Police records and criminal photographs

The police records below date from July to August 1880. They contain albumen photoprint portraits with the name, age, sex, religion, year of birth, occupation and a physical description of each offender. The record also includes a list of previous offences committed, as well as the most recent offence, where and when tried and the sentence.

The gallery of criminals below included a wide variety of offenders. Robbery is the most common crime in this small sample, but assault, obscene language, cross-dressing, brothel-keeping and sodomy also feature. The best-known of the criminals below is John Vane. He was a member of bushranger Ben Hall's gang in the 1860s. The gang was active in western New South Wales, terrorising roads around Bathurst, Cowra and Cootamundra. After his friend and fellow bushranger Mickey Bourke was shot and killed, Vane left Hall's gang and handed himself in to authorities. He served around six years for robbery under arms. When he was released in 1870, he headed to Sydney and worked as a stonemason on St Mary's Cathedral. Within five years, however, he had returned to his old ways and was twice more convicted of stealing. He was the only member of Hall's gang to survive to old age.

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 > View this collection of NSW police records, via the Library's catalogue catalogue link

 > See also images from Frank Fahy - scrapbook of an undercover policeman, 1920-1952 catalogue link