Written by Zulfick Farzan
03 Sep, 2021 | 7:19 am
COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka Police celebrates its 155th anniversary on Friday (03).
According to the Office of the Police Spokesperson no celebrations will take place due to the pandemic and the Inspector General of Police has instructed to only raise the Sri Lanka Police Flag at Police Stations & Offices, while adhering to the necessary health guidelines.
The History of Sri Lanka Police:
The concept of policing in Sri Lanka started with the Dutch who saddled the Military with the responsibility of policing the City of Colombo.
In the year 1659 the Colombo Municipal Council adopted a resolution to appoint paid guards to protect the city by night.
Accordingly, four soldiers were appointed to patrol the city by night.
Hence they could be considered as the fore-runners of the police in the country.
It was the Dutch who established the earliest police stations.
Three Police Stations were initially opened: one at the northern entrance to the Fort, second at the cause- way connecting Fort and Pettah and a third at Kayman’s Gate in Pettah.
In addition to these the “Maduwa” or the office of Disawa of Colombo, who was a Dutch official at Hulftsdorp, also served as a Police Station for these suburbs.
he Dutch surrendered to the British on the 16th February 1796. After the occupation of the City by the British, law and order were, for some time, was maintained by the Military.
In 1797 the office of Fiscal, which had been abolished was re created.
Governor Fredric North, having found that the Fiscal was over-burdened with the additional duty of supervising the police, obtained the concurrence of the Chief Justice and entrusted the Magistrates and Police Judges with the task of supervising the Police.
In 1805 police functions came to be clearly defined.
Apart from matters connected with the safety, comfort and convenience of the people, police functions also came to be connected with prevention and detection of crime and maintenance of law and order.
The rank of police constable was created and it came to be associated with all types of police work.
As per Act No. 14 of 1806, the City of Colombo was divided into 15 divisions and Police Constables were appointed to supervise the divisions.
The Governor, who was looking for a dynamic person to reorganize the police in the island, turned to India to obtain the services of a capable officer.
The Governor of Bombay recommended Mr. G. W. R. Campbell, who was in charge of the “Rathnagheri rangers” of the Bombay Police, to shoulder this onerous responsibility.
Mr. Campbell was selected by the Governor and he assumed duties as the Chief Superintendent of Police on the 3rd of September 1866.
In 1867, by an amendment to the Police Ordinance No. 16 of 1865, the designation of the Head of the Police Force was changed from Chief Superintendent to Inspector-General of Police.
Therefore, 3rd of September 1866 can be considered as the beginning of the country’s present Police Service.
Mr. Campbell is credited with shaping the Police Force into an efficient organization and giving it a distinct identity. He brought the whole island under his purview and the police became a national rather than a local Force.
1879: – The strength of the Police force had tripled from 585 when IGP Campbell was appointed, to a force of 1528. The first police firing range, training college and the publishing of the annual administration report emerged during this year.
1882: – Two three-wheel bicycles were obtained for transportation. These were the first vehicles obtained by the Police force.
1892: – The Depot Police presently known as the Field Force Headquarters was formed. Uniforms and housing were made free for Police officers as well as the payment of a Good Conduct Allowance was initiated.
1908: – Finger printing and photographing of criminals were initiated along with the direct recruitment to the rank of Assistant Superintendents of Police during this year.
1913: – Mr. “Herbert Layard Dowbiggin” was appointed as the 8th Inspector General of Police. 119 Police stations were in operation with a total strength of 2306.
1915: – For the first time two officers were appointed as Deputy Inspectors General of Police .
1916: – 0.22 Caliber rifles were issued in place of shotguns.
1920: – For the first time police officers were deployed for the purpose of controlling traffic
1923: – A book containing comprehensive details regarding all aspects of the Police called the “Departmental Order Book” was formulated.
1926: – The Sport Division was established.
1930: – A handbook of traffic rules and regulations was issued for traffic duties.
1932: – The Police Headquarters was shifted from Maradana to it’s present location in Colombo Fort.
1938: – Police telephone boxes were deployed throughout the city of Colombo.
1942: – Temporary forces were employed, known as Temporary Police Constables.
1945: – Police units were deployed at all hospitals. In addition Police units were also deployed for Railway security. However the following year, the Railway Police force was discontinued as a necessity did not arise.
1950: – The Police Uniform was changed. The five bronze buttons in the uniform tunic were changed to silver buttons. Furthermore the four point, army type star worn by Sub Inspectors and above was changed to a six point star.
1952: – Women were enrolled to the Police force for the first time.
VHF Radios were introduced for communication. It was decided that in honor of police officers killed in the line of duty state funerals with full police honors would be held. In addition the Police flag would be flown at half mast throughout the country.
1954: – Police stations were graded into five classifications viz. Grade “E” to Grade “A” . The grading of Police stations were considered depending on the work load , population, locality , crimes , important Institutions etc., in the area.
1955: – Policemen were afforded the following: benefits-
* Free medical service
* Free railway transport
* House rent allowance for officers below the rank of Chief Inspector
* Transport allowance
* Pension on retirement .
1963: – Divisions in the Police were made as North, Central, South, Administration & Criminal Investigation Department. Mr. D. B. I. P. S. Siriwardane, a Civil servant was the first civilian to be appointed as the Deputy Inspector of Police in charge of Administration.
1966: – The Police Public Relations Division was established on 1’st October 1966, at Police Headquarters, Colombo.
1969: – The establishment of the Tourist Police and the Illicit Immigration sector, in March 1969.
1972: – The Crime Detective Bureau was started on 1’st August 1972.
1973: -On the 01st of April 1973 the Police Narcotics Bureau was started and The Colombo Fraud Investigation Bureau too was established.
1974: – The Police uniforms for Constables and Sergeants was changed.
1976: – The rank of Woman Police Sub Inspector was introduced. 2 Women police officers were promoted to the rank of Sub Inspector.
1978: – Establishment of The Police Higher Training Institute.
1979: – The Children & Women Bureau was established.
1983: -Establishment of The Police Special Task Force.
1985: – A new promotion scheme was introduced from the rank of Police Constable up to the rank of Inspector of Police.
1988: – A Woman Police Inspector was promoted to the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police
1988: – The Western Province Intelligence Division was established.
1989: – Women were recruited and enlisted as Sub Inspectors.
1990: – Police Public Relations were enhanced by the three triangle system of involving the Police, Schools, and places of worship.
1990: – Police Sport Division was established.
1991:- The IG’s Command Room was established.
1991: – The Sri Lanka Police celebrated 125 years of Policing in Sri Lanka.
1993: – The Police Information Technology Division was established.
1998: – Launching of the Police Website.
1998: – The Marine Division was established.
1999: – The Ombudsman Division was established.
2000 – The Police Examination Division was established.
2002: – The Police Human right Division was established.
2002: – The Disappearances Investigation Unit was established.
2004: – The Judicial Security Division was established.
2005: – The Colombo Crime Division was established.
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