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During 1717-1857 convicted criminals were sent to Australia. Bexley Heath lay on the route to the ports of embarkation and so from time its residents witnessed the ‘sad and painful spectacle’ of the convict vans going through, full of prisoners under sentence of transportation.

When the Metropolitan Police was formed in 1829, Bexley fell outside its boundary. Policing remained the responsibility of the parish Constable, although there were two Bow Street horse patrols which moved about the district: “timid persons having to go to Bexley or some other place after dark used to wait for an opportunity to walk under the protection of a patrol” [Castells, 1910]. Later, the area came under the ‘R’ (Greenwich) division of the Metropolitan Police, and in 1840 a police station opened in a rented house opposite the XII milestone (near today’s Civic Offices).

A new police station was built in 1855 at 28 Broadway but this became inadequate. The next new police station was built at the corner of the Broadway and Highland Road and opened in 1907 (where Sainsbury’s car park is now; it was demolished in 1994).

In 1994, the present Bexleyheath Police Station opened at Arnsberg Way.

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