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Railway companies developed their own police forces and became more organised from the beginning of the 20th century.
The length of time covered in a background check varies depending on the type and source of each piece of information.
For example, education verifications can provide information on a person's complete education history, from high school onward.
Credit reports might provide a simple current status, or might date back many years.
Surviving records of local police forces are not public records and are held either by local archives or the respective police force itself. Contact the local police force itself for their records or try the respective county or city archive.
Search for contact details using our Find an archive tool. These list every member of the force since warrant numbers were introduced in 1832, together with personal files on 95% of officers who have served since that date.