Published on Thursday, 05 May 2016


Flash Back

The policing system introduced by Sher Shah Suri was organized during the period of Emperor Akbar, the Emperor organized his administrative structure introducing Fouzdari, the principal representative of the Emperor, Mir Adal and Kazi, the head of judicial department, and Kotwal -the chief police official of larger cities. This system was effective in maintaining the law and order in cities, and was implemented in Dhaka. Many district sadar police stations are still called Kotwali police stations. In the Mughal period, Kotwal emerged as an institution.

A Fouzdar was appointed to every administrative unit of the government, under whom there were some artillery and cavalry forces. There was a disciplined police system during the Mughal period, though there was no professional police force like that in the British period. It has been opined that there was a remarkable development in the maintenance of law and order and criminal administration during the reign of the Muslim rulers.

In the early stage of the Industrial Revolution, when England was facing grave crisis due to socio-economic transformation, the necessity of an effective organised police service was keenly felt. Sir Robert Peel, then the Prime Minister, introduced a bill in the British Parliament in 1829 which created an organised civil police in London. The success of the London police in controlling social disorder and crime was admired by not only the people of England but also of European and American countries: New York city copied the London model with some modifications when it organised the first Municipal Police Force, in 1833.

An evidence of the existence of structured police system is available in incident. Mauryal Empire from Brahmin pandit (scholar) Kantilya’s mistonal edition Artbosastra. But since then no such change occurred in the structure of police system worth mentioning. In 12th Century, when there was the rule of Muslim Sultanate in Bangladesh, also in the sub-continent, a slight change in police system was noticed. But it was the Mughal reign when the police system expanded and activated in a large new phase. Though in Mughal reign there was no professional police force in resemblance to British rule, an orderly police administration was present to maintain law and order throughout the country. From the British rule a real and total administrative outline of police system started to build up. Earlier, in Mughal Rule, the criminal system was very expensive and not suitable for colonial control. A revolutionary plan in that testing period of police administration was the police Reform of 1782. Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 (Sepahi Biplob) was a demonstration of the fact that police system was ineffective and useless and police administration was reformed in 1861 based on the Police Report of 1860.

In 1858, full control of the Indian Territory was taken over from the East India Company by the British government. The success of the London police organised under Peel's Act of 1829 prompted the British government to reform the police system in the sub-continent in a similar way to British constabularies. With this end in view, a police commissioner was set up 1840, and on the recommendation of the commission of the Police Act (Act V of 1861), was passed by the British Parliament. Under this Act a police force was created in each province of British India, and placed under the control of the provincial government. The administration of the police force of a province was vested upon an officer styled as the Inspector general of police. The administration of the police in a district was placed under the Superintendent of Police. The Act is still in force throughout the sub-continent, and regulates the function of police in Bangladesh, as well as the other countries of the sub-continent.

After partition of the sub-continent in 1947, the police force in Bangladesh was first named as the East Bengal Police, and then as the East Pakistan Police; however, it continued to function on the same lines as during the British rule.

In the Liberation War of Bangladesh, Bengali  police officers participated with the citizens, leading to deaths from most ranks, fighting with .303 rifles against the Pakistani occupiers. The resistance by the Bengali members of police at Rajarbagh is considered the first chapter of armed struggles during the War of Independence.

Mahbubuddin Ahmed, Bir Bikram, the Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Jhenaidah at that time, led the guard of honor given to the members of the Mujibnagar Cabinet when the provisional Government of Bangladesh took oath on 17 April 1971, during the liberation war.

Concept of Police

Police are agents or agencies empowered to use force and other forms of coercion and legal means to effect public and social order. The word police come from the Latin politia (civil administration). In criminology discussions about police and their functions are significant as it is the primary duty of the police department to prevent crime, arrest criminals and handle them before the conclusion of trial. For police personnel the knowledge of criminology is a must and in almost every state police department has a division of criminology and criminology is a part of their training manual, it is an admitted fact that sincere and honest police force can ensure peaceful society.

Though complete elimination of crime from the society is not possible but it can be controlled and maintained in an acceptable stage. On the other hand, corrupted, unskilled and insincere police personnel facilitate the criminals to perform their activities and make the life of the citizen miserable.

Definition of police:

Police is a body of persons making up such a department, trained in methods of law enforcement, crime prevention and detection, authorized to maintain the peace, safety and order of the community. The abbreviations of the term POLICE is: P=Polite O= Obedient L= Loyal I= Intelligence C= Courageous E= Efficient. Police- in this sense is much broader and is used to mean a whole system of governing a society by economic, social, political and cultural policy. The police in our contemporary sense are seen as a small part of the whole of domestic government and an important agency of criminal justice system.

The police is a state agency mainly patrolling public places with a broad mandate of crime control and maintenance of order. Police is assumed to be functional prerequisite of social order, but empirical studies revealed that many societies have existed without a formal police force. Police functions generally relate to promoting public welfare by restraining and regulating the use of property and liberty of persons.

Laws Governing the Bangladesh Police

The Bangladesh Police is mainly governed by the Police Act (1861), the Code of Criminal Procedure (1898), the Police Regulation, Bengal (1943), the Armed Police Battalions Ordinance (1979) and relevant Metropolitan Police Acts.

 Police Act, 1861:

 This Act describes the constitution of the police force; superintendence of the force; appointment, dismissal, and other conditions of service of inferior officers; power of inspector-general to make rules; special police and their powers; and duties of police officers.

 Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898:

This basic criminal procedural law contains provisions on the constitution of criminal courts and offences; power of courts; aid and information to the magistrates, police, and persons making arrests; arrest, escape, and retaking; prevention of offences such as security for keeping the peace and for good behavior, unlawful assemblies, public nuisances, temporary orders in urgent cases of nuisance, and preventive action of the police; information to the police and their powers to investigate; and proceedings and prosecutions.

 Police Regulation of Bengal, 1943:

It is regarded as the bible of all levels of police staff, with 1290 regulations. It incorporated changes in the rules necessitated by the Government of India Act, 1935 and describes the police organization; relations with other departments; direction and control mechanisms of the police; privileges and general instructions; duties lf all ranks of police officers; detailed description of police stations, court police, railway police, criminal investigation department, and special armed force; appointment recruitment, and promotions; compensation and allowances; training and examination; uniform and clothing; punishment and appeals; and housing facilities.

 Metropolitan Police Acts:

There are six Ordinances for administering the Metropolitan Police of Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet and Barisal. These Ordinances were promulgated in 1976, 1978, 1984 1995 and 2006 (Sylhet and Barisal) respectively. All the Ordinances describe the organizational structure, responsibilities, rank structures, appointment, transfer, power to formulate regulations, administration of the force, power and duties of the officers, and action taken for security and maintaining law and order in the respective metropolitan cities.

 Armed Police Battalions Ordinance, 1979:

In accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance, a force called Armed Police Battalions was formed to perform internal security duties; recover unauthorized arms, ammunitions and explosives; apprehend armed gangs of criminals, and assist other law enforcing agencies.

Police in Bangladesh

The Bangladesh Police is the main law enforcement agency of Bangladesh. It is administered under the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of Bangladesh. It plays a crucial role in maintaining peace and enforcement of law and order within the whole of Bangladesh. Though the police are primarily concerned with the maintenance of law and order and security of persons and property of individuals, it also plays a vital role in the criminal justice system.

After the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent country on 16th December 1971, the police force was recognized and assumed the role of a national police force. At present, Bangladesh Police is primarily responsible for the preservation of peace and order, protection of life and property of the people and prevention and detection of crime. The traditional role of police in Bangladesh has undergone change after the liberation, the role of police is no longer confined to maintenance of law and order and prevention and detection of crime, and to meet the need of an independent and developing country, the police are now required to assist in developing the state and such kinds of activities by providing the basic security required for sustained economic growth of the country. It is further playing a vital role in dealing with insurgency in some areas of the country which impedes development activities and threatens the security of the state.


Bangladesh Police is headed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), under whose command, Police is divided into different branches.

Range and District Police

Outside the Dhaka region, and other metropolitan cities, police is organized into Police Ranges, which are headed by a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), who control several Police Districts. At present, there are seven Police Ranges in seven administrative divisions and two Police Ranges for railways and highways.

Each Police Range maintains its own Range Reserve Force (RRF) and district police also maintains its own Special Armed Force (SAF) which is responsible for emergencies and crowd control issues. They are generally activated only on orders from the Superintendent of Police, and higher-level authorities. The armed constabulary does not usually come into contact with the general public unless they are assigned to VIP duty or to maintain order during fairs, festivals, athletic events, elections, and natural disasters. They may additionally be sent to quell outbreaks of unrest, organized crime, and communal riots; to maintain key guard posts; and to participate in anti-terrorist operations.

Metropolitan Police

In addition to the police ranges, major cities have police forces which follow the Police Commissioner ate System. The Chief of the Metropolitan Police is the Police Commissioner. Created in 1976, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police is charged with maintaining security and order in the national capital and neighboring areas. Later five other metropolitan police were formed in other large cities.

Detective Branch (DB)

Detective Branch (DB) is the specialized branch of a police unit. Every metropolitan police and district police has its own Detective Branch.


SWAT ('Special Weapons And Tactics') is an elite tactical unit of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police which was established on February 28, 2009. SWAT (Bangladesh) operates under the Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police. SWAT unit has sophisticated weapons and equipment and they are trained both in Bangladesh and abroad. They are called in emergency need and in crisis management like terrorist attacks, hostage rescue situations, etc.

Traffic Police

Traffic Police in the small towns come under the district police, but in the cities, the Traffic Police come under the metropolitan police. The Traffic Police are responsible for maintaining the flow of traffic, and stopping offenders in the city or town.

Special Branch (SB)

The Special Branch was established to assist in maintaining national security and also performs the functions of intelligence-gathering and counter intelligence.

Immigration Police

The purpose of the Immigration Service is to provide immigration related service and security. The immigration service is provided by Special Branch.

Criminal Investigation Department (CID)

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is a special unit of Bangladesh Police responsible for carrying out investigations into crimes grievous in nature, including terrorism, murders and organized crime, and also gives forensic support to law enforcing agencies. It is headquartered in Malibagh, Dhaka, and maintains two training schools named the Detective Training School and the Forensic Training Institute. A new training institute will be started very soon for increasing the capacity of controlling the cyber crime in the country.

Railway Police (GRP)

The Railway Police is responsible for law enforcement on the Bangladesh railways, and additionally handling railway accidents. Under the command of Deputy Inspector General Railway Police Range has two Railway Districts, which are Syedpur and Chittagong, each headed by a Superintendent of Railway Police (SRP).

Highway Police

To make the highways safer and to ensure smooth traffic management system, the government realized the necessity of Highway Police. In 2005, the Highway Police were formed.[10] Under the Deputy Inspector General (Highway Police), the Highway Police Range has two Highway Police wings: the Eastern Wing, headquartered in Comilla, and the Western Wing, headquartered in Bogra. Both are headed by a Superintendent of Police.

Industrial Police

To keep the law and order, the Industrial Police was created on 31 October 2010.

The Industrial Police work at four zones:

Armed Police Battalion (APBn)

There are eleven Armed Police Battalions in the Bangladesh police force, which are located in different parts of Bangladesh, of which, one is a female battalion. The Chief of APBn is Additional Inspector General.

The locations of the different Armed Police Battalions are:





1st Armed Police Battalion

Uttara, Dhaka


2nd Armed Police Battalion

Muktagachha, Mymensingh


3rd Armed Police Battalion



4th Armed Police Battalion



5th Armed Police Battalion

Uttara, Dhaka


6th Armed Police Battalion

Mohalchori, Khagrachari


7th Armed Police Battalion

Ashulia, Dhaka


8th Armed Police Battalion

Sylhet (Presently deployed in Dhaka Airport)


9th Armed Police Battalion



10th Armed Police Battalion



11th Armed Police Battalion (Female)

Uttara, Dhaka

Airport Armed Police (AAP)

The Airport Armed Police are a specialized unit of the Armed Police Battalion, the Airport Armed Police (AAP) are deployed in the international airports of Bangladesh, for purposes of maintaining security in the airports.

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)

In 2004, the elite force of Bangladesh Police, the Rapid Action Battalion was raised, consisting of the personnel of the Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, and Bangladesh Ansar. It works under the command of Inspector General of Police.

Police Internal Oversight (PIO)

The Police Internal Oversight (PIO), a specialized wing of the Bangladesh police, was set up in 2007, to monitor and collect intelligence about the activities of the police officers across the country. This force is headed by an Assistant Inspector General (AIG) at the Police Headquarters and directly reports to the Inspector General of Police (IGP). All the units of Bangladesh Police fall under the surveillance of PIO. PIO agents are spread all over the country under direct supervision of the PIO unit located in Police Headquarters.

River Police

The headquarters for the River Police is formed in a temporarily basis inside the Police headquarters under a Deputy Inspector General of Police.

Police Telecom and Information Management

The building of the unit is situated in Rajarbag. It is led by a Deputy Inspector General of Police. It maintains the communication system for Bangladesh Police throughout the country.

Tourist police

A distinctly new unit has been instituted in Bangladesh Police on 6th November 2013 with the objective of helping development of the tourism industry by fascinating the foreign and the local tourist, improving ecological environment, preserving the culture and heritage of Bangladesh and thereby expediting the pace of its overall development.

The unit is tasked with the responsibilities of providing security to the tourist and protecting all the tourist spot of the country. One of the foremost objectives is to improve the image of Bangladesh as a country of peace loving people to the outside world, and to develop the tourism industry to the fullness of each potentiality.

Under the command of a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police, Tourist Police Bangladesh has two main divisions and each division is also separated by three zones, furthermore each zone is divided into several tourist spot. The divisions are commanded by Superintended of police (SP) and the zones are under the command of Additional Superintendent of Police (Addl. SP), whereas all the tourist spot falls under the supervision of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP). Right now the unit has 1 DIG, 4 SPs, 8 Addl. SPs, 11 ASPs and 21 Inspectors The sanctioned strength of manpower of the unit is 699 in total.