Time Frame: A new force to reckon with

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Abu Dhabi Police was founded in 1957, around the time that this photograph of an officer was taken.

Before then, domestic responsibility for security essential fell to armed retainers of the Ruler, who guarded him at Qasr Al Hosn and on his travels in the emirate.

At this time the only organised force were the paramilitary Trucial Oman Scouts, commanded by British officers and with Arab soldiers and responsible for all the territory that comprises the UAE, as well as Oman.

The creation of a modern trained police force was a sign of the social change coming to the emirate. Within three years it had grown to 150, taking responsibility for everything from traffic management to inshore patrols.

No longer based in Qasr Al Hosn, the first police department was set up just a short distance from the palace.

In order to leave the island in those days, it was necessary to secure a permission slip from the police, which would presented at checkpoints for longer journeys, ensuring that if you broke down or become lost in the desert, help would soon be on the way.

* James Langton