Native Police Regulations as published in Queensland Government Gazette (10 March 1866)

Rule 1 was not included.

  1. It is impossible to give precise directions for the execution of every duty which the force may be required to perform, or to anticipate every difficulty which its members may have to encounter, as, from the nature of the service, its duties must vary, and consequently the mode of execution must vary with them, and be directed by the circumstances of each particular case. Each member of the force should therefore endeavor to become acquainted with the nature of every duty which he may be called on to perform, and by zeal, energy, discretion, and intelligence, make every effort to supply the unavoidable deficiency in general instructions.
  1. The officers will, however, be held strictly responsible for the execution and observance of all orders and regulations; for any deviation from which, and for their own acts and orders in such cases as may not or cannot be provided for by these instructions, they will be held responsible.
  1. In the performance of their duty they are distinctly to understand that their efforts should be principally directed to the prevention of crime, which will tend far more effectively towards the security of person and property than the punishment of those who have violated the laws; and the very best evidence that can be given of their efficiency will be the absence of crime in their districts.
  1. All officers are studiously to observe a strict neutrality in political matters.
  1. Every officer of the Native Mounted Police Force should bear constantly in mind how essential it is to cultivate a proper regard for the honor and respectability of the force, and should be governed by the principle that the more they can raise those above or below them in public estimation, the more they elevate their own official position, and with it the general character of the force.
  1. All commands devolve on the senior officer present. As the responsibility attaching to a superior may at any time devolve on the next in rank, it is essential that the members of each grade be acquainted with the duties that circumstances may call on them to discharge, in order to guard against injury to the public service.
  1. Every subordinate is to receive the lawful commands of his superior with deference and respect, and to execute them to the best of his power; and every superior, in his turn, is to give his orders in the language of moderation and of regard to the feelings of those under his command.
  1. The obedience and respect which are here required must be observed throughout the force generally, and not be understood in any partial or confined sense.
  1. The conditions of admission into the force are stated here that no reason for complaint may exist upon their being enforced. It is to be understood at the same time that the power is reserved to the Commissioner, subject to the approbation of His Excellency the Governor in Council, to alter or amend any of these conditions, and also to make such new rules as may be found expedient: –
  • Every officer must devote his whole time to the service.
  • He shall serve and reside wherever he is ordered.
  • He shall promptly obey all lawful orders which he may receive from the persons placed in authority over him.
  • He shall conform himself to all the regulations which may be made from time to time for the good of the service.
  • Three months’ notice of his intention to resign his appointment must be given to the Commissioner; and he shall, on no account, absent himself from his station, unless specially permitted by writing under the hand of his immediate commanding officer.
  • Any officer who shall be dismissed cannot again be admitted into the Police Force, nor any other branch of the Government service.
  • Every officer shall, before leaving the service, deliver up all Government property that may be in his charge; and any such property that may have been lost or damaged by the neglect of the officer in whose charge it was, will be made good by deduction from his pay.
  1. The officers are not to allow any person unconnected with the Native Police Force to interfere with or accompany them, or give orders to any of the troopers under their command.
  1. They must be very careful of the health of their men; not to allow them to wear their jackets in hot weather; not to allow them to put on their newly-washed clothes before they are dry; nor to camp in low spots conducive to fever and ague; nor to camp upon ground wet from rain, but cause them to strip bark to put under them.
  1. The arms, clothes, and accoutrements must be inspected as often as possible. No excuse will ever be admitted for dirty arms or accoutrements, as with a very little trouble they are easily kept clean.
  1. Whenever an opportunity occurs, such as a day or two’s rest, or a short stage, the officers are to practice the troopers in the usual drill and no other.
  1. Before leaving the police station, the officer in command will see that such clothing as may not be wanted on patrol is carefully put away.
  1. A daily account of all rations received and issued will be kept in a book supplied for the purpose.
  1. The object in sending out patrol parties is principally that the hostile blacks, from the frequent visits of the police, may be deterred from murder and felony – this is the meaning of a preventive force.
  1. It is however certain that, occasionally, the officers will have to endeavor to apprehend persons who have committed felony. When the officer holds a warrant his duty is very clear if he can identify the individual named therein, or has reasonable grounds to believe he can do so; and if he meets with resistance in the execution of such warrant, he is justified in making use of force against the man he wishes to apprehend, and any person assisting him. When he holds no warrant, if he can prove that a felony has been committed, and that he reasonable cause to suspect an individual, he is justified in apprehending him, and using force if resisted. With white persons it is not difficult to prove all this, but blacks are so much alike, and the evidence is generally so faulty, that officers must be very cautious. It has been frequently found that the statements made by individuals differed very widely from the affidavits when made on oath by the same persons. When an officer sees a felony or an assault being committed, as a matter of course, he is obliged to take all offenders in charge. In every case the same law applies to blacks as to whites, and if the officers go beyond the law they do so at their own risk. The blacks cannot be considered as men armed for illegal purposes, because their weapons are their principal means of obtaining food.
  1. The officers must be very particular in always avoiding indiscreet discussions.
  1. Upon returning from patrol, officers in charge of parties will report to the officer in command of the district everything concerning any collision that may have taken place, and given him full information, in order that he may collect any necessary evidence.
  2. When a trooper is transferred, a return is to be sent with him, signed by the officer who sends him, of the arms, accoutrements, clothing, etc sent with him; this return is to be countersigned by the officer to whom the trooper is sent, and by him forwarded to the Inspector of the district.
  1. Officers in charge of districts and detachments will be careful that under no circumstances are blacks, not being troopers, to be allowed in the police camp; and they will use every exertion to prevent the troopers from having any communication whatever with the aborigines of the district in which they may be stationed, or through which they may be passing; they will also be held responsible that no trooper keeps a gin without permission from head-quarters.
  1. Every officer will keep a journal of all incidents happening in the course of public duty, whether during patrol or in camp, and of any circumstances that may have occurred within his district, in which he may have acted in his official capacity. He will also keep a diary of the duty performed on patrol, stating time of arrival at and departure from each station he may visit, to which, when possible, he will obtain the signature of the proprietor or person in charge.
  1. He will be particular in collecting and forwarding, at the close of each month or quarter, all accounts against his own, or any outstanding accounts belonging to any other detachment that may have passed through his district; the accounts must be made out on proper vouchers, and officers must be very careful that all the necessary signatures are attached thereto.
  1. He will be held responsible for the general duty of his detachment, and the proper fulfilment of the separate duties of the subordinate officers under his command.
  1. He will be careful to instruct his acting Sub-Inspectors as to the duties they will be required to perform, which are principally as follows:-
  • To take charge of the stores, and serve out rations to the troopers night and morning, and keep a strict account of all stores and rations issued to the detachment, to be laid before the officer in charge at any time he may wish to inspect the same.
  • To drill the troopers every day they are in camp, until they are perfect in their exercise, mounted or on foot.
  • And perform any camp duties which may be considered necessary by the officer in command.
  1. Officers and troopers will at all times wear correct uniform when on parade, patrol, or other duty; and in this respect it is particularly necessary that the officers should be careful in showing a proper example; as through cleanliness in person, clothing and accoutrements must be rendered compulsory on the part of the troopers, every inducement should be held out to them to assume a smart and soldierlike appearance.
  1. In no case are any of the native troopers to be allowed to take spirits from any one, except their officer or medical man in case of sickness.
  1. No cartridges are to be expended by the troopers without the orders of their officers.
  1. The whole of the horses are to be mustered regularly every morning by the troopers in turn, and a note to be made in the officer’s journal of any horses absent; their backs must be carefully attended to, and should always be washed upon the troopers dismounting, and well rubbed down before saddling; the saddles should be examined frequently by the officer in charge, and the saddle cloths and girths kept clean.
  1. It is the duty of the officers, at all times and opportunities, to disperse any large assembly of blacks without unnecessary violence; such meetings frequently lead to depredations and murder, and mistaken kindness or misbehavior of the officers in command only inspire the blacks with sufficient confidence to commit outrages. The officers will, therefore, see the necessity of teaching the aborigines that no outrage or depredation shall be committed with impunity, but, on the contrary, that retributive justice will speedily follow the commission of crime; nevertheless the officers will be careful in receiving reports against the blacks, as it frequently happens that mistakes are made as to the identity of the aggressors. In case of any collision with the aborigines a report is to be forwarded to the Commissioner without delay.
  1. Officers in charge of districts and detachments will make themselves, as soon as possible, acquainted with the general features of the country in their respective districts and vicinities, so as to enable them to take advantage of any information they may receive as to the route or hiding-places of any aborigines whom it may be necessary to apprehend, and to enable them to patrol their districts without keeping on the beaten tracts.
  1. They will be careful to see the men’s arms and ammunition placed where they can lay their hands on them at night for attack or defence.
  1. The greatest care is to be observed in the preservation of the men’s arms and ammunition; and as much injury is done to the locks of the carbines by taking them to pieces, it is directed that this shall be done as seldom as possible, and always under the superintendence of an officer.
  1. The men shall be fully armed on all duties when mounted.
  1. The men at out stations, when in quarters, will, invariably, parade on Sundays in full dress.
  1. A compliance with this order will be entered in the monthly return of duties.
  1. When in quarters, there will be a daily parade of horses; and officers will take advantage of those men who have been drilled to instruct their detachments in riding, as well as in the carbine, pistol, and sword exercises, on foot and on horseback.
  1. The Native Mounted Police will at all times afford the magistrates and constables a ready assistance in the execution of their duty; but it is to be distinctly understood that, except in cases of special necessity, they are not to be employed in performing any of the duties of ordinary constables.
  1. When escorts or orderlies are furnished by the Native Mounted Police, they will always, when practicable, be relieved at the nearest stations.
  1. Whenever men die or become non-effective, the officer in charge of the station will immediately take charge of the spare horses, arms, and appointments, and preserve them in the best order.
  1. Officers commanding stations will inspect all return patrols, and immediately report any irregularity they may observe in men or horses arriving at their posts.
  1. The men of the Native Mounted Police are forbidden to appear in the streets unless dressed strictly according to order, and at all times they are expected to be smart and clean.
  1. When not interfering with duty, each officer is permitted to employ a trooper as groom, but it is to be understood that he is always armed, appointed, and ready for any service that may be required. He is not on any account to be dressed in livery, or to be employed in any way unconnected with the officer’s duties.
  1. Every trooper shall have two horses, suited to his weight, told off to him, for which he will be held responsible in all respects. The trooper is not to be deprived of his horses, except for misconduct; nor are they to be changed, except on urgent necessity, without previous reference to head-quarters.
  1. Officers in charge of detachments will be held responsible that the saddles are kept in good repair, and fit the horses so as not to injure their backs.
  1. Upon the exertion and example of the officers mainly depends the efficiency of the force; their duties are never ending; their presence is required everywhere, and it is solely by their intelligence, unceasing vigilance, and watchful superintendence of the men, that the protection, which is the main object of the force, can be afforded. This can in no way be more effectually carried out than by the constant personal supervision of their different stations on the part of the Inspectors in command of districts, and more than ordinary care in visiting and patrolling the haunts of the aborigines in command of detachments.
  1. When any trooper has been incapable of duty for a considerable time from sickness, a special report must be made, in order to his being brought to head-quarters for medical treatment, or removed from the force.
  1. The particular attention of officers is directed to the different returns required to be furnished to head-quarters. If those returns are not carefully prepared, it is impossible to arrive at a correct knowledge of the state of the force, as well as of the stores, ammunition, equipments, and supplies required.
  1. All returns and reports are to be made as full as possible, so as to afford every information.
  1. In the monthly return of duties performed, the number of men on duty each day, the place visited, the number of miles travelled, as well as the nature of the duty on which employed, whose order, and any occurrence of an extraordinary nature, are to be entered.
  1. The expenses of the corps must be kept within the narrowest limits consistent with efficiency. No expense, except of the most trivial nat