The Man on the Beat - The Training and Duties of a British Policeman

'The courtesy and kindness of the British policeman are well known. Policemen are carefully selected and trained. They are unarmed and the citizens look with confidence to them for help in everyday matters as well as emergencies. The work of an ordinary constable is varied, and includes finding lost children, and traffic direction. Dealing with crime is only and occasional part of his duties.' [1]

Date: 1945
Duration: 10:51

Director: Roger MacDougall
Production Company: Merlin Films
Producer: -
Cinematographer: H.N. Edwell
Narration: -
Editor: Ralph Kemplen, and Patricia Murray
Sound Recording: Harry Reynolds
Script by: Roger MacDougall

Length: 35mm: 1016ft. 16mm: -ft.

Distributor: M.G.M.


Set in the old district of Birmingham known as Ladywood. This area has been completely redeveloped since this film was made.

Still from 'Man on the Beat' - Taken from 'Films of Britain 1947-50'
Man on the Beat

Certificate: U
Distributors: M.G.M.
Producers: Merlin Film
1016ft / 11mins
Training and duties of the police.[2]

Location Note: The still shown here of an officer directing traffic includes the shop front of WH Rhodes china and glass shop. There is a set of pictures of Rhodes stores on flickr The size of the buildings suggests that this is the city centre. The city centre stores seem to have been in the Great Western Arcade (no street facade), Broad St (surrounded by smaller buildings) and at 98 New St. There is no exterior shot in the flickr set of 98 New St only this interior one Since that part of New Street is now pedestrianized, there is no Google Street View available to confirm but subject to further investigation I'd suggest this is shot at the Town Hall end of New St. (LD)

SC 19/07/12: Thanks, Lloyd. There's a rather excellent website that provides useful supporting materials on this area, called 'Old Ladywood'. It has many photographs of the areas that can be seen in the film, and contributions from former residents.
I had thought that the Rhodes glassware shop featured on this page could be seen in the background of the above shot where two girls cross the road, but see that the facades are wrong. I didn't realise that W.H. Rhodes had so many outlets!
However, another interesting observation from this photo (the junction of Ledsham Street and Rann Street, the latter of which no longer exists) - this is the junction where the vehicle crash takes place in the film. In the film, the woman rushes offscreen to the left to fetch help (from the right-hand corner in the photo), and runs onscreen from the right in the next shot to find the policeman - on the lefthand corner in this photo.

Still from 'Man on the Beat' - Taken from 'Films of Britain 1947'

  1. ^ Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1946-47
  2. ^ New Short Films Issued between September 18 and October 20 [1945]
    Vol.12 / No.s 133-144 [135 Missing]/ 1945-46
    British Monthly Film Bulletin