WE are familiar with the boys in blue with their blues and twos racing down the street to solve crimes.

But the history of how the men and woman of the police have got about is more varied than you might imagine.

East Sussex Police Force was formed in September 1840, and was followed by West Sussex Police 17 years later.

In these early days transport was limited as cars were in their developmental phase.

In 1890 bicycles were introduced, though police officers had to weigh less than 18 stone to ride them.

The first car came into service in 1904. It cost £350 and was bought for the chief constable of East Sussex Police.

Local historian and former police officer David Rowland has compiled details about this as part of his role with the Old Police Cells Museum in Brighton.

He wrote that the earliest recorded motorcycle patrols commenced in 1921, updated ten years later to a fleet of BSA motorbikes which, in turn, were soon followed by a fleet of MG cars.

He also wrote that West Sussex Police bought Riley and Jaguar motor cars in the 1950s, as well as Velocette motorbikes for patrolling rural areas.

On January 1, 1968, East Sussex Police merged with West Sussex into the new Sussex Constabulary that later became Sussex Police. This followed a fleeting amalgamation towards the end of the Second World War.

By the 1970s, the vehicles you would see on the streets started to resemble what we see today - albeit without the technology, gadgetry and speed of their modern equivalents.

The Austin Montego (pictured in the 1980s here) gave way to a similar vehicle in the Peugeot series of patrol cars in the mid-1990s.

The C-registration Ford Transit van also pictured nodded towards its predecessors and its latter models in style and shape as it ferried officers around the county.

Ford came to the forefront of procurement for the police going into the new millennium as its Focus series remained popular among its car fleet, complete with new onboard systems to help track down those on the wrong side of the law.