The IPA – the largest police organisation in the World – was formed on 1st January 1950. Since that time, its Esperanto motto “Servo per Amikeco” (Service through Friendship) has reached more people than could have been imagined.
Founder – International Police Association
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 the 15th 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 19th 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 1st 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 Worlds 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.”
Bust of Arthur Troop at
On 22nd June 2000, Arthur and Marjorie celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary. Sadly, following a long illness, Arthur passed away in his sleep during the afternoon of Thursday 30thNovember 2000. Arthur was an ordinary British policeman with a dream who achieved his goals by founding the world’s largest police organisation.
Membership of the IPA is almost 400,000. National Sections exist in 61 countries throughout the World. We have witnessed the steady growth of what has become the undisputed major police organisation in the World, both in numerical strength and influence.
Arthur Troop’s fundamental ideas still remain today.
At a dedication service on Sunday 27th July 2003, Marjorie Troop unveiled a Memorial Plaque in honour of her husband Arthur at Christ Church, Stamford in Lincolnshire. For more information, click here