Gender issues within policing have only recently become the subject of detailed academic scrutiny and there are still relatively few cross-cultural studies which undertake analysis of women police officers. Research that is available mostly compares experience in the U.K. and U.S.A. (Heidensohn 1992; McKenzie 1993). The present paper seeks to make a contribution by reviewing the position of policewomen in some of the countries of Europe and, by taking historical and comparative perspectives, offer a model of the developmental stages of women's progression within the police.