Vistoria Seymour - Author Victoria Seymour - Author of Letters from Lavender Cottage, Letters to Hannah, Court in the Act and The Long Road to Lavender Cottage
Letters to Hannah - WW2 Recollections of Hastings and South East England
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Letters from Lavender Cottage
Letters to Hannah
Court in the Act
The Long Road to Lavender Cottage
Host Families Wanted
The Slow Turning Tide
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Court in the Act by Victoria Seymour - Crime and Policing in WW2 Hastings

Court in the Act, which completes the trilogy, concentrates on the work of the police force, the magistrates' and other courts in WWII Hastings. As the effects of war took hold, there was hardly any aspect of home front life that was not controlled by some Government Act, Regulation or Order, putting even more pressure on already overworked police officers.

There passed before the magistrates' courts a parade of 'spies', aliens, pacifists, looters, wartime racketeers and small-time criminals. Added to these were hundreds of usually law-abiding people, who found themselves in court for flouting often not properly understood laws. Sentences were handed down that sounded like something out of 19th Century history: A fine for stealing one onion from an allotment, a few apples from a tree or vegetable peelings from a dustbin or a month in prison for allowing light to escape from behind a curtain.

Meanwhile, the formidable Government Enforcers stalked the land incognito, seeking to trap unwary traders and citizens and bring them to justice. Police Court reports from the period 1939 to 1945 give an insight into a little discussed aspect of the locality in WWII. “Vigilant”, The Hastings and St Leonards Observer's 1940s columnist, provides background, with comment on the foibles and morals of a seaside town under fire.