Policing in Guelphia
Policing in Guelphia, along with judiciary and prisons system, is one of three major components of the criminal justice system of Guelphia. The police system is conducted over two tiers, with the eight county police forces being responsible for providing first response to emergencies and other threats to public safety. These agencies are assisted by the national Royal Guelphian Constabulary, who assist the county police with particularly severe crimes, disasters that affect large numbers of people, or incidents that take place across multiple jurisdictions.
The first police force in Guelphia, the Royal Guelphian Constabulary, was established upon the foundation of Guelphia in February 1836. The first settlers brought 10 police constables with them to oversee law and order amongst the free population. Control of the convict population was carried out by a nascent militia force known as the Guelphian Guard. The police remained under the control of the British Resident Commissioner until 1 January 1845, when they were transferred to local control under the authority of the Chief Secretary. From the outset, the Constabulary was concerned with only the most serious of criminal matters, such as murder, theft, rape, and assisting the Guard to apprehend escaping convicts. Most petty disputes between individuals and public nuisances were ignored by the Constabulary, which did not have the resources to deal with minor disputes.
With the expansion of settlement throughout the 1840s, the increase in criminal activity led to more police being appointed to the Constabulary. However, the general aloofness of the Constabulary and its lack of interest in many matters led to calls for the formation of borough police forces in the towns. With the passage of the Municipal Boroughs Ordinance allowing the formation of 'borough police', local police forces were established at Corfe Harbour, Earnestvale, Hillsborough, Langford, Lunenborough, Pasquale, Port Frederick, Regentsmere, and Williamsdene between 1845 and 1848. Additional borough police forces where subsequently established at Beaconsfield, Philipstown, Kingsbury, Shepton, and Swanbrook between 1848 and 1886. At the same time, minor offences were policed for the first time, with the ordinance outlining offences such as; drunk and disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, vandalism, and Sunday trading. Today many of these offences still form the basis of the Summary Offences Act.
Control over convicts was transferred to the Constabulary in 1856, with the Guelphian Guard having been abolished and replaced by the Guelphian Army. As a fully-fledged military force, the army was more concerned with the defence of Guelphia from the perceived threat of a Russian invasion during the Crimean War, and so domestic policing became a fully civilian undertaking for the first time.
In 1886, with the passage of the Local Government Act, the local police forces were amalgamated in to eight police forces and placed under the control of the county councils, forming the modern county police forces that endure to the present day.
The high sheriff is an elected official responsible for the administration of the police force in his county. High sheriffs do not perform a front line policing role, but instead control policy relating to police priorities and setting budgets. Other roles include the administration of the jury system, security of court precincts, and overseeing bailiffs. The high sheriff is usually assisted by three undersheriffs appointed by the high sheriff when he assumes office.
The day-to-day administration of the county police is placed in the hands of a commander, who is appointed by the by the county council on the advise of the high sheriff. The commander in turn appoints deputy and assistant commanders from within the county police force.
The Royal Guelphian Constabulary (RGC) is the national police of Guelphia. The Constabulary is charged with overseeing a number of matters, such as computer crime, counter-terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking, livestock theft, major fraud, transnational and multi-jurisdictional crimes, missing persons, money laundering, and serious organised crime.
Other duties include providing physical protection at government establishments including Parliament House; royal palaces and residences; the residences of the Prime Minister; foreign Embassies and Consulates; the Guelphian Nuclear Energy Commission reactor; and a number of other sensitive and covert locations across the country.
In addition, the RGC has a national remit in providing support county police forces in the investigation of crime and assist these police forces with their investigations with regard to serious crime. Internationally, the RGC acts as a single point of contact for international enquiries from overseas law enforcement agencies, and maintains a direct connection to Interpol databases.
There are presently eight county police forces in Guelphia.
- Albanyshire Police
- Beaufortshire Police
- Centralia Police
- Deverauxshire Police
- Fitzroyshire Police
- Isle of Lunenburg Police
- Vernonshire Police
- Westerland Police
Ranks and insignia
All police forces in Guelphia use much the same rank structure and insignia for uniformed officers. The only slight variation lies in the rank names and insignia of the leadership team of the Royal Guelphian Constabulary vis-à-vis the county police forces.
- Police Constable (PC): Divisional call sign and shoulder number.
- Senior Police Constable (SPC): One pointing-down chevrons above divisional call sign and shoulder number.
- Sergeant (Sgt): Three pointing-down chevrons above divisional call sign and shoulder number.
- Senior Sergeant (S/Sgt): Single crown above three pointing-down chevrons and divisional call sign and shoulder number.
- Inspector (Insp): Two Order of Guelphia stars, informally known as "pips".
- Chief Inspector (C/Insp): Three pips.
- Superintendent (Supt): Single crown.
- Chief Superintendent (C/Supt): Single crown over one pip.
- Assistant Commander (A/Cdr)
- Deputy Commander (D/Cdr)
- Commander (Cdr): Crossed tipstaves in a bayleaf wreath.
References and notes
- Municipal Boroughs Ordinance (Ordinance No. 11 of 1844).
- Summary Offences Act (Public Act No. 46 of 1975).
- Local Government Act (Public Act No. 80 of 1885).
- The rank of Senior Police Constable is an incremental rank achieved after 10 years of good service.
- The rank of Senior Sergeant is an incremental rank achieved after 10 years of good service.