Exporting the UK Police ‘Brand’: The RUC-PSNI and the International Policing Agenda

Sinclair, Georgina (2012). Exporting the UK Police ‘Brand’: The RUC-PSNI and the International Policing Agenda. Policing: a journal of policy and practice, 6(1) pp. 55–66.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/police/par062


The British (UK) police have developed since the 19th century from a meshing of two broad systems of policing: civil/English and colonial/Irish. The presence of a civil, unarmed police on the mainland and an armed police in Northern Ireland [aside from the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP)] has benefitted the UK, in terms of international policing assistance, allowing the different facets of the UK policing brand to be transported overseas. The UN-led mission to Kosovo necessitated executive authority policing; the UK government deployed officers from the 10 RUC and MDP; the RUC though being the only home office police force with long-standing operational experience in the use of firearms, in divided community and hostile environment policing, in managing regular high-end public order, providing counter-terrorist policing and a lengthy history in civil–military relations as a result of the conflict in Northern Ireland. This expertise was of particular benefit to the peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions to Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan from the 1990s through until the present day.

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