noun[treated as plural] (usually the police)
- 1The civil force of a state, responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the maintenance of public order: local people have lost faith in the police [as modifier]: the coroner will await the outcome of police inquiriesMore example sentences
police force, police officers, policemen, policewomen, officers of the law, the forces of law and order, law-enforcement officers, law-enforcement agency; British constabulary; Scottish & Irish polis; French gendarmerie; German Polizei; Italian carabinieri• historical watchBritish • informal the (Old) Billcoppers, rozzers, bobbies, busies, bizzies, the force, plod, PC PlodNorth American • informal the heat, …'s finest• black English , • derogatory Babylon
- Council officers supported the police in offering crime prevention advice to residents.
- Faced with rising crime and a lack of public faith in the police she has come out all guns blazing.
- Workers set up roadblocks in order to prevent the police from entering the industrial facility again.
- 1.1Members of a police force: there are fewer women police than menMore example sentences
- North Shore Rescue and the Cypress Bowl Ski Patrol members helped police recover the body.
- After his arrest, he was questioned by local police and also members of Scotland Yard.
- In the Boland town of Paarl two Samwu members were injured when police opened fire on a group of marchers.
- 1.2 [with adjective or noun modifier] An organization engaged in the enforcement of official regulations in a specified domain: transport policeMore example sentences
- Metro police and emergency services officials will also be deployed along the route during the event.
- There is a strong nexus between the railway officials, the railway police and the fraudster.
- Armed anti-terrorist police swooped on a Rochdale business to arrest a 30-year-old warehouse worker.
verb[with object] Back to top
- 1(Of a police force) have the duty of maintaining law and order in or at (an area or event): (as noun policing) a ten-point plan to improve policingMore example sentences
- The £4 million expense of policing the event, which included heavy police violence against protesters, was also borne by the taxpayer.
- All of the West Yorkshire and British Transport Police officers who policed the riots have been jointly nominated as the country's bravest officers.
- Whilst its economic importance and political sensitivity would ensure the event was highly policed, the use of anti-terror measures against protesters seems to be more of a case of testing the water for future use.
- 1.1Enforce regulations or an agreement in (a particular area or domain): a UN resolution to use military force to police the no-fly zoneMore example sentences
- What we need now is the will to regulate and police industry in favour of worker and consumer health.
- Many are trying to regulate this and are using monitoring technology to police it.
- A Paris-based media rights group yesterday slammed new Chinese regulations aimed at policing the Internet.
- 1.2Enforce the provisions of (a law, agreement, or treaty): the regulations will be policed by factory inspectorsMore example sentences
- The International Atomic Energy Agency, which polices the Non-Proliferation Treaty, has just returned from its annual inspection of Iraq.
- But there they are, knowing full well that there has to be somebody who is policing the law.
- I think there are enough challenges in trying to police the laws we have.
late 15th century (in the sense 'public order'): from French, from medieval Latin politia 'citizenship, government' (see policy1). Current senses date from the early 19th century.