Royal Ulster Constabulary

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was the name of the police force in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 2000. Following the awarding of the George Cross in 2000, it was subsequently known as the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC. It was founded on 1 June 1922 out of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). At its peak the force had around 8,500 officers with a further 4,500 who were members of the RUC Reserve. During the Troubles, over 300 members of the RUC were killed and almost 9,000 injured in paramilitary assassinations or attacks, mostly by the Provisional IRA, which made the RUC (in 1983) the most dangerous police force in the world of which to be a member.

It became the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in 2001. The RUC was renamed and reformed, as is provided for by the final version of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000. The RUC was continually accused by sections of the minority nationalist community and human rights groups of one-sided policing and discrimination, as well as for its collusion with loyalist paramilitaries (see below). Conversely, the RUC was praised by other security forces as one of the most professional policing operations in the world. The allegations regarding collusion have prompted several inquiries, the most recent of which was published by Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan. No RUC Officer has been charged with any offence as a result of this report.

Read more about Royal Ulster ConstabularyPolicing in A Divided Society, Casualties, Awards, Chief Officers, Equipment

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    When constabulary duty’s to be done,
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    Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (1836–1911)

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