The Evolution of Police During British Times

During the dual rule in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa between 1765 to 1772, zamindars were expected to maintain the staff including thanedars for maintaining law and order.

But very often, these zamindars neglected their duties hence in 1770, the institution of Faujdar and amils were abolished. However, in 1774, Warren Hastings restored the institution of faujdar and asked them to assist the British in suppression of dacoits, violence and disorder.

In 1775, faujdar thanas were established in major towns of large districts and were assisted by several smaller police stations.

Development of Police System under the British

  • In 1791, Cornwallis organised a regular police force by modernising the system of thanas in a district under a daroga and SP at the head of police of a district.
  • In 1808, Mayo appointed SP for each division helped by spies.
  • William Bentinck abolished the office of SP and made collector/magistrate the head of the police force in his jurisdiction.
  • Police Commission of 1860 led to the establishment of Indian Police Act, of 1861 which recommended the inspector general as head of province, deputy inspector general as head of range and SP as head of district.
  • In 1902, Police Commission recommended establishing CID in provinces and CIB in the center.

Assessment of Police Reforms

During British rule, maintenance of law and order was considered the main responsibility of police. However, main purpose of police turned out to be exploiting and oppressing the Indians.

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