"Quis costodiet ipsos custodes?" : the problems of policing in anglophone Africa during the transfer of power
The main purpose of the thesis is to explore the role of colonial police forces in anglophone Africa in the period between 1947 and 1964/5 when the transition from colonial dependencies to independent nation-states took place. The police are an important component of all modern states. It is argued in the thesis that the police formed one of the key foundation stones of the colonial state in Africa. The question of how to deal with colonial police forces in the post World War Two period severely tested policy makers both in Whitehall and in the individual territories. The related problems of the role of the military forces also arose. On the one hand, there was perceived to be a need sharply to increase the strength of the police, as well as to militarise them and radically to improve intelligence systems. This was as a result of what was seen as the growing threat of communism and because of civil disorders, usually inspired by nationalist sentiment, such as those in Accra in 1948. On the other hand, there was a desire to insulate the police from political interference with the advent of self-government in the various territories. As decolonisation proceeded, it was seen that the cherished 'Westminster Model' of government would fail if the police were not constitutionally safeguarded. It was thought that if urgent action was not taken, 'police states' would emerge throughout anglophone Africa after colonial rule was terminated. In the event successful policies were not readily forthcoming, and British administered territories did enter Independence without proper safeguards that might have regulated and controlled the position of the police. The legacy has been a devastating one for much of Africa.