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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77477 Find in a Library
Title: Pattern of Policing in Africa - The French and British Connections
Journal: Police Journal  Volume:54  Issue:2  Dated:(April/June 1981)  Pages:123-156
Author(s): P E Igbinovia
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 34
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Police organization and activities in Africa are described, with emphasis on the influence of colonial, French and British traditions.
Abstract: Using the police forces of Ghana and the Ivory Coast as examples, the article compares Anglophone and Francophone police forces, whose organizations and administrations are typical of the African countries that for some time were under British and French colonial rule. For example, in the police schools in the Ivory Coast, the program is exactly the same as that of the professional training of the French National Police. In addition, in the former French colonies (Algeria, Benin, Mauritania, Senegal, and Tunisia) the police may sometimes detain a suspect or witness prior to arrest for a length of time specified by law without immediately referring the case to the legal authorities. However, in the English speaking countries such as Sierra Leone, Kenya, and Nigeria, the police may only temporarily detain a suspect without a warrant. The fact that women are employed more readily for police work and are assigned more challenging tasks in the Commonwealth countries than in the African French community is another example of the importance of the colonial traditions. While the United Kingdom has pioneered in the liberal use of policewomen, in France they are 'mainly meter' maids without any authority. It is concluded that, despite the uniformity of some aspects of police work in Africa the colonial traditions dictate the overall pattern of policing. A brief history of Africa is presented. Other subjects covered include police powers to use firearms, to search persons, and to seize property; the role of the police in politics; and the international role of African police. A diagram of the structure of Ghana police and of the Ivory Coast police, a map of Africa, and 91 references are included.
Index Term(s): Africa; Police agencies; Police legal limitations; Police organizational structure; Police responsibilities
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