Iraqi Police

Iraqi Police

The Iraqi Police Service (IPS) are the uniformed Territorial Police Force responsible for the enforcement of civil law within Iraq. The current organization, structure and hiring practice was guided by the Coalition Provisional Authority following the 2003 U.S-led invasion of Iraq. The command of the police belongs to the new Government of Iraq under the auspices of the Ministry of the Interior. The abbreviation "IP" is used to refer to Iraqi Police, while the abbreviation "ISF" is usually used to refer to the broader "Iraqi Security Forces".

Organization and Oversight

The Iraqi Police forces are part of the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior (MOI).

The Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq (MNSTC-I), is a U.S. military organization tasked to train, mentor, and equip all Iraqi civilian security forces (to include the Iraqi Police). MNSTC-I also has the stated goal of training their counterparts in the Government of Iraq to eventually completely assume their role.

The Multi-National Force-Iraq is the higher headquarters of the MNSTC-I.


The Iraqi Police are formed into three main branches.

The Iraqi Police Service (IPS)

The Iraqi Police Service is responsible for the day to day patrolling of cities.

The National Police (NP)

The National Police (NP) is a gendarmerie that gives the MOI a force to deal with insurgent violence, public disorder and counter terrorist tasks, without requiring the Iraqi Army.

upporting Forces

The Supporting Forces encompass most of the remaining police organizations. The primary part of the supporting forces being the Department of Border Enforcement (DBE) which is tasked with securing Iraq's borders and ports of entry.


The IPS wears a long sleeve light blue shirt and a dark blue utility pant like that of the United States Navy enlisted utility uniform. To signify their status as IPS officers they wear a dark blue baseball cap with POLICE written in white lettering, English over Arabic, and a dark blue brassard on the left arm embroidered top to bottom with the Iraqi flag, IP in English and Iraqi Police in Arabic. Police officers can currently be found wearing black shoes, black boots and tan boots. Currently they are transitioning to the tan boot only.

The NP has recently developed a new pixelated-pattern black and blue camouflage uniform (similar to ACUPAT), which includes a baseball cap. NP Members wear either black or tan boots. Issue of this uniform only takes place once Brigades complete a police retraining course. Units that are yet to undergo retraining can be found in a variety of uniforms including a woodland camouflage.

The DBE can be found wearing a khaki (tan) BDU. They too can be found wearing both black and tan boots as the entire force transitions to tan boots. A khaki cap or black beret can be worn.

Rank insignia for the IPF is identical to that of the Iraqi Army with the only change being that shoulder boards are the same color as the shirt of the officer. This too has an exception in that IPS office shoulder boards are dark blue same as the pants, hat and brassard.


Iraqi Police Serivce ranks: (Highest to lowest, with symbol on epaulette)

* Chief of Police/رئيس الشرطة - (single bar, Crossed wreath & Star) []
* Chief Superintendent/مشرفة رئيسيّة - (Crossed wreath & Star) []
* Superintendent/مشرفة - (Three stars) []
* Chief Inspector/ [شف ينسبكتور] - (Bar, and two stars) []
* Inspector/مفتشة - (Bar, and one star) []
* Captain/نقيب - (Two stars) []
* Lieutenant/ملازم أوّل - (One star) []
* Sergeant/رقيب - (Four bars) []
* Patrolman/ [بترولمن] - (One bar) []

Dangers faced by Iraqi police

The Iraqi police force has faced numerous problems since it was reformed by the U.S. controlled Coalition Provisional Authority after the fall of Baghdad. It has become the target of fighters from both inside and outside Iraq with many thousands of its force killed by a combination of gunfire and bombings by Iraqi insurgents, foreign terrorists and rare friendly fire by Coalition troops. According to a compilation of reports by the website icasualties.orgCite web
url =
title = Iraq Coalition Casulty Count
accessdate = 2008-02-23
publisher =
] an estimated 4,250 serving Iraqi police officers had been killed between January 2005 and the 4 March 2006. Due to the rather highCite web
url =
title = Unemployment High, Future Uncertain in Iraq
accessdate = 2008-02-23
date = January 24, 2005
publisher = ABC News
] unemployment levels in Iraq, there has been a willing number of young Iraqi men willing to join up to do the task. A large number have died even before pulling on a uniform after being killed by both suicide bombers and suicide car bombs whilst queueing at police recruitment stations.Cite web
url =
title = Bomber hits Iraq army recruits
accessdate = 2008-02-23
date = July 20, 2005
publisher = BBC News

The police force has also seen the infiltrationCite web
url =
archiveurl =
accessdate = 2008-02-23
publisher =
] of its ranks by insurgents of various guises and motives. With access to privileged information, training and weapons they have used the force to their tactical advantage. Many police stations have been attacked,Cite web
url =
title = Car bomb hits Iraq police station
accessdate = 2008-02-23
date = December 14, 2003
publisher = BBC News
] blown up,Cite web
url =
title = Mosque Bombed in Baghdad Attacks
accessdate = 2008-02-23
publisher =
] had weapons stolen from them and at times occupied by those who oppose the Iraqi government. As a result, many police officers have abandoned their posts,Cite web
url =
title = Man on a mission
accessdate = 2008-02-23
author = Rory McCarthy
date = December 3, 2004
publisher =
] others took off their uniforms and turned their weapons on the US forces who trained them. For other Iraqis the perils of being in the force did not stop once they left work. There have been dozens of reports of attacks on policemen and women whilst they were returning home from duty.Cite web
url =
title = (dead link)
accessdate = 2008-02-23
publisher =
Dead link|date=February 2008]

As of October 7 2006, 12,000 Iraqi Police have been lost, 4000 killed.Cite web
url =
title = More than 12,000 Iraqi police casualties in 2 years
accessdate = 2008-02-23
date = October 7, 2006
publisher = CNN

The Iraqi police and Islamic law

The Baathist regime operated under a single-party dictatorship that had a fairly secular legal system. While the Personal Status Law of 1958 gave religious courts some authority over members of their own religion, many Islamic based restrictions on personal freedom did not exist in Baathist Iraq as they do in neighboring nations such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.Alcohol and pork products were both legal, nightclubs did not have to be segregated based on gender, women were allowed to have public careers, and up until 2001 the only sexual conduct between consenting adults that was officially illegal was adultery, and incest. In 2001, the Baathist regime amended the criminal code to make homosexuality, adultery, rape and prostitution capital crimes.

The fall of the Baathist regime and the legalization of the various Iraqi opposition political parties, the liberalization of laws concerning freedom of religion and speech, along with ongoing violence and chaos has given an opportunity for Islamic fundamentalist insurgents and political parties to harass, even murder Iraqi businesses and citizens that violate Islamic mores.

Some Iraqi Muslim clerics have openly called for the greater integration of fundamentalist Islamic law in Iraq, and the current Iraqi Constitution provides that no law or right shall exist that violates Islamic morality.Cite web
url =
title = Iraqi Shia leaders demand sharia law
accessdate = 2008-02-23
date = February 7, 2005
publisher = ABC News Online

The powerful Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq has been linked to the harassment and beating of Iraqis that sell alcohol, women that are "unchaste", and those people that wear western clothing or listen to western music. The Council's Badr Organization or Cell has also been linked to the "death squad" murder of gay and trans-gender Iraqis and as a result many Iraqi women and homosexuals are fearful of appearing in public as the Badr is enforcing.Cite web
url =
title = The Initiative for Inclusive Security
accessdate = 2008-02-23
publisher = Hunt Alternatives fund
] Cite web
url =
title = Shia Death Squads Target Iraqi Gays — U.S. Indifferent
accessdate = 2008-02-23
author = Doug Ireland
date = March 22, 2006
publisher = Direland

Currently, the Law of Iraq is the Criminal Code of 1969 which contains several vague prohibitions against public immorality or indecency, but it would appear that the definition and enforcement of Islamic morality is being left up to various private citizens and paramilitary groups. Thus various news reports seem to suggest that both the Iraqi police and the foreign troops have been allowing Islamic fundamentalists to take the law into their own hands, and punish anyone they suspect of being guilty of immorality.

In Basra for instance it was reported that police guarding a local park made no attempt to stop an armed group from severely beating two women and then shooting dead a male Iraqi friend of theirs.Cite web
url =
title = Death at 'immoral' picnic in the park
accessdate = 2008-02-23
author = Catherine Philp
date = March 23, 2005
publisher = Times Online
] It has been suggested that the motivation for the attack was the mixing of men and women in a public place. In some instances it has been said that the armed groups involved in these and other political killings were actually police officers.

Iraqi police and foreign troops also seen to been ignoring the actions taken by the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq's "Badr Organization" to engage in death marches against Iraqi gay and transgender citizens. For more information on this topic see Gay rights in Iraq.

Iraqi police and the Iraqi government

The Iraqi Government has also been accused of using (or tolerating) the police and other groups to carry out sectarian killings and kidnappings of Sunni Iraqis. In December 2005 the Iraqi Interior Ministry found itself the centre of attention when US troops found 625 inmates being held in "very overcrowded" conditions in a Baghdad interior ministry building. Twelve of the prisoners were reportedly showing signs of serious torture and many other signs of malnourishment.Cite web
url =
title = New 'torture jail' found in Iraq
accessdate = 2008-02-23
date = December 12, 2005
publisher = BBC News
] It was reported that Police Commando's had been responsible for some of the prisoners.Fact|date=May 2008

This story only served to lend weight to the accusations and sow more distrust of the police force. A report into the findings at the building was promised by Iraqi President Ibrahim Jaafari at the end of December 2005 but as of the 4 May 2006 no report has been issued.It's also the case that groups infiltrating the Iraqi police have stolen uniforms and carried out kidnappings and killings whilst dressed as police. When you combine these actions with those of members of the police force carrying out killings outside their own code of conduct it is often very difficult to identify exactly who is responsible.

The US State Department in 2006 released a human rights report that accused Iraq's police force of widespread atrocities.Cite web
url =
title = Iraqi Police Are Tied to Abuses and Deaths, U.S. Review Finds
accessdate = 2008-02-23
author = Brian Knowlton
date = March 9, 2006
publisher = The New York Times
] Cite web
url =
title = Iraq: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2005
accessdate = 2008-02-23
date = March 8, 2006
publisher = U.S. Department of State

The Iraqi government dismantled in October 2006 a complete police brigade because they had connections with sectarian death squadrons. Instead of fighting against the death squads, the police helped them. The dismantled brigade has been transferred to a US base where they will be re-educated for their police job. Other police brigades will be subject of internal investigations for any liaison with death squads or other groups.

On November 14, 2006, some workers of the Ministry of Higher Education were kidnapped by gunmen who are suspected to be linked to Shi'ite militias and the Iraqi police. During that morning, kidnappers who wore recently-issued Iraqi police uniforms raided a Ministry of Higher Education building and seized over 100 men during broad daylight. There were reports that the vehicles which carried the hostages passed through Iraqi police checkpoints without being stopped. The Ministry of Interior spokesperson said that there are reports that the remaining hostages were to have been transported to Sadr City, a Shi'ite militia stronghold in eastern Iraq. At least several senior Iraqi police officers were being investigated. This incident calls into question the links between Shi'ite militias and the Iraqi police, where the true power of Iraqi security forces lie, and tensions between the Sunni-controlled Ministry of Higher Education and the Shi'ite-controlled Ministry of Interior.

Number of serving Iraqi police officers

The actual number of police is notoriously hard to gauge, since local police chiefs may pad their numbers to get more funding for their stations, and people may drift in and out of service. The total payroll for the Ministry of Interior exceeds 300,000, but many of these are not on duty at any given time.Fact|date=August 2007

As of mid-2007, the National Police Forces' employed approximately 25,000 national police.Cite web
url =
title = Study Finds Iraqi National Police Ineffective in Combating Terrorism
accessdate = 2008-02-23
author = Jim Randle
date = October 14, 2007
publisher = VOA News
] This number is slightly misleading, however, because at least one-third and as much as one-half, of the NPs are on leave at any one time.

Number of Iraqi Police Deaths

As of December 24, 2005, it has been announced by the Iraqi government's Interior Minister Jawad Al-Bolani, that 12,000 police officers in Iraq have died in the line of duty since the US-led invasion in 2003.Cite web
url =
title = Iraqi police deaths 'hit 12,000'
accessdate = 2008-02-23
date = December 24, 2006
publisher = BBC News

Police Transition Teams(PTT) / National Police Transition Teams(NPTT)

Large scaled operation conducted by coalition forces to assist in the policing and training of Iraqi Police(IP) and Iraqi National Police. PTTs are traditionally US Army Military Police squads dedicated to Iraqi Police stations in Iraq. The teams conduct joint patrols with IP's, share station defense, gather numbers of station information, and counter-terrorism intelligence. The US MP squads usually develop trusting relations with the IP's and conduct community policing through out Iraq together. The joint patrols and force of the PTT teams have helped curb violence, and increase respect and the professional image of Iraq's police force. Lately the duties have been filled by USAF Security Forces members. Along with most of the Police Transition Teams, an Iraqi Police Liaison Officer(IPLO) is present. The IPLO's are highly experienced US peace officers to assist in post-academy training of the IP's. The mission has played a vital role in the ability of Iraq to police and protect its own, increasing the length of the projected measures to secure Iraq.

National Police Transition Teams (NPTTs, pronounced nip'its) are 11-man military transition teams embedded in Iraqi National Police units at the battalion, brigade, division, and corps headquarters levels. Currently, these teams are resourced by the US Army and the US Marine Corps. Like the PTTs, each team is assisted by an IPLO and anywhere from 1-6 local interpreters.

See also

* Law of Iraq
* Ministry of Interior (Iraq)


External links

* [ Policing Post-War Iraq: Insurgency, Civilian Police, and the Reconstruction of Society (research paper)] - By Mathieu Deflem and Suzanne Sutphin, published in Sociological Focus, Vol. 39(4), November 2006.
* [ Iraqi police deaths 'hit 12,000']

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Iraqi security forces — (ISF) is the Multi National Force Iraq umbrella name for military, paramilitary and civilian law enforcement entities that serve under the Government of Iraq. The armed forces are administered by the Ministry of Defense (MOD), and the Iraqi… …   Wikipedia

  • Iraqi Army — Active 1921 present Country Iraq Branch Army Size some 770,000 (2011 est.) Part of Ministry of Defence …   Wikipedia

  • Iraqi Armed Forces — Iraq Ministry of Defence emblem Founded 1921 Current form 2003 Service branches …   Wikipedia

  • Police collusion with militias in Iraq — has been a key element that had led to the proliferation of death squads.IncidentsOn 4 October 2006, in the Amil district of Baghdad, Shiite private militias abducted 24 workers and shot two others. As a result, some of the police officers there… …   Wikipedia

  • Police rank — Lists of the ranks of various police agencies and forces all around the World: Contents 1 Australia 2 Belgium 3 Brazil 4 Canada 5 …   Wikipedia

  • Iraqi Interim Government — The Iraqi Interim Government was created by the United States and its coalition allies as a caretaker government to govern Iraq until the Iraqi Transitional Government was installed following the Iraqi National Assembly election conducted on… …   Wikipedia

  • Iraqi Navy — Iraq Navy National flag as ens …   Wikipedia

  • Iraqi Freedom — Irakkrieg Zwei M1A1 Abrams Kampfpanzer in Bagdad, 2003. Datum …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Iraqi Kurdistan — (Kurdish) هه‌رێمی کوردستان, Herêmî Kurdistan (Arabic) إقليم كردستان العراق …   Wikipedia

  • Iraqi people — الشعب العراقي Irāqīyūn …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.