MEET Blackburn’s valiant mounted police division back in 1897.

These very smartly dressed officers were pictured outside the town’s fire station in Clayton Street during Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee.

The town’s fire brigade and police were merged in 1882 and a mounted police section formed 10 years later.

It had eight constables and one acting sergeant, all apart from two, former cavalry soldiers.

In the centre of the picture, on afire-brigade horse borrowed for the occasion, is Isaac Lewis, chief constable of Blackburn from 1887 to 1913.

The borough police abaonded the use of horses in 1993 and the town’s force, formed with the creation of the Corporation in 1851, was merged with Lancashire Constabulary in 1969.

Crime statistics, first introduced in 1805, show that Lancashire had a considerable crime rate compared with the rest of the country.

Between 1827 and 1831, 2,215 each year were tried by the higher courts, with one in every 600 of the population being tried.

There were five main prisons in the county, holding 1,500 criminals at any one time.

A few years later in 1836, 2,568 Lancastrians across the county were convicted or tried for serious offences.