In 1914, four police forces covered the county of Surrey. Most of the county came under the Surrey County Constabulary but those parts of the north east within 15 miles of Charing Cross fell within the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police. In addition, there were separate borough forces in Guildford and Reigate.
The war placed a considerable additional burden on the Surrey forces as they became responsible for such wartime measures as the control of aliens, blackouts, air raid warning arrangements and enforcement of licensing laws. At the same time the number of police fell through the war as officers enlisted and recruitment became harder. In December 1914 the strength of the Surrey County Constabulary was 351; in November 1918 it was 236.
Special Constables were appointed to assist the police. They had a key role to play in local counter-invasion plans but they also provided much needed reinforcements in the battle to ensure wartime regulations were obeyed.