'Home and Away': The Cross-Fertilisation between 'Colonial' and 'British' Policing, 1921-85

Sinclair, Georgina and Williams, Chris (2007). 'Home and Away': The Cross-Fertilisation between 'Colonial' and 'British' Policing, 1921-85. Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 35(2) pp. 221–238.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03086530701337567

URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a...


Considering the material links between empire and metropole, we examine the way that the movement of police officers interacted with developing police ethos, culture and expertise. Although British policing was represented as consensual and Imperial policing, following the Irish pattern, as punitive, in the inter-war period British chief constables were recruited in significant numbers from Ireland. Barriers to the large-scale repatriation of colonial police during decolonisation were created by the 'officer-class' nature of the 'European' members of these forces, and British racism which prevented non-white rank-and-file from transferring from force to force. Interaction was characterised by the deployment of 'home' police, most significantly to Cyprus. Senior British police officers also played the role of technocratic consultants. British and Imperial models of policing converged, and by the 1980s the expertise of returned ex-colonial police was being replaced by training selected senior British police in the haut police role at the Royal College of Defence Studies.

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