During the war, all young and fit men were needed to fight. Many policemen were the first to be called up, because they had been soldiers before. This meant that across the UK, police forces were short of officers. The government made up the numbers by employing more women, special constables and war reserve police.
These police officers were really busy during the war. As well as their normal roles, they had to police a new set of laws and rules, that were written just for war time and they had a whole new set of tasks to do to help the ARP wardens, firemen and home guard.
Officers on duty had to sound the siren, if there was an air raid. Off-duty officers had to report for duty as soon as they heard the siren wail. Police officers also had to check that everyone followed the blackout rules at night, deal with any reports of unexploded bombs and put a stop to looting. They also went into schools, to teach the children about gas drills and the dangers of bombs and shrapnel.