International Police Association

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Not to be confused with Interpol.
Arthur Troop
Gimborn Castle in Germany, Educational Centre
Emblem of the International Police Association

The International Police Association (IPA) is the largest organisation for police officers in the world.

The founder Arthur Troop (1914–2000), a police sergeant, was born in Lincoln, in the English county of Lincolnshire.

The association was founded on 1 January 1950 under the Esperanto motto on its emblem, Servo per Amikeco (Service through Friendship), to create friendly links and encourage cooperation between individual police officers around the world.

The IPA has is the largest independent police association in the world consisting of members of the police service in 64 national Sections, serving or retired, without distinction as to rank/position, sex, race, colour, language or religion. The IPA currently has over 420,000 members, as well as associate members in nearly 60 other countries. The IPA offers participation in international, national and local professional, cultural and social events, under the guidance of international commissions. The IPA provides opportunities for professional development in its educational facility, IBZ Gimborn (Germany), with funding for individual members through the Arthur Troop Scholarship. It also offers exchange of best practice and topics faced by the police in today’s world by attending World Seminars, in particular for young police officers and professional Police exchange programmes, emergency aid for disasters, coordinated by the International Social Commission and accommodation opportunities in more than 70 IPA Houses established in more than 20 countries. The IPA organises the International Youth Gatherings for children of IPA members aged 16-17 in a different country each year. The IPA has 5 international commissions, each chaired by a member of the Permanent Executive Board and with members from various countries around the world. The External Relations Commission provides liaison officers at various UN, European and American organisations. The International Cultural Commission looks after the cultural events and competitions, runs the International Youth Gathering amongst its tasks. The International Professional Commission runs the police placement programme, the Arthur Troop Scholarship, Young Officers' Seminars and carries out professional surveys. The International Social Commission looks after emergency and humanitarian aid to members following natural disasters, looks after IPA houses and coordinates social and sporting events, as well as youth holiday exchanges. The International Internal Commission is responsible for maintaining and revising the international rules and statute of the Association.

The main offices of the organization (IAC) are at Nottingham.


The IPA - the largest police organisation in the World - was founded on 1 January 1950. Since that time, its Esperanto motto "Servo per Amikeco" (Service through Friendship) has reached more people than could have been imagined.

The Association was formed because a police sergeant from Lincolnshire, England, Arthur Troop, wanted to create a channel for friendship and international co-operation amongst police officers.

Arthur Troop was born on 15 December 1914, in Lincoln, England, where he spent his childhood and attended local schools. His working life began as a mechanic but quickly he found interest in other things. He studied at Ruskin College, Oxford, for a diploma in Economics and Social Sciences. During this time he also made a 3-year study of Russian history. He was awarded a bursary to visit Moscow and Leningrad in 1934. Thereafter followed a two-year study of agriculture at Avoncroft Agricultural College in the Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire.

On 19 June 1936 Arthur joined the Lincolnshire Police where he performed duties in various departments but specialised in traffic. Shortly after the Second World War, Arthur set about the enormous task of founding a World Friendship Organisation for police officers. He had always had a great faith in people talking to each other, rather than fighting and always believed in the positive qualities of friendship. At that time, however, he was regarded as an eccentric and experienced considerable opposition from his Police Chief and the Home Office.

In the years 1948-49 contact was made with police friends at home and abroad. In 1949 an article was published in the British Police Review under the pseudonym of ‘Aytee’. Following an amazing response, Arthur was convinced he should proceed. The IPA was founded on 1 January 1950 under the Esperanto motto Servo per Amikeco (Service Through Friendship) and Arthur Troop became the first Secretary General of the British Section. His notion of an Association with development of social, cultural and professional links amongst its members, in an environment free from discrimination of rank, sex, colour, language or religion, became a reality.

With the help of early pioneers he worked untiringly to encourage the founding of other national Sections. From small beginnings the IPA message quickly took hold and the formation of new Sections throughout the World became rapid. Soon there were sections in the majority of Western Europe, Africa, America (north and south), Asia and Australasia. In 1955, at the first International Executive Committee meeting in Paris, he became the first International Secretary General, a post he held until he stood down in 1966 for personal reasons.

Following Arthur Troop’s achievement in creating what was to become the world's largest police organisation, there was change in the Authorities’ view towards the International Police Association. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 1965 Arthur Troop was awarded the British Empire Medal for his work in founding the IPA. He was later to receive many high awards from abroad. These included: an Honorary Doctorate from Canada; the Cross of Honour from the President of the Republic of Austria; and following the unveiling of the Arthur Troop statue on the great Plain of Hungary in 1998, he was presented with the ‘Golden Sword of Hungary’ by the State.

On retiring from the police service in 1966, Arthur Troop’s desire to help others continued. He took up another career with the Lincolnshire Social Service Department, as a Home Visitor for the Blind and again achieved National recognition for his charity work in providing Guide Dogs. Even during his later illness Arthur, with his wife Marjorie, continued to run the Stamford Blind Club.

Political changes in Eastern Europe became the catalyst for further increased growth and development within the Association. As an ex officio member of the International Committee (Permanent Executive Bureau), Arthur regularly attended international meetings, where his advice was heeded and respected. At the XIth World Congress in 1985, he became the first recipient of the Association’s Gold Medal. At the 26th IEC Conference in Vienna, in 1995, Arthur was awarded the IPA World Police Prize.

In spite of his serious ill-health Arthur prepared himself for the Associations 50th Anniversary World Congress, held in Bournemouth during May 2000. Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, in the opening ceremony paid tribute to "… the man from Lincolnshire, for ruthlessly pursuing the arduous task of establishing the International Police Association by Service through Friendship." Her Royal Highness went on to say "… Arthur Troop came through much adversity, isolation and disinterest from further up the ladder than we can ever realise."

On 22 June 2000, Arthur and Marjorie celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary. Following a long illness, Arthur died in his sleep during the afternoon of November 30, 2000.

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