The Police Gazette has a long history, dating back to 1772, in variously named incarnations, the most well-known of which is Hue & Cry. That earlier name suggests what the purpose of the Gazette was – to advertise wanted criminals around the country’s police forces to enable them to pursue, catch and bring them to justice.
The Police Gazette published here is a year’s worth of the publication, and has been released separately so that it can be studied and enjoyed by sleuths alongside the 1921 Census of England & Wales. The 1921 Census was taken almost half-way through the year, on Sunday 19 June 1921. So in the pages of the Police Gazette we have criminals and suspected criminals being looked for before the census and after the census. Can you find wrong-uns in the 1921 Census still at large or in custody? It might not be straightforward as, crooks being crooks, a significant proportion of them operated under two, three or multiple aliases.
The handwritten annotations you will see were made by the police.
From an archival perspective, what we have here in The National Archives’ piece MEPO 6/55 is the Police Gazette Vol VIII, issues 1 to 152 inclusive, without break. Issue 1 is dated 3 January 1921; issue 152 is 30 December 1921. There are either 12 or 13 editions per calendar month. The issues published either side of the 1921 Census are issue 70, dated Friday 17 June 1921, and issue 71, dated 20 June 1921, if you would like to take a look.