    On the picture - detective police officer (!!!) accompanied by a military patrol and further in the text.

    I believe that not a single self-respecting officer in the tsarist army, let alone the Life Guards regiment, would ever have lowered his life to a search of civilians on the street.
  6. Ekaterina Shtepa
    Ekaterina Shtepa 27 December 2018 13: 48
    Thank ! A very good article.