Bill Nasson
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Bobbies to Boers
Police, people and social control in Cape Town
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In establishing the basic outline of the police force in late Victorian and early Edwardian Cape Town, the first important fact is the alteration in the general structure of local policing which took place during the course of the nineteenth century. The police in Cape Town always acted as a social control apparatus: clearly, the terrain of compromise and coercion upon which they worked was politically complex and culturally dense. Even as the Cape Western South African Police became more lower-class Afrikaner in origin, in Cape Town it retained its pervasive and legitimating 'traditional' communal identity. Like the police of Bombay city, the security operations of Cape Town police mostly concentrated on the quiet accumulation of political intelligence. Cape Town police were now an assimilated national police arm, attached to an increasingly militarised administrative body.

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Policing the empire

Government, Authority and Control, 1830–1940


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