PP badge link to homepage The Palestine Police during the British Mandate

Intro Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
J>an-Nov 1947
Section 12
Nov 1947 - May 1948

Section 2

Formation of the Palestine Police

i. Formation of the Palestine Police

ii The Peoples of Palestine

iii. Early Port Police

iv. Early Clashes

v. Captain James Wesley Mackenzie

vi. 1922 Formation of the British Gendarmerie

Sir Henry Tudor With the formation of a Civil Government in OETA South on July 1st 1920, the Palestine Police Force came into official existence as one security unit amongst several under the overall command of an army officer Major General Sir Henry Tudor, K.C.B., C.M.G. who held the title of Inspector General of Police and Prisons. He was in charge not only of the civil security units but also of the British military security. At this stage there were still 29 000 British and Indian troops stationed in Palestine.

The formation of the civil government and the police force can only be described as a bit of a muddle.

Sir Herbert SamuelThe High Commissioner Sir Herbert Samuel( centre photo on left ) took up post on July 1st 1920 and yet was not sworn in until September 1922. The Police Ordinance of 1921 was not promulgated as law by the British Government until eight months after the Palestine Police came into being so there was a question mark over the new police force's right to 'Act as Police'. There was even a question mark over the 1921 Police Ordinance, since the League of Nations did not ratify Britain as the mandatory power for Palestine until July 24th 1922 and even then the mandate did not become operative until September 1923.

Lt. Col. P.B. BramleyThe first dedicated Police Commander in Palestine was Lt. Col. P.B. Bramley, O.B.E., who had already been preparing to unify the police forces scattered throughout Palestine (*See OETA He took over the Assistant Provost Marshall's Headquarters in the Russian Compound.

The police establishment consisted of 18 British Officers supported by 55 Palestinian Officers and 1,144 rank and file, consisting of far more Arabs than Jews . Their brief:-

"To fulfil the ordinary duties of a constabulary, such as the preservation of law and order and the prevention and detection of crime,
To act as their numbers will allow as escorts for the protection of tax collectors and Government treasure throughout the country,
To serve summonses issued by the judicial authorities and distribute Government notices."

The newly formed urban Palestine Police was only one part of the security forces in Palestine. Thre were also of the paramilitary Palestinian Gendarmerie and British Military Units. (See the page Occupied Enemy Territories Administration)

In October, the British government created a separate paramilitary force in Transjordan,based in Zarqa, the Arab Legion. Emir Abdullah was its honorary colonel, but Britisher Captain Frederick Gerard Peake was in command. The Legion's task was to defend Transjordan against both internal and external threats. 805 of its men were local Chechens who had served in the Arab army during its 1916 revolt against the Ottoman Empire.

Between between the st Remo Conference in 1920 and the official start of their mandates in 1923, the French and British, at the instigation of Zionists, juggled with the northern and eastern boundaries between Palestine and Syria, which at that time still included Lebanon.

Next- Situation facing Palestine Police in 1920