At the end of the line

Colonial policing and the imperial endgame 1945–80

The Colonial Police Service was created in 1936 in order to standardise all imperial police forces and mould colonial policing to the British model. This book is the first comprehensive study of the colonial police and their complex role within Britain's long and turbulent process of decolonisation, a time characterised by political upheaval and colonial conflict. The emphasis is on policing conflict rather than the application of British law and crime-fighting in an imperial context. The overlapping between the Irish-colonial and Metropolitan-English policing models was noticeable throughout the British Empire. The policing of Canada where English and Irish styles of policing intermingled, in particular after 1867 when Canada became a nation in its own right with the passage of the British North America Act. Inadequate provisions for the localisation of gazetted officers within most colonies prior to independence led to many expatriates being asked to remain in situ. Post-war reform included the development of police special branches, responsible for both internal and external security. From the British Caribbean to the Middle East, the Mediterranean to British Colonial Africa and on to Southeast Asia, colonial police forces struggled with the unrest and conflict that stemmed from Britain's withdrawal from its empire. A considerable number of them never returned to Britain, settling predominantly in Kenya, South Africa, Australia and Canada. Policing the immediate postcolonial state relied on traditional colonial methods. The case of the Sierra Leone Police is revealing in a contemporary context.

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