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One of the reasons that the police are so inept turns out to be the fault of the British. When creating colonial police forces, British rulers consciously chose the Royal Ulster Constabulary as their blueprint rather than the London Metropolitan Police, thereby placing political repression, intimidation and population control at the heart of the police’s mission, rather than the rule of law. The situation is made worse because, across the developing world, the law exists only in statute books, reassuring Western partners but never enforced by the police and courts on the ground. The authors argue that these codes can be made to work, however.

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