What is the History of the Mumbai Police?

The system of modern policing in Mumbai began with the establishment of a Police Out-post by the Portuguese in 1661.

Later in the year 1669 when the East India Company acquired Mumbai, Gerald Aungier became the Governor of the City and is considered the founder of the city’s present Police Force. He organized the Bhandari Militia with Subhedars head quartered at Mahim, Sewree and Sion. He died at Surat in 1677.

During John Child’s Governorship (1681-90) in the year 1682 there was only one ensign for the whole force of 500 militia, and of non-commissioned officers there were only three sergeants and two corporals.

On February 17, 1779, Mr. James Tod was appointed as “Lieutenant of Police” on probation with an allowance of Rs. 4 per diem and on March 3rd of that year he was sworn in to office. Tod had a chequered career as head of the Bombay Police. Tod’s regulations, which numbered 41, were the only rules for the management of the force which had been passed up to that date in a formal manner. He had twice been indicted for felony and had been honorably acquitted on both occasions: but he still lived in continual dread of blame.


Police Commissioner’s Office

Police Commissioner’s Office


On March 29th, 1780 the office of the Lieutenant of Police annulled and office of Deputy of police on fixed salary of Rs. 3000/- a year created in its place. On April 5th ,1780 Tod formally relinquished his formal office and was appointed as Deputy of Police. Subsequently his designation was changed to “Deputy of Police and High Constable”. Three years later, in 1790, Tod’s administration came to an inglorious end. He was tried for corruption.

In the year 1793, Act XXXIII, Geo. III was promulgated. The post of Deputy of Police and High Constable was abolished and in its place post of Superintendent of Police was created. Mr. Simon Halliday was the first Superintendent of Police. He was in-charge of his office until 1808. He had made a thorough revision of and re-arrangement for policing, the area out side the Fort. The troublesome area known as “Dungree and the Woods” was split up into 14 Police divisions, each division being staffed by two constables (European) and varying number of Peons (not exceeding 130 for the whole area), who were to be stationary in their respective charges and responsible for dealing with all illegal acts committed within their limits.

The first Deputy of Superintendent was Mr. James Fisher, who continued office until the date(1808) of Mr. Halliday’s retirement when he was succeeded by Mr. James Morley.

The Right Honorable, the Governor in Council, under the provisions Indian Police Act XIII of 1856, had appointed Mr. W. Crawford as the Commissioner of Police for the “Town & Island of Bombay”, 13th. October, 1856. He was permitted to continue to perform his duties as Senior Magistrate of Police, also. Messrs. C. Forjett & W. H. Dunlop were the Deputy Commissioners. On 4th November, 1856 Mr. W. Crawford, Commissioner of Police, Bombay had issued public notice, notifying the whole of the clauses embodied in Section LXXXI. of Act XIII. of 1856 declared to be applicable all public streets, roads, through – fares, and places of public resort within the town and Island of Bombay.


Office of the Director General of Police

Office of the Director General of Police


In the year 1864, the posts of Senior Magistrate of Police and Commissioner of Police were segregated and Mr. N. Oliver was appointed as the Senior Magistrate of Police. Mr. Frank Souter took over as the independent Commissioner of Police on 14.11.1864. He remained in his office due to his professionalism and popularity for a record period of 24 years (14th November, 1864 till 3rd July, 1888). He laid the foundations of glorious traditions for the City Police Force, which are proudly maintained even today.

The Office of the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, was formally moved in 1896 to the present magnificent building built in the Anglo-Gothic style of Architecture and continues there till date. The first Indian Officer was also inducted in 1864.

However, it was not until Aug 15, 1947 that an Indian headed the police force. Charge was officially handed over by Commissioner A.E. Caffin, the last British officer to J.S. Bharucha on Independence Day.




Introduction of formalized Police Training


First Police Act (Appointing a European Constable as the main officer) 20th May,


Formulation of regulation for Traffic Control of Handcarts…


Introduction of First Suburban Train… [between Thane and Mumbai (Boribunder also known as VT/ CST)]


Mahatma Gandhi meets Commissioner of Police in his office on…

April 10, 1919

First Car owner in India… Mr Foster of M/s Crompton Greaves Company, Mumbai


First Indian to own a Car was Jamshedji Tata of Mumbai in…


First Indian Woman to drive a car : Mrs. Suzanne RD Tata in…


Introduction of Electric Tram Service…


Arrival of First Taxi in India at Mumbai…


Introduction of Double-decker Trams…


Formation of Traffic Police…


Electrification of Suburban Railway System…


First Public Bus in the City… (between Afghan Church and Crawford Market)


First Woman Police Constable, Mrs. Pancham Bala…


Formation of Detection Police Branch…


First Indian Police Commissioner: Shri JS Bharucha…


First Woman Police Sub-Inspector: Ms. Shanti Parwani…


Discontinuance of the tram service…


First Dog Squad…


Introduction of Computers…


The longest traffic jam… (due to major power break-down and rain – from 6.00 pm to 4.30 am the next day)

13th July, 1983

Introduction of Special Operation Squad to combat terrorism…

1st July, 1989

Formation of Anti-narcotics Cell…

Dec, 1, 1989

Computerization of the Control Room…


First Police Station: Byculla Police Stn…


1st Police Chief: James Todd…


1st Police Commissioner & Senior Magistrate: William Craw..


Segregation of Magistracy and Commissioner of Police


Sir. Frank Souter takes over as Commissioner of Police


First Indian Police Officer…  Khan Bahadur Shaikh Ibrahim Shaikh Imam in the year


Last British Officer: A.E. Caffin…

4/02/47 – 14/08/47

1st Indian Officer:  J.S. Barucha…

15/08/47 – 15/05/49

NOTE: The highest ranking Police Officer between the period of 1779 to 1864 was given the title of Police Chief. After which the title was changed to Police Commissioner.


The Mission of the Mumbai Police Department:

  • Mumbai Police shall ensure the Rule of Law, enforce the law of the land impartially and firmly without fear or favour, and strive to create a fear free environment that is conducive to growth and development.
  • Mumbai Police will remain committed to maintaining public order, preventing and detecting crime, maintaining and promoting communal harmony, ensuring a smooth flow of traffic, and taking strong action against terrorism, organized crime, anti-social / illicit activities / elements.
  • We will serve and protect all, particularly the downtrodden, the weak, women, minorities, senior citizen’s, slums dwellers, the poor & other marginalized sections of society. Prompt & compassionate response to every call of citizen’s in distress.
  • We will keep our personal integrity high, work as a team to make the force corruption-free, bring in transparency in our functioning, strive continuously to raise the professional skills and work for the welfare of our force.
  • Making Mumbai a safer and better place to live is our mission and we will work for this in partnership with the community.


Source: This information was obtained from the website of the Mumbai Police – https://mumbaipolice.maharashtra.gov.in/