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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 981 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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OTHER COUNT Rms.—British India is divided into police districts, the general arrangements of the system of the regular police, which dates from the disappearance of the East India Company, resembling in most respects those of the English police, but differing in details in the different presidencies. All are in uniform, trained to the use of firearms and drilled, and may be called upon to perform military duties. The superior officers are nearly all Europeans and many of them are military officers. The rest are natives, in Bombay chiefly Mahommedans. The organization of the police was not dealt with by the criminal code which came into force in 1883, but the code is full of provisions tending to make the force efficient. By that code as well as by the former code the police have a legal sanction for doing what by practice they do in England; they take evidence for their own information and guidance In the investigation of cases and are clothed with the power to compel the attendance of witnesses and question them. The smallness of the number of European magistrates, and other circumstances, make the police more important and relatively far more powerful in India than in England (Stephen). The difficulties in the way of ascertaining the truth and investigating false statements and suppressed cases are very great. As regards the rural police of India every village headman and the village watchman as well as the village police office are required by the code to communicate to the nearest magistrate or the officer in charge of the nearest police station, whichever is nearest, any information respecting offenders. On the whole the system is very efficient. The police, which has numerous duties over and above those of the prevention and detection of crime, greatly aids a government so paternal as that of India in keeping touch with the widely extended masses of the population. France.—It is a matter of history that under Louis XIV., who created the police of Paris, and in succeeding times, the most unpopular and unjustifiable use was made of police as a secret instrument for the purposes of despotic government. Napoleon availed himself largely of police instruments, especially through his minister Fouche. On the restoration of constitutional government under Louis Philippe, police action was less dangerous, but the danger revived under the second empire. The ministry of police, created by the act of the Directory in 1796, was in 1818 suppressed as an independent office, and in 1852 it was united with the ministry of the interior. The regular police organization, which preserves order, checks evil-doing, and " runs in " malefactors, falls naturally and broadly into two grand divisions, the administrative and the active, the police " in the office " and the police "out of doors." The first attends to the clerical business, voluminous and incessant. An army of clerks in the numerous bureaus, hundreds of patient government employes, the rands de cuir, as they are contemptuously called, because they sit for choice on round leather cushions, are engaged constantly writing and filling in forms for hours and hours, day after day. The active army of police out of doors, which constitutes the second half of the whole machine, is divided into two classes: that in uniform and that in plain clothes. Every visitor to Paris is familiar with the rather theatrical-looking policeman, in his short frock-coat or cape, smart kepi cocked on one side of his head, and with a sword by his side. The first is known by the title of agent, sergent de ville, gardien de la paix, and is a very useful public servant. He is almost invariably an old soldier, a sergent who has left the army with a first-class character, honesty and sobriety being indispensable qualifications. These uniformed police are not all employed in the streets and arrondissements, but there is a large reserve composed of the six central brigades, as they are called, a very smart body of old soldiers, well drilled, well dressed and fully equipped; armed, more-over, with rifles, with which they mount guard when employed as sentries at the doors or entrance of the prefecture. In Paris argot the men of these six central brigades are nicknamed " vaisseaux " (vessels), because they carry on their collars the badge of the city of Paris—an ancient ship—while the sergeants in the town districts wear only numbers, their own individual number, and that of the quarter in which they serve. These vaisseaux claim to be the elite of the force; they come in daily contact with the Gardes de Paris, horse and foot, a fine corps of city gendarmerie, and, as competing with them, take a particular pride in themselves. Their comrades in the quarters resent this pretension and declare that when in contact with the people the vaisseaux make bad blood by their arrogance and want of tact. The principal business of four at least of these central brigades is to be on call when required to reinforce the out-of-door police at special times. Of the two remaining central brigades one controls public carriages, the other the Halles, the great central market by which Paris is provided with a large part of its food. Every cab-stand is under the charge of its own policeman, who knows the men, notes their arrival and departure, and marks their general behaviour. Other police officers of the central brigades superintend the street traffic. So much for the police in uniform: That in plain clothes, en bourgeois, as the French call it, is not so numerous, but fulfils a higher, or at least a more confidential mission. Its members are styled inspectors, not agents, and their functions fall under four principal heads. There is, first of all, the service of the Sflrete--in other words, of public safety—the detective department, employed entirely in the pursuit and capture of criminals; next comes the police, now amalgamated with the Sflrete, that watches over the morals of the capital and possesses arbitrary powers under the existing laws of France; then there is the brigade de garnis, the police charged with the supervision of all lodging-houses, from the commonest " sleep-sellers' shop, as it is called, to the grandest hotels. Last of all there is the brigade for enquiries, whose business it is to act as the eyes and ears of the prefecture. The pay of the gardiens de la paix is from 1400 to 1700 francs; brigadiers get 2000 francs; sous-brigadiers 1800 francs; officiers de paix 3000 to 6000 francs. The proportion of police to inhabitants is one in 352. Germany.—Taking the Berlin force as illustrative of the police system in the German Empire, police duties are as various as in France; the system includes a political police, controlling all matters relating to the press, societies, clubs and public and social amusements. Police duties are carried out under the direction of the royal police presidency, the executive police force comprising a police colonel, with, besides commissaries of criminal investigations,captains, lieutenants, acting-lieutenants, sergeant-majors and a large body of constables (schutzmanner). It is computed that the proportion of population to police in Berlin is between 350 and 400 to each officer. The pay of the police is principally provided from fiscal sources and varies in an ascending scale from 1125 marks and lodging allowance for the lowest class of constable. Austria.—Taking Vienna in the same way as illustrative of the Austrian police, it is to be observed that there are three branches: (I) administration; (2) public safety and judicial police; and (3) the government police. At the head of the police service in Vienna there is a president of police and at the head of each of the three branches there is an Oberpolizeirath or chief commissary. The head of the government branch sometimes fills the office of president. Each of the branches is subdivided into departments, at the head of which are Polizeirathe. Passing over the subdivisions of the administrative branch, the public safety and judicial branch includes the following departments: the office for public safety, the central inquiry office and the record or Evidenzburea.u. The government police branch comprises three departments: the government police office, the press office, and the Vereinsbureau or office for the registration of societies. The proportion of police constables to the inhabitants is one to 436. Belgium.—In Belgian municipalities the burgomasters are the heads of the force, which is under their control. The administrator of public safety is, however, specially under the minister of justice, who sees that the laws and regulations affecting the police are properly carried out, and he can call on all public functionaries to act in furtherance of that object. The administrator of public safety is specially charged with the administration of the law in regard to aliens, and this law is applied to persons stirring up sedition. The duty of the gendarmerie, who constitute the horse and foot police, is generally to maintain internal order and peace. In Brussels as elsewhere the burgomaster is the head, but for executive purposes there is a chief commissary (subject, however, to the orders of the burgomaster), with assistant commissaries, and commissaries of divisions and other officers and central and other bureaus, with a body of agents (police constables) in each. There are two main classes of police functions recognized by law, the administrative and the judicial police, the former engaged in the daily maintenance of peace and order and so preventing offences, the latter in the investigation of crime and tracing offenders ; but the duties are necessarily performed to a great extent by the same agents. The two other functions of the judicial police are, however, limited to the same classes of officers, and they perform the same duties as in Paris—the law in practice there being expressly adopted in Brussels. In Switzerland, which is sometimes classed with Belgium as among the least-policed states of Europe, the laws of the cantons vary. In some respects they are stricter than in Belgium or even in France. Thus a permis de sejour is sometimes required where none is in practice necessary in Paris or Brussels. Russia was till lately the most police-ridden country in the world; not even in France in the worst days of the monarchy were the people so much in the hands of the police. To give some idea of the wide-reaching functions of the police, the power assumed in matters momentous and quite insignificant, we may quote from the list of circulars issued by the minister of the interior to the governors of the various provinces during four recent years. The governors were directed to regulate religious instruction in secular schools, to prevent horse-stealing, to control subscriptions collected for the holy places in Palestine, to regulate the advertisements of medicines and the printing on cigarette papers, to examine the quality of quinine soap and overlook the cosmetics and other toilet articles—such as soap, starch, brillantine, tooth-brushes and insect-powder —provided by chemists. They were to issue regulations for the proper construction of houses and villages, to exercise an active censorship over published price-lists and printed notes of invitation and visiting cards, as well as seals and rubber stamps. All private meetings and public gatherings, with the expressions of opinion and the class of subjects discussed, were to be controlled by the police. The political or state police was the invention of Nicholas I. Alexander I. had created a ministry of the interior, but it was Nicholas who devised the second branch, which he designed for his own protection and the security of the state. After the insurrection of 1865, he created a special bulwark for his defence, and invented that secret police which grew into the notorious " Third Section " of the emperor's own chancery, and while it lasted, was the most dreaded power in the empire. It was practically supreme in the state, a ministry independent of all other ministries, placed quite above them and responsible only to the tsar himself. United States.—The organization of police forces in the United States differs more or less in the different states of the Union. As a rule the force in cities is under municipal control, but to thie rule there are numerous exceptions. In Boston, for instance, the three commissioners at the head of the force are appointed by the governor of Massachusetts. The force in New York City, alike from the standpoint of numbers and of the size and character of the city, is the most important in the United States. It included in 1910 a commissioner appointed by the mayor and exercising a wide range of authority; four deputy commissioners; a chief inspector, who has immediate charge of the force and through whom all orders are issued; he is assisted by 18 inspectors, who are in charge of different sections of the city, and who carry out the orders of the chief; 87 captains, each of whom is in direct charge of a precinct; 583 sergeants; and last of all, the ordinary policemen, or patrolmen, as they are often called from the character of their duties. There is a separate branch, the detective bureau, composed of picked men, charged with the investigation and, still more, the prevention of crime. The total number of patrol men in 1909 was 8562, Appointments are for life, with pensions in case of disability and after a given number of years of service.
End of Article: OTHER COUNT

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