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Mumbai Police Force

See also the Mumbai Police home page.

The origins of the present day Mumbai police can be traced back to a militia organised by the Governor of Bombay in 1669 and housed in Mahim, Sewree and Sion. Three years later the judicial overview of courts was introduced. The situation remained unchanged through the Maratha wars.

In 1811, with the port of Bombay secured from the Marathas, a new system was introduced with a Senior Magistrate heading the police, judiciary and the municipal administration. The Police Chief, a post created in 1779, was subordinated to the Magistrate. The first Police Act was passed in 1812. The first traffic control rules were set up to govern handcarts in 1815.

The next change was in 1864, when the three Presidency towns of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras were given Commissioners of Police. On Dec 14, 1864, Sir Frank Souter was appointed the first Police Commissioner of Bombay. He remained in office for 24 years, till July 3, 1888. The year 1864 was also notable for the first appointment of an Indian, Khan Bahadur Sheikh Ibrahim Sheikh Imam, to a police officer's post. In 1896 the Commissioner's office moved to the heritage protected Gothic revival building it still occupies.

With the coming of cars to Bombay in 1897, the introduction of trams in 1907 and of taxis in 1911, the creation of a Traffic Police was inevitable. The department was created in 1924. In 1942, during the Quit India movement, Pancham Bala was appointed the first woman police constable in Mumbai. In 1944, with Independence only 3 years in the future, a Detection Police branch was created. The first Indian Commissioner of Police, J.S. Bharucha, took over the job on independence day, 1947.

After independence changes continued to come thick and fast. In 1964 tram services in Mumbai were discontinued (bus services had already started in 1926). A dog squad was set up in 1965. Computers were first used by the Bombay police in 1976. A Narcotics Cell and an anti-terrorist special operations squad were created in 1989. In 1995, the control room was computerised, and finally, in 1997, the Mumbai Police went online.

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