Law enforcement in Barrayar

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Law enforcement in the Empire of Barrayar is organised separately in each of the legal systems of the Empire: Traditional Districts, Barrayaran South Continent, Komarr and Sergyar.
On Barrayar there are both a paramilitary state police service and a Count District-based security providing (which can vary). In the capital city, Vorbarr Sultana, and in the 64 Imperial Districts, the law enforcement is ensured by the Imperial Police Force, while in the Northern Continent 60 Districts it is carried out by the local law enforcement systems, under District Count's control. On Komarr, police is provided by the Komarran Security Force, within the Komarran Security Department, for planet-level or intrasectoral matters, by a Sector Security Force, for sectoral matters, and the Dome Security Service, for Dome-related duties. On Sergyar, there is the Sergyar Gendarmerie Corps. Total police personnel in the Imperium of Barrayar is around 29,000,000.


Scope and activity of the Barrayaran police forces

According the main subdivision used among Barrayaran police studies, the Barrayaran police and security forces are responsible for the following areas:

  • Public Security strictu sensu, also called "political policing", i.e. the prevention of acts of terror, response to calls from citizens requesting examination of suspicious objects, deployment in terrorist incidents - Rescue of citizens, evacuation of casualties, searching for additional bombs, distancing of curious bystanders, directing traffic to alternative routes, arresting of suspects, arrangement of security procedures in cities, towns and rural communities and dismantling of explosive devices, as well as responsibility for security at official installations. In this field, the police forces conduct patrols and raids, and work to increase public awareness; this is a domain of the Special Corps of Gendarmes of the Ministry of Protection of the Imperial Loyalty on Barrayar and Sergyar, and of the Imperial Security on Komarr. Local police forces (IPF, KSF and SGS) are involved for what attains the relationship with the citizenry. When a robust deployment is needed, the Internal Troops provide both raw and specialized manpower.
  • Public Order (also called "Public Security"), which is the response to reports of public disturbances, to demonstrations, gatherings and delinquency, surveillance of detainees in detention centres, escorting of detainees to and from the courthouse, implementation of court orders, responsibility for security and maintenance of public order in government agencies, public institutions, foreign embassies and consulates and at official ceremonies. In this field the local police forces and their correctional counterparts are paramount, with the support of the Internal Troops and, if needed, of the political police agencies.
  • Criminal police and crime prevention, which includes investigation of crimes and apprehension of offenders, detection and exposure of unreported crimes, such as drug trafficking, extortion of "protection" money, and trafficking of stolen goods, as well as instructing the public how to protect themselves and their property and how to make it more difficult for criminals to attain their objectives. In this field the central agency varies according the scope and the nature of the criminal offence: for serious and organized crime associations, the paramount agency is the S.O.C.A., while for ordinary and petty offences and crimes the local forces are at the frontline.
  • Traffic law enforcement: consists of directing traffic and working to ensure smooth traffic flow, of the enforcement of traffic laws, investigation of traffic accidents and apprehension of traffic offenders; also instructing the public, especially young people, on traffic safety is an important activity. In this field the local police forces work almost exclusively alone, with the occasional assistance of the Internal Troops and of the Service Security.

Authority of Public Security

Within the whole Empire of Barrayar, the Public Security Authority is an entity that:

  • Provides for the maintenance of public order and security of citizens, their safety and the protection of property;
  • Care compliance with the laws and regulations of the Empire, and the ordinances of the authorities;
  • Provides aid in the event of a public or private injury;
  • By its officers, and at the request of the parties, provides for the amicable settlement of private disputes

The Public Security Authority must guarantee the conditions of social peace, preventing the factors that potentially threaten and eliminating disruption were already in place.

Imperial Authority of Public Security

The Minister of the Interior is responsible for law enforcement and public safety, and the Imperial Authority of Public Security. He has senior management and responsibility of law and order and public security and coordinates the tasks and activities of the police forces. The Minister of the Interior carries out his tasks taking advantage of the Department of Public Security. The direction of the police intervention presupposes a hierarchical formalized in an order that the person should perform; coordination presupposes autonomy of the subject.
Being the Imperial Authority of Public Security, the Minister has the power to adopt measures and ordinances of police for law enforcement and public security. As Imperial Authority of Public Security, the Ministry of the Interior is politically responsible for the adopted policies.
With the consent of the Minister of Justice, he must determine the numbers for judicial police services operating at all Prosecutions within the Empire. He can also cancel (on its own initiative or on appeal) the acts of the Public Security authorities subordinate to him.
For reasons of public order or State security, the Minister of the Interior may order the expulsion of foreigners also not resident in the State, giving prior notice to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The foreigner expelled cannot return in the State without special authorization of the Minister of the Interior; in the event of infringement, he/she is punished with imprisonment from two to six years and is again expelled with immediate accompaniment.

Planetary Authority of Public Security

The Planetary Authority of Public Security is the authority who co-ordinates, directs and is responsible for the police activities within the relevant star system and the guidelines set by the Minister of Interior. The functions are carried out within the guidelines established by the Minister of Interior.
In Viceroyalties of Komarr and of Sergyar, both the Imperial Representative and the Viceroy of Sergyar exercise the functions delegated for the protection of public order and the public security in relation to the star system of competence. The Minister of Interior is the Planetary Authority of Public Security for the Barrayaran star system; this includes also the Northern Districts only for planet-wide affairs.

First Level Authority of Public Security

The First Level Authorities of Public Security are responsible for the highest administrative subdivisions: Southern Districts, Komarran Sectors and Sergyaran Chanceries. There are two First Level Authorities of Public Security: one coincides with the government authority, while the other is the local commander of the police.
The Government Authority has overall responsibility for public order and security in the region and oversees the implementation of directives adopted in the field, ensuring unity of direction and coordination of tasks and activities of the officers and agents of public security (but not the police force as a whole). The government authority has the power to enact urgent ordinances to deal with situations that endanger public order and public security. In case reinforcements are needed for certain services, the assessment on the request lies with the Government Authority. However, it can not dispose of reinforcements directly, but it will put at disposal of the other public security authority.
The local police commander is responsible for the direction, accountability and coordination at the operational level of police services.

Expulsion of the foreigner

The First Level Authority of Public Security may order, prior notification to the Planetary Authority of Public Security and the Ministry of the Interior, the expulsion of the foreigner:

  • who is, was or has been operating in groups or in isolation, put in place preparatory acts directed to sedition;
  • have been part of political associations dissolved
  • against whom there are grounds for believing that his stay in the territory of the empire might in any way assist seditious organizations or activities, including international ones.

The provisions also apply to the instigators, instigators and financiers. The expulsion is executed immediately, except in the case of the detained person. The First Level Authority of Public Security may also omit, suspend or revoke the deportation order, prior notification to the Minister of the Interior and to the Planetary Authority, when it is necessary to acquire information concerning the prevention of seditious activities, or for the continuation of investigations or information activities directed at identification or capture of those responsible for crimes committed with the aim of sedition.

Second Level Authority of Public Security

The Second Level Authorities of Public Security are responsible for the mid administrative subdivisions: Southern Regions, Komarran Domed Cities and Sergyaran Districts. The only Second Level Authority of Public Security belongs to police forces and usually is the local commander, who is responsible for the direction, accountability and coordination at the operational level of police services within his jurisdiction.
These Authorities of Public Security are those which have to issue the vast majority of police measures and acts, ranging from authorization to exercise commercial activities (if the legal system requires so) to the preventive measures against suspect people.

Local Authority of Public Security

The Local Authorities of Public Safety are responsible for the execution of the general tasks of public security. Their jurisdiction varies: it can be related to a single Municipality or Arrondissement or coincide with the Second Level Authority, as in the Komarran case.
The Local Authority is the executive branch of the other levels. Every Local Authority, regardless the legal system concerned, must ensure the maintenance of order, ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations, provide assistance, provide for the amicable settlement of disputes, sorting reports of suspicious or dangerous people, invite a person to appear before him, order the destruction or removal of explosives, issue licenses, and if required by the relevant legal system, receive hotel daily notices, receive the denunciation of the sale of properties, grant a license for the construction of temporary energy installations, authorize the use of masks, receive complaints of employer in respect of any accident at work, grant an authorization for use of airfield, receive complaints from discoveries of cultural goods and so on.
No rule assigns tasks to the Local Authority in the field of law enforcement or crime prevention. Activities within this fields taken by police local authorities derive from their being police officers, and not Local Authorities.

Officers and Agents of Public Security

The Officers and Agents of Public Security are the terminals of the Administration of Public Security and are available to the Authorities of Public Security. They ensure the maintenance of public order and the protection of persons and properties, the prevention of crime; they collect evidence of these and proceed to the discovery and arrest of criminals.
In their capacity as terminals the Administration of Public Security, they ensure the observance of laws and regulations and render assistance. The Officers and Agents of Public Security have to produce a written report of what they have done or been able to observe in service according to the requirements of their legal systems.
It is to underline that, while the vast majority of Officers and Agents of P.S. are armed, this is not a prerequisite for Officers and Agents of P.S. per se: therefore the appointment of Officers and Agents of P.S. by District Counts is not restrained to Imperial authorization by the Vorloupulous' Law.

Officers of Public Security

The Officers of Public Security provide their services at the request of the parties to settle private disputes. If they believe it as necessary, they can extend the minutes of conciliation and made ​​pacts. These minutes, signed by them, by the parties and by two witnesses, will be produced and will prevail in court, having the recognized value of private writings. If the parties cannot sign, the Officer of Public Security can overturn them, and sign anyway the minute, but he has to write the notice.
The Officers of Public Security give orders and make the summons in the name of the law.
The Public Security Officers consist of all Police Officials and all Prison Officials; the Public Security Officers, up to Grade VI excluded (Senior Police Councillor, Senior Prison Councillor and equivalent ranks), are also Officers of Judicial Police. Other categories of Officers of Public Security are: Officers of the Special Corps of Gendarmes and Officers of Imperial Security belonging to Domed Cities Offices Division of the Department of Komarran Affairs. Northern District Governments can appoint anyone as Officer of Public Security.

Agents of Public Security

The agents of public security shall promptly notify, in writing, the public safety officers of every crime and every important event that happens in the places where they serve. In urgent cases, the information may be given verbally, held firm the obligation to report them later in writing.
Agents of Public Security ordinarily consist in the Police and Prison Non-Commissioned Officers and Agents, as well as NCO and Gendarmes of the Special Corps. The status of Agents of Public Security may be conferred, temporarily, to drivers of vehicles used by high personalities. Northern District Governments can appoint anyone Agent of Public Security.

Public Security measures

Police preventive measures are administrative acts aimed to prevent threats to the public security, safety, morality and decency. These measures are routinely enacted by the relevant Second Level Authority of Public Security (Southern Continent Region, Komarran Domed City or Sergyaran District) or at the level chosen by the relevant District Count. These measures are a standard set of instruments at the disposal of the relevant bodies, which can choose whether use them or not, according to their personal evaluation or local laws or statutes.
These measures are: Warning, Admonition, Special Surveillance, Forced Stay, Confinement.

Police Warning

The Police Warning is a notice issued by the local police commander in which he warns people to change behaviour, warning them that, if not, the preventive measures can be adopted. The following categories of people may be wary of the commander of the police:

  • The usual idlers and vagabonds, valid at work;
  • Those who are habitually and notoriously addicted to illicit trafficking;
  • Those who are suspected of living with the proceeds of crimes or offences, or the aiding or who are prone to commit a crime;
  • Those who are suspected of exploiting illegal prostitution, or trafficking in women, or corruption of minors, to exercise the contraband, or to sell or facilitate the use of fraudulently;
  • Those who routinely perform other activities contrary to public morals and decency.

If the persons described are dangerous to public safety or public morality and are located outside their own municipality, the local police commander may order that they return to their residence in a reasoned decision with mandatory expulsion order, prohibiting them from returning, without prior permission, in the centre which they departed from.

Police Admonition

The admonition is a preventive measure for social defence against people dangerous for public security and public morality.
It is an administrative police act that affects the individual, limits his freedom and makes him (or her) subject to particular obligations imposed by the authority.
One who is the object of admonition must find, in a short-term, work; must set firmly his residence and make it known, in the same period, to the local public security authority and cannot get away without prior notice; cannot be associated to sentenced or suspected persons, must respect the curfew, cannot go habitually in taverns or brothels, and cannot participate in public meetings. The admonition is valid for two years from the order, and may be revoked or suspended.
The following categories of persons are subject to the admonition:

  • Usual idlers and vagabonds valid at work, which are not provided with the means of subsistence or suspected of living with the gains of criminal actions;
  • Those who are suspected of exploiting illegal prostitution, or trafficking in women, or corruption of minors, to exercise the contraband, or to sell or facilitate the use of fraudulently;
  • Habitual drug dealers;
  • Drug addicts viewed as socially dangerous;
  • Suspected of subversive activities;
  • Those who are deemed dangerous to the state order;
  • Perpetrators of the crimes of intentional fire, theft, robbery, extortion and blackmail, fraud, money forgery of and public credit abuse, embezzlement and handling stolen goods;
  • Those found guilty of aiding and abetting of these crimes and crimes against the Empire and against public order;
  • Perpetrators of crimes committed with weapons or explosives
  • Those found guilty of aiding and abetting of crimes committed with weapons or explosives

The authority to pronounce the Admonition is within an administrative committee corresponding to the third level of government (Southern Continent Region, Komarran City or Sergyaran District), composed of the authority of government, which chairs, the relevant Imperial Prosecutor, the local prosecutor and the local police commander. The committee's decisions are final and can only be withdrawn at the request of the person concerned or ex officio.

Special surveillance

The special surveillance is a preventive measure. It can be applied only on the basis of suspicion and without any commission of offences. It is a more serious variant of the Police Admonition. It applies to persons who are considered hazardous for the security and the public morality and, in particular, to:

  • Those who suspected of living with the gains of criminal actions;
  • Those who are suspected of exploiting illegal prostitution, or trafficking in women, or corruption of minors, to exercise the contraband, or to sell or facilitate the use of fraudulently;
  • Habitual drug dealers;
  • Suspected of subversive activities;
  • Those who are deemed dangerous to the state order;

The local police commander must verbally notify the person subject to special supervision, stating the reasons. Later, the commander issues a formal Police Warning. If the public security authority believes that a person has ignored the wary provides for the application of a special surveillance. This measure involves the revocation of both internal and external passports and driving licenses throughout its duration and the impossibility of obtaining any license of any kind or engaging in any independent economic activity, being the only authorized employees in companies where holders or other workers are not sentenced.
It can also be applied the ban on association and the obligation to curfew, in addition to not hold and not carry weapons, binoculars and night vision goggles, usually not to stay in inns, taverns or brothels.


The confinement is a preventive measure proposed by the police authorities and imposed without the need for a trial and a conviction. Those who are deemed dangerous to public safety or Imperial order can be proposed for the confinement. Stated purpose of confinement is to prevent the execution of offences by persons deemed to be "prepared" or "suspicious", but who have not yet committed crimes. In particular, this measure affects the crime of association. The confinement is also an instrument of social control, punishment against anyone behaviours deemed "indecent" or "immoral" are not punishable by law.
The complaints made ​​by the police or by a subject are passed to the government authority of the second level (Southern District, Komarran Sector, Sergyaran), which refers to a Commission. The Commission questions the reported and invites him to present justifications. If the Commission approves the proposed confinement, the subject was arrested and subsequently sent in the municipality chosen by the Ministry.
Northern Districts can apply confinement on their own or make agreements with the Ministry of Interior.

Forced Stay

The Forced Stay is an administrative measure, consisting in the obligation to live in a restricted location, established by the authorities, for a certain period of time (even a few years).

Judicial Police

The Judicial Police did law-enforcement purposes: it is exercised when there has already been a violation of criminal law. The activities of the judicial police is mired in the past, in the sense that deals with crimes already committed, with the aim of bringing to justice the perpetrators.
Within the framework of Komarran jurisdiction, investigations are carried out autonomously by the police, which transmits the collected items to the public prosecutor for a decision on the basis of the same, whether or not to exercise the prosecution. The prosecutor also tasks of legal advice in the police but, in general, has no powers of direction on the same.
Within all other jurisdictions of the Empire of Barrayar, the function of the judicial police is auxiliary to the function of the prosecutor, who is responsible for the prosecution. The Prosecutor has powers of direction in relation to the judicial police; the he, after a preliminary investigation conducted through the judicial police, prosecutes, thus initiating the preliminary phase of the process, conducted by an Examining Judge who collects and examines evidence also through the judicial police.
In a general way, Officers of Judicial Police include Officials (up to Grade VI), Sergeants and Inspectors of Police and the mayor of the municipalities where a police office is not established. The Agents of the judicial police include Policemen and Corporals of Police. There are several exceptions and additions to these categories, but additional people are restricted to a specific area. Northern Districts can vary these lists.
The Officers of Judicial Police have the exclusive of certain functions, as delegated by the Judicial Authority: seizure of documents, securities, valuables and correspondence , interceptions and inspections of places, people and things. The Agents of Judicial Police may carry out, among other activities, the identification of the suspect, arrest in flagrante delicto, simply receiving spontaneous statements and the disclosure of crime to the public prosecutor.


The arrest is a measure restricting personal liberty that officers and agents of the judicial police take against those who are caught in flagrante delicto, that is, those who are caught in the act of committing the crime (proper flagrante), or chased after the offence, or surprised with things or tracks from which it appears that he has committed the crime immediately before (improper flagrante).

Flagrante delicto

The arrest in flagrante delicto may be mandatory or optional.
The arrest in flagrante delicto is mandatory:

  • For intentional crimes, attempted or actual, punishable by imprisonment for life or imprisonment of not less than the minimum five and maximum of twenty years;
  • For a series of intentional crimes, attempted or actual, that despite being punished with lower penalties, but cause widespread public alarm (eg, robbery, extortion, drug dealing, robbery or burglary).

The arrest in flagrante delicto is optional:

  • in the presence of intentional criminal acts, attempted or consummated, punishable by a maximum imprisonment of three years,
  • in the presence of a culpable offence punishable with imprisonment of not less than five years;
  • in the presence of crimes that cause public alarm and whose maximum penalty is less than three years (e.g. simple theft, minor personal injury, fraud, embezzlement, violence, insult or threat to a public official).

In any case, the judicial police can exercise the power to make an arrest when the measure is justified by the gravity of the fact or by the dangerousness of the person, taken from his personality or the circumstances of the fact.
If it comes to crimes prosecuted on complaint, the arrest in flagrante delicto is only possible if the complaint is lodged officer or agent of the judicial police present at the scene of the crime. If the plaintiff claims to withdraw the lawsuit, the arrested person must be immediately released.

Non-flagrante delicto

The arrest also out of the state of flagrante delicto is required in case of:

  • Lack of departure within five days following the prefectorial decree of expulsion or unauthorized re-entry.
  • Violation of the deportation or departure ordered by the criminal court.

The arrest also out of the state of flagrante delicto is allowed in the case of evasion and breach of rescue. It is forbidden to arrest if the driver stops and provides aid.
When for reasons of security and public safety it is not possible to proceed immediately to the arrest, the one who, on the basis of documentation from which emerges unequivocally the crime, appears author of resistance, violence, threat or injury to a public official, violence, aggravated damages, devastation, looting, is still considered in a state of flagrante delicto as long as the arrest is made ​​within 104 hours after the event.

Detention of a suspect of crime

The detention of a suspect of crime also operates out of the case of flagrante delicto when there are grounds to believe founded the danger of escape of the person seriously suspect in

  • A crime for which the law prescribes life imprisonment or imprisonment of not less than five years
  • A crime concerning military weapons and explosives
  • A crime committed for the purpose of terrorism, including international terrorism, piracy or subversion.

In the classical case, the detention of suspect is an interim measure ordered by the public prosecutor owner of the investigation, but when he has not yet taken over the investigation, the police carry out the detention. The jurisdiction of the judicial police also exists when the prosecutor has already taken over the investigation but for reasons of urgency it is not possible to wait for the decision of the prosecutor.

Public building security

The concept of public building security refers to the security of government installations in the Empire of Barrayar. A variety of measures are undertaken to make the buildings safer, while preserving a "friendly" architectur. This includes glass glazing to reduce the potential for injuries from shattering glass; greater stand-off distances implemented by preventing unscreened traffic from approaching within a certain distance of the building and other measures.

Security levels

The government classified all buildings into five security levels and established minimum security requirements for them:

  • Level 1: This type of building has 10 or fewer employees; low volume of public contact or contact with only a small segment of the population; and 2,500 or less square metres of space, such as a small "store front" type of operation. This type of building is more vulnerable to attack.
  • Level 2: This type of building has 11 to 150 employees; moderate volume of public contact; 2,500 to 7,400 square metres of space; and activities that are routine in nature, similar to commercial activities.
  • Level 3: This is a building with 151 to 450 employees; moderate/high volume of public contact; up to 14,000 square metres of space; and tenant agencies that may include law enforcement agencies, court/related agencies and functions, and government records and archives.
  • Level 4: This type of building has 450 or more employees; high volume of public contact; more than 14,000 square metres of space; and tenant agencies that may include high-risk law enforcement and intelligence agencies, judicial offices, and highly sensitive government records.
  • Level 5: These buildings contain mission functions critical to national security. A Level-5 building should be similar to a Level-4 building in terms of number of employees and square footage. It should have at least the security features of a Level-4 building. The missions of Level-5 buildings require that tenant agencies secure the site according to their own requirements.

Ministry of Interior

Security related issues and police activities are in general terms managed by the Ministry of Interior for all the three worlds.
The Ministry delegates the responsibility for local affairs to the Imperial Viceroy of Sergyar and the Imperial Counsellor of Komarr, who in turn control the affairs related to security and good order.
On Barrayar, the Ministry directly directs the activities of police in the districts of Southern Continent, while co-operates with the District Counts.
The Ministry of Interior is the implementing body of the domestic security policies in the Empire of Barrayar, seen as security and crime prevention. It also deals with the relationship between Imperial State and Princely feuds. The Ministry of Interior is a complex structure, articulated at the central level with 5 departments, and with peripheral governing bodies, Police commands and Public Rescue Service commands.

Fight against illegal immigration

Fight against external immigration is a significant contribution to security of the Empire. It is carried out through activities involving coordination of border controls and management and strict control of foreign residing in the country-
Action to combat illegal immigration involves development and adoption of measures and initiatives targeting immigration dynamics. The Central Directorate for Immigration is set to develop strategies to counter immigration and dealing with any issue arising from the presence of foreign nationals on the Imperial territory. The Directorate is in charge of gathering and analysing information on measures taken to monitor, prevent and fight against immigration by sea and by land. Handling of immigrants leaving on the Imperial territory is entrusted to the immigration centres falling within the responsibility of the Department for Religion and Immigration.

Central Offices

At the central level the Ministry is organized into five departments and three Secretariats:

  • Liaison Secretariat Komarr
  • Liaison Secretariat Sergyar
  • Department of Territorial Affairs, in charge for Northern Continent, general Empire-wide services and for extra-planetary assets and possessions belonging to the Barrayaran jurisdiction. It is divided into three Directorates:
    • Directorate for Local Government
    • Directorate of Local Finance;
    • Directorate for Demographic Services;
      • Office for the Family and the Fight Against Abortion
    • Liaison Secretariat Northern Districts.
  • Department of Immigration, divided into three Directorates:
    • Directorate of Immigration Policies: the Directorate oversees Komarran and Sergyaran immigration bodies and directly operates the Barrayaran Immigration Bureau;
    • Directorate for Citizenship and Minorities;
    • Directorate for General Affairs and for the management of financial and material resources;
  • Department of Public Security;
    • Secretariat of the Department of Public Security;
    • Office of Program Analysis and Documentation;
    • Office of Public Order:
    • Directorate for Anti-Drug Services;
    • Directorate of Human Resources;
    • Directorate of Technical Equipment Policies
    • Directorate for Accounting Services;
  • Public Rescue Service and Civil Defence, divided into ten Directorates:
    • Directorate for Emergency and Technical Rescue;
    • Directorate for the Prevention and Security Technology;
    • Directorate for Public Rescue and Civil Defence;
    • Directorate for Education;
    • Directorate for Human Resources;
    • Directorate of Logistics Resources;
    • Directorate of Financial Resources;
    • Directorate for General Affairs;
    • Central Inspection Office;
  • Department of Personnel Policies and the instrumental and financial resources, subdivided into two Directorates and three institutes:
    • Directorate for Human Resources;
    • Directorate for financial and material resources.
    • Central Inspectorate of Local Governors
    • Central Inspectorate for archiving services.
    • Internal Control Service.

Identity and Passport Service

The Identity & Passport Service (I&PS) is an executive agency of the Ministry of Interior. The Identity & Passport Service provides passports for Barrayaran, Komarran and Sergyaran nationals, and life event certificates such as birth, death, marriage and civil partnerships. The passport provides evidence of a person’s nationality and allows citizens to leave and re-enter the country.
All first time passport applicants are now required to attend an interview with the Identity and Passport Service in order to verify the identity and status of the applicant.
Passport Service's headquarters is in Vorbarr Sultana and it has six regional offices around the Empire, in Vorbarr Sultana, Solstice (Komarr), Glasheer (Southern Continent), Starport (Sergyar), Hassadar, Vladigrad, as well as an extensive interview office network.

Barrayaran Immigration Bureau

The Barrayaran Immigration Bureau (BIB) is the Barrayaran executive body that, operated directly by the Department of Immigration Policies of the Ministry of Interior, implements the state policy on immigration and also performs law enforcement, control supervision and provision of public services functions in the field of immigration. The Bureau is also responsible for issue of resident registration and immigration control in Barrayar. Due to the position of the planet, the Bureau is mostly concerned with the provision of residence permits.
The Barrayaran Immigration Bureau has territorial offices in every planetary spaceport. The director of the Barrayaran Immigration Bureau is Konstantin Romodanovsky, a former police officer, who is also the Deputy Director of the Department of Immigration Policies.

Imperial Identification Service

The Imperial Identification Service (NIS) is a department of the Ministry of Interior which provides a range of support services on behalf of the police forces.
All NIS's services are connected with criminal records and include a remit to act as the Imperial Identification Service.
NIS also conducts background checks on people who have applied to the Criminal Records Bureau for an enhanced disclosure, deals with subject access requests the Police Gazette on behalf of the Barrayaran Police Forces.

Department of Public Security

Organizational chart of the Department of Public Security. Different colours show different roles: green for the overall executive, purple for assistance to the President of Department, light blue for roles subordinated only to the President of Department.

Until the Police Services Reorganization Act of 2981, there was no unitary direction and management of the various police agencies and services, as well as there was no clear distinction between the Barrayaran police forces (which were partly unified only in 3001) and the overall agencies. In order to provide a significant standardiziation in services and procedures, "local" police services deal with ordinary crime according their own social environment, while the recently established Department of Public Security deals with joint planning and operations, such as the anti-drug services planning and co-ordination. Politically oriented judicial and security police tasks (separate from internal intelligence and secret police duties) are dealt with by other agencies, the Ministry of Protection of Imperial Loyalty on Barrayar and Sergyar and the Imperial Security on Komarr, while grand-police activities against the most serious organized criminal acts are held by agencies which depend directly on the Department of Public Security, such as the SOCA. However, the Department is still linked with the Barrayaran-borne police and the Imperial Police Force is by far the most numerous police agency.
The Department of Public Security, divided into three Directorates, has as its main tasks to co-ordinate the various civilian police forces and the management of overall services and agencies. The Department ensures the implementation of the policy of Order and Public Security and the management of technical support, even for the general needs of the Ministry of the Interior; Department's subdivisions are separate from the various police forces, and are joint agencies as well as bodies with responsibilities for all police activities.
The Department is divided into three Directorates and seven Offices directly dependent on the Head of Department:

  • Secretariat of the Department of Public Security: has overall responsibility for the coordination of administrative and technical work conducted by the various departmental offices and to implement the management and direction. It is a job of major relevance, because the Secretariat assists the Head of Department in the co-ordination work between the Police forces.
  • Office of Program Analysis and Documentation: attending to the preparation of ministerial directives with regard to general issues concerning the administration of Public Security, homogenizes, audit and promotes the activities of the Central Offices of the Department, performs analytical, advisory and connection information for the central and peripheral offices for the purposes of determining the financial resources needed. This Office includes and supervises the Public Conscription Organization, tasked to maintain information on those potentially subject to conscription, enroll and assign them to the Imperial Service. The Organization closely cooperates with the Draft Commissions.
  • Liasion Office with the MoPIL for affairs related to the law enforcement.
  • Office of Public Order: takes care of the connection with the peripheral structures for the management of riot control and public order during major events. Designates military units to be sent for riot control and public order and rescue operations in case of public calamity, takes care of examining the phenomenon of disturbance of public order, supervision of public interest objectives, the security service foreign dignitaries visiting temporarily.
  • Central Inspection Office
  • Directorate for Anti-Drug Services;
  • Directorate of Departmental Human Resources;
  • Directorate for Accounting Services;
  • Central Public Security Comprehensive Management Commission;
  • Merchant Navy Police Division.

Central Public Security Comprehensive Management Commission

The Central Public Security Comprehensive Management Commission is an organ under the Department of Public Security, charged with providing assistance to the Ministry of Interior in matters concerning law enforcement and social management. Its chairman usually is also member of the Committee for Social and Legal Affairs. Its functions go from setting major policies of social management, to coordinating all national and local work on this field, and even to dispatching central cadres to guide or assist local work.


The Headquarters of the Department of Public Safety is located together at Headquarters Imperial Police Force: The administrative complex is located in Peter Murray Avenue, 5023, Vorbarr Sultana. The building complex is located in the south-east of Vorbarr Sultana and developed with a total area of ​​57,000 square meters.
The Headquarters is a fortified complex which includes all Department offices, as well as all central offices of the Imperial Police Force: therefore, the building complex also houses joint offices. Inside the buildings workstations are made by giving users a wide work surface, with standard furnishings; in addition, each central office is served with meeting rooms. The Documentary Archives occupy three floors, with mechanized archives, the Recreation Area is composed of a canteen, a bar and a large refectory. The Infirmary is located at the centre of the building.
Next to the main building, the complex for the Data Processing Centre is able to ensure the real-time exchange and integrated management of information required for the planning of activities.
The defences of the complex are combined in an integrated security system comprising:

  • Sentry turrets and remote sensor towers;
  • Audio-video surveillance within 300 meters;
  • Motion sensors;
  • Camera drones groups;
  • Intrusion alarm system;
  • Steel walls with posts and physical barriers to control and defend accesses;
  • Access control systems;
  • Operations Room;
  • Force fields;
  • Mobile reaction force.

The integration between the various subsystems allows operators to centrally manage the system through dedicated software. All the security system is interfaced with system of the Ministry of the Interior.
The audio-video surveillance system includes 560 stations from outside. Their location allows for perimeter protection by sensing cameras, control of the surrounding areas and inside the perimeter, with fixed and mobile video posts, monitoring vehicle and pedestrian gates. There are also 100 recovery stations in order to check the pedestrian filter accesses and special environments. The intrusion detection system uses a perimeter protection through a system of laser and infrared rays barriers, interfaced with the video surveillance machines with sensors. Sentry turrets are usually garrisoned, but they may be switched on the automated mode: in this case, a team of sentry turrets can be networked together to form an artificially intelligent defensive perimeter capable of making some decisions independently. Such turrets are armed with a complete weapons array each: the AOT1600, commonly nicknamed "big gun tower", is a 39 metres-high bastion against trespassers and it is often the centrepiece of each node; auxiliary to the massive tower there are also some AOT1200 towers (20 metres high, three weapons set) as well as several "ordinary" sentry towers. Its sets of plasma cells can be salvaged to supercharge vehicles' weapons with amplifiers.
The force shields are routinely turned off, but they can be easily turned on with a single command of the Operations Room. The protection of inland areas and private offices is made through internal volumetric system and with motion sensors, connected to the general surveillance system.
Vehicles gates are regulated by access high protection filters, in which the transit of non-authorized vehicles is prevented thanks to motorized armoured gates, automatic barriers and antitank flaps. In defence of the filters are placed area denial gun platforms, both automated and manual, as well as plasma arc-equipped gun drones. The recognition is done by means of a system of remote access control. Every vehicle must still undergo a scan immediately before and after entering.
All internal pedestrian accesses are regulated by automatic gates, which open through proximity cards and palm and retinal scanner. The system also regulates the access to restricted areas and to special environments.
The gates can be enabled or sealed from the Operations Room. All systems of internal and external communication are managed by the Operations Room for incoming signals from the equipment installed in the field.

Rank structure

Rank structure follows civil subdivision for the upper echelons (Official echelons, corresponding to the officer echelons in the Imperial Service) and military naming for the lower echelons, with the exception of the very basic level, named as the other civil colleagues. The S.O.C.A. does not have an its own rank structure; recruiting "local" police officials, they keep their rank, being already standardized.

Officials' Ranks and Insignia
Collar Tab Colour Imperial Police Force Komarran Security Forces Sergyar Gendarmerie Corps
Planetary Police Service Sectoral Police Service Dome Police Service
President of Department of Public Security
Chief of Imperial Police Force - -
Actual State Councillor Director General of Police Services Komarr -
State Councillor, 1st class Deputy Director General of Police Services Komarr Director General of Police Services Sergyar
State Councillor, 2nd class Inspector General of Police

(Head of PPS)

- - Inspector General
State Councillor, 3rd class Chief Inspector of Police Commander of Police

(Solstice Sector only)

- Deputy Inspector General
Police Senior Councillor Senior Inspector of Police Chief Commissioner

(Head of Sectoral service)

Commissioner of Police

(Solstice Dome only)

Commissioner of Police
Police Councillor Inspector of Police Commissioner of Police Group Captain

(Head of Dome Police Service)

Deputy Commissioner of Police
Pale Green
Police Chief Commissioner Group Commander Group Commander Group Commander Chief Delegate of Police
Police Senior Commissioner Group Subcommander Group Subcommander Group Subcommander Senior Delegate of Police
Pale Blue
Police Commissioner Group Patroller Group Patroller Group Patroller Delegate of Police

Enlisted Ranks are more homogeneous than the Officials' ones.

Insignia Imperial Police Force rank Komarran Security Forces Rank Sergyar Gendarmerie Corps rank
Planetary Police Service Sectoral Police Service Dome Police Service
WO1collar.png Police Chief Inspector Police Chief Warrant Officer Police Chief Warrant Officer Police Chief Warrant Officer Police Chief Inspector
WO2collar.png Police Inspector Police Warrant Officer Police Warrant Officer Police Warrant Officer Police Inspector

(sleeve insignia)

Police Chief Sergeant Police Chief Sergeant Police Chief Sergeant Police Chief Sergeant Police Senior Sergeant First Class

(sleeve insignia)

Police Sergeant Major Police Sergeant First Class Police Sergeant First Class Police Sergeant First Class Police Senior Sergeant

(sleeve insignia)

Police Sergeant Police Sergeant Police Sergeant Police Sergeant Police Sergeant

(sleeve insignia)

Police Corporal Police Corporal Police Corporal Police Corporal Police Senior Constable

(sleeve insignia)

Police Guardsman Police Officer Police Officer Police Officer Police First Class Constable

(sleeve insignia)

Police Employee Police Deputy Police Deputy Police Deputy Police Constable

Serious Organised Crime Agency

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) is the anti-crime intelligence agency of the Ministry of Interior, established under the Department of Public Security, tasked with the fight against most serious criminal associations and co-operation with foreign counterparts. The SOCA is at all effects the central police force of the Empire of Barrayar, providing all three planets with far-reaching and specialized activities and services.
Members of SOCA can be designated the powers of a constable, customs officer or immigration officer and/or any combination of these three sets of powers that may be needed. The Director General of SOCA (or his designate) is responsible for determining which powers are given to members of staff which can be altered depending on the nature of the investigation.
SOCA operates from at least 120 offices across the Empire. SOCA officers are empowered to perform a number of surveillance roles traditionally associated with Ministry of Protection of Imperial Loyalty, although, unlike MoPIL officers, they focus on "non-political" major crime. For the nature of their tasks, the SOCA is the most favourite operational partner of the Special Corps of Gendarmes of the Ministry of Protection of Imperial Loyalty.

Imperial Police Force

Vehicle insignia of the Imperial Police Force.

The Imperial Police Force is the paramilitary police service that covers Southern Continent on Barrayar. The "ImpPol", as it is known, was established as a centralized organisation uniting the municipal, city, and rural uniformed forces during the first year of reign of the incumbent Emperor Serg Vorbarra.

The Imperial Police Force is under the direct control of Minister of Interior, who appoints the Chief of the Imperial Police in the Ministry of the Interior (C-IPF-MinInt). The Imperial Police is organized according to two basic criteria: territorial division and functional division, which interact with each other. Commands and Services manage the coordination of all functional specialities of the police, and the Territorial Commands are intended to coordinate the peripheral joints of the majority of specialities. The IPF is a civilian, although paramilitary, organization: therefore, all its members have performed their military conscription period, and this ensure a widespread diffusion of military discipline and world-view.
Police Officers of the IPF have full police powers throughout Southern Continent the adjacent waters, Capital City Vorbarr Sultana and space station within Barrayaran solar system.

Law enforcement in traditional districts

Vorkosigan Infantryman, 2829. Although current standing District Militas are 40-years old, District-based military traditions often stretch back for centuries.

Barrayar is a feudal society and District Counts jealously guard their independence, rights and privileges. District and lower-level police forces are under the District Count's control. The municipal and district guards, whatever organized, are treated as a non-military police force: therefore maintaining an armed and uniformed corps is not a violation of Vorlopoulous' Law.
The district police is simply a Count's police force, strictly forbidden from any military-type activity. Every District also has a District Militia under the individual Count's direct control, in order to smash any internal subversion and to quell riots: these troops are authorized under Vorlopoulous' Law and may act as hostage-rescue intervention force, as well as a small counterinsurgency force: under serious circumstances, District Militias have to be able to provide operational support to ImpSec or other Imperial Service units. Sometimes, mainly in traditional Districts where the Vor landed gentry is still rooted, the Militias take the form of a yeomanry. In a general meaning, every city has a municipal guard, subordinated or not to the its own District command (if existent), according to local government traditions, as well as a central organization for specialized services, which could be placed even under a City Guard direction. An example of Municipal Guard is the Hassadar Municipal Guard, in the Vorkosigan District.
A Count is due fealty from all the people of their district, including the policemen. The difference between a district guardsman and an Armsman is that an Armsman is specifically oath sworn to the Count and a guardsman, as everyone else, just has the normal duties of everyone in the district.
Between District police services there are several inter-District contacts, as well as traditional rivalries due to both traditional enmities between Districts and to modern-day professional competition. The main and foremost forum devoted to policy coordination is the Justice and Internal Security formation of the Council of Government Delegates of Their Lordship the Counts.
For specialist services, which drain massive resources, there are some common organizations: the Common Police Sub-orbital Aviation Service (CoPSAS), Common Blue Waters Surveillance (CoBWaSUR) and others. These are organized as inter-District cooperations, rather than as government-provided services.
Although uniforms vary according different Districts, rank insignias (and often also titles) are the same of the Imperial police services and of the armed forces both in civilian police forces and in District Militias. There is no District using ranks above State Councillor, 2nd class (corresponding to Imperial Service Rear Admiral/Major General).

Organization of police services

District Counts are absolutely free to organize their own governments and security apparatus according the way they deem to be the best. However, usually District law enforcement follows similar organizational patterns: the main detective agency is the District Bureau of Investigation, however named, a District-level detective agency. They are plain-clothes agencies which usually investigate both criminal and civil cases involving the whole district. They also provide technical support to local agencies in the form of laboratory or record services.
A District bureau is a District's equivalent to the central bodies of the Imperial Police Force. Such bureaus investigate all manner of cases assigned to them by their District's laws and usually report to their District's Prosecutor, or in some cases to their Count. These bureaus can also exist either independently or within a department of public safety (which is an umbrella agency coordinating and/or controlling the various law enforcement agencies) or a District police force (which is a general law enforcement agency). Some, densely populated Districts, such as Vordarian District or others, have well-organized all-encompassing police corps, while other Districts, less populated, like Vorkosigan District, maintain police services only for major communities, occasionally providing support to minor communities in need.

District Militias

The District Militias are preventive District forces responsible for maintaining public order within each District, and are subordinate to the District Count. Although District Militias could trace their origins back to the immediate aftermath of the planetary unification, or even at the time of the Independent Counts, they were established in their current form following the great turmoil of 2960s in order to deploy a territorial militia to crack down limited insurgencies without calling the standing Imperial Service and they are authorized under specific Emperor's Decrees. Each District has its own District Militia, with different formations, rules and uniforms. The Militias are distinct from the Internal Troops, which collaborate with, and Service Security; the District Militias are also reserve troops and ancillary forces of the Imperial Service: in time of war or other emergencies the Militias can be absorbed back into Imperial service, under the supervision of the Service Security, which is in charge of conducting control activities. Most Militias are organized as ground units, but air and naval units also exist. When on Imperial duty, jurisdiction for crimes against civilians is within military courts; when they are on District duty, the jurisdiction is within District Courts.
The function of the District Militias is to serve as a conspicuous public order force: the District Militias of any state are organized as a military force and have a military-based rank structure. Training is weighted more heavily toward riot control and rural manhunt matters, but counterinsurgency training is also carefully included. Arms and equipment of state forces include plasma guns and armoured vehicles, in addition to other items generally associated with police.
The District Militias, ancillary forces and Imperial Service reserve, are subordinate to the District Counts for all their duties. District Militias are often commanded by honourably retired military officers originating from the District, but that is not strictly mandatory; being legally authorized military (or at least paramilitary, for the stablest Districts) formations, both High and lesser Vors can serve within them without facing any treason charge. The Commandant of a District Militia is usually a Colonel, and the District is usually divided into regions. District Militias are often organized into Battalions or Squadrons, Companies or Troops, platoons, and subdivided into Squads. Major units are based in major urban centres, and their companies and platoons are distributed according to population density.
For operational purposes, both whole District Militias and individual units are classified into four quality categories:

  • Poor quality;
  • Low quality;
  • Medium quality: equivalent to second line regiments, or to combat support branches. This is the most common category;
  • High quality.

Special ranks of District Militias

District Militias are always commanded by a Colonel, but often they are by far larger than a Regiment ever could be. Therefore, top ranks (Commandant, Deputy Commandant and Chief of Staff) are still considered as Colonel, but enjoy of a superior position than "ordinary" colonels which could be present in the District Militia.
When absorbed back into the Imperial Service, "special" Colonels are considered as mere Colonels.

Justice and Internal Security formation

The main and foremost forum devoted to policy coordination is the Justice and Internal Security formation of the Council of Government Delegates of Their Lordship the Counts. The Justice and Internal Security formation develops cooperation and common policies on various cross-border issues. This formation is made up of justice and internal security officials from all the Northern Districts. In general, justice oficials deal with judicial cooperation in both civil and criminal law, internal security officials are responsible for migration, border management and police cooperation, among other matters. The JIS formation is also responsible for civil protection and usually meets every two months. All Districts participate in the implementation of the measures which are deliberated by the Counts themselves.
The Council of Government Delegates of Their Lordship the Counts proposes to the Council of Contus to adopt legislation aimed at guaranteeing a high level of protection and security. It is responsible for internal immigration policies, judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, civil protection and the fight against serious and organised crime. The Council is also in charge of facilitating and strengthening coordination of Districts' actions in the field of internal security. It does this by seeking to enhance police and customs cooperation.

Law enforcement on Komarr

Policing on Komarr is conducted by the Komarran Security Force at three different levels: planetary, sectoral and Dome level. Every Sector has their own nomenclature for agencies, and their responsibilities and funding varies from Sector to Sector, as every Dome has their own Security Service, although all three levels are gathered into the Komarran Security Forces, which is responsible for recruitment, training and deployment of senior ranks, as well as funding and general management of common resources, such as personal equipment and heavy weaponry. The whole security system is overseen, managed and run by the Komarran Security Department, a branch within the Komarran Corporate Board, alongside the Komarran Immigration Services. Socially, the police operate on behalf of the governing structure (both central and local) and have a limited local (pepole's) mandate.

Law enforcement on Sergyar

Law enforcement on Sergyar is conducted at the planetary level, and is the responsibility of the Sergyar Gendarmerie Corps, a military organization which is not part of the Imperial Service but is trained also by military instructors. Only certain, designated police officers have the power to conduct criminal investigations, and such investigations are supervised by investigative magistrates. The Sergyar Gendarmerie Corps comes under the jurisdiction of the Home Office of the Vice-royalty.

Internal Troops

The Internal Troops, of the Ministry of Interior is a military force, part of the Imperial Service and operationally subordinated to the interior ministry. They are designed to be used to support and reinforce the police forces, deal with large-scale crowd control, internal armed conflicts, prison security and safeguarding of highly-important facilities. As such, the force was involved in all conflicts and violent disturbances. During wartime, the Internal Troops falls under the Imperial Service military command and fulfil the missions of local defence and rear area security. Although they could, in case of strict necessity, act as special teams, they are intended, designed, equipped and trained for urban and security combat.
The use of Internal Troops instead of the Ground Forces in these situations helps to preserve the favourable image of the latter with the population. In addition to these peacetime roles, in time of war they would support front line operations by providing rear security against enemy sabotage, defending supply and communications lines, and operating prisoner-of-war and penal battalions. There are 180 regiments of varying size of Interior Troops, of which 90 are mainly guards of correctional institutions, important public facilities and public order.
The stations duty is a temporary assignment of guarding or policing functions for lower-ranking soldiers in Internal Troops detachments, sometimes augmented by the Service Security. Small detachments of "stationary soldiers" hold posts throughout the Empire where the military presence might otherwise be minimal. While individual soldiers are typically transitory, the stations themselves are permanent, and soldiers are often identified by what station they hold (for example, "station soldier of the Ezars Highway"). An assignment as station soldier is "grunt work," and it never is among an officer's career.

Evolution trend

In the last decade a distinct evolution trend has emerged into the law enforcement policies; the consolidation of the Imperial Police Force on the Southern Continent on Barrayar created a strong constabulary which pairs the Sergyaran organization. The establishment of the Imperial-level agencies (namely the SOCA) tops the architecture.

Police equipment

Police forces across the Empire of Barrayar are equipped in a way very different from the Imperial Service, their weapons consisting mainly (but certainly not only) in non-lethal weapons; the Department of Public Security periodically sets a list of authorized equipment, and the individual police force chooses among different models. Northern police services usually have a freer hand, mostly because the equipment is owned and bought by the relevant District Government, but the Department of Public Security has in any case the final say. However, some specialized units (including all the Internal Troops) do have military equipment.


The stunner is the standard police beam weapon. A stunner is an hand-held weapon that is designed to be expected to be non-fatal when used. Police stunners are small enough to fit in a person's pocket, and can produce four levels of stunning: "light", "medium", "heavy" and "prolonged". Typical combat rules for stunners is to shoot at anything that moved. Every police stunners are coded to the owner or his squad, so that nobody but that person and his colleagues could fire it. The current adopted models are the Bier IS-235m (SOCA, MoPIL, Internal Troops and Imperial Police Force), the Gauger PS-342f (Komarran Security Force) and the Vis CS-852s (Sergyar Gendarmerie Corps).


A shockstick (also commonly known simply as "baton") is a personal, hand-held weapon typically used in police and prisoner situations, being far more painful than deadly. They generally take the form of a silvery rod that produces sparks from its tip, usually about 50 centimetres long, with a grip on one end for comfort. A shockstick comes with multiple power settings, including at least "light" and "heavy". When the end it touched to the victim is causes an energy discharge that results in severe debilitating pain. Some models are designed in order to be used in riot control.

Tangle devices

In riot and crowd control several "tangle" technologies are used to immobolise a target. Tangle devices fire masses of filaments, which expand in the air to form a web of sticky, near-unbreakable material. Targets are quickly entangled in a painful embraceby inflicting a burning sensation while being bound; if they attempt to struggle, the filaments constrict more, further entrapping them. The harder a victim struggles, the tighter the web becomes. Once hit, a target cannot get free except by use of the special web solvent generally carried by all Tangle Launcher crews. This weapon also has the added ability of being able to jam the wheels/tracks and doors of vehicles, rendering them temporarily immobile. Such tangle devices are designed to prevent people to make unintended or unauthorized moves. Most common devices are tangle-fields, tangle-nets, tangle-cords, and tanglecuffs. Devices most used by the police forces are the tangle-nets, shot by apposite launchers against seditious assemblies or gatherings.
The Tangle Launcher is the device which shots "tangles". It has a cone-shaped nozzle and a distinctive underslung canister. The canister contains a special synthetic protein similar to spider silk called web-chem. When the Launcher is fired, a dark mass of tangled filaments entangles a target. As the threads are exposed to the air they expand and solidify, quickly forming a dense web of entangling sticky threads that contracts and binds the victim tightly, preventing all action.

Handheld video cameras

Handheld video cameras are an ubiquitous item, allowing virtually anyone to record a scene and stream it onto computers and screens across the cluster through the data-sphere. A variety of models exist, from cheaply made units with poor resolution to high quality models that see use among professionals; all personal communication devices (PCDs) have a video camera. Most video cameras are fairly simplistic in design, featuring a lens, a microphone, a view screen, and a storage device. Eye cameras are cameras attuned to the user's vision: they automatically follow and focus on whatever the individual is looking at, while advanced thought-controlled cameras enable a camera to become hands free. Most models require implants to activate, but others simply use dermal patches that pick up electrical activity in the nervous system; these are typically less precise than those using actual implants.
Law enforcement and security make use of handheld video cameras extensively. Police utilize them to record crime scene investigations in order to avoid having the authenticity of evidence called into question. Investigators often take them (mostly miniaturized) on off-site interviews to record the physical and vocal responses of interviewees. Patrol policemen frequently utilize user-linked cameras even in mundane situations in order to limit their own liability should something occur. Some small cameras can be fitted with organic camouflage, morph fields, or even made to resemble inconspicuous bits of scenery. These can then be hidden in plain sight for use in security applications. Such uses are popular in areas where obvious cameras would be jarring or unsightly.
For Imperial Security and the MoPIL, rumours abound of agents dressed in plain clothes using ordinary cameras to record tourists and even common citizens. According to the rumours, these agents record seemingly random and uninteresting scenes for hours at a time at space ports and popular locations, as well as in espionage.

Camera drones

Camera drones, also known as hovercams, are a device that uses autonomous flying drones to take pictures or video, being essentially artificially intelligent, self-directing holocameras. They are most well-known for their usage among entertainment sector; however, camera drones of many shapes and sizes exist, used for surveillance to provide guards with mobile eyes. They are tied into sensor systems and, when something suspicious is detected, are deployed in large numbers and congregate on the location. From there, they can transmit images and video directly back to a central area, providing security forces with advanced information. Additionally, they can tail fleeing intruders a great distance, making it much simpler to track and subdue them. Because of their manoeuvrability, speed, and numbers they are difficult to disable or shake. These drones can be programmed to tail individuals, scope out a location, or even sneak into buildings. They provide video, still images, and sound recordings, and are programmed to avoid detection utilizing advanced posture recognition software. However, many technologies exist to counter the use of drones in these ways, from flack that clogs their engines to EM pulses that disable them to counter-drones which detect and ambush camera drones and major organized crime groups may have these technology at their disposal.
Smaller and more advanced drones are used as surveillance equipment by intelligence/security agencies.

Police cybernetic beasts

Police agencies, and more rarely also other security forces, use cybernetic creatures resembling to animals in order to support the personnel involved in particularly dangerous missions. These devices are used in select units and departments; among them the most known are the cyber-mastiffs and the cyber-hawks.
Cyber-mastiffs are mechanical creatures resembling a metal hound, who are guided by the brain and nervous system of a hunting creature after such components have been integrated by technicians. Commonly known as kill-dogs, razorfangs or prey rovers, most cyber-mastiffs have an in-built hunting and attack instinct and can only respond to the simplest of commands from their assigned handler, but are still fully capable of defending themselves and their masters. They can be fitted with additional sensors. Cyber-mastiffs are usually deployed for hunting down their prey and to catch criminal fugitives who attempt to escape. It is not uncommon to see purely biological canines who have received some form of cybernetic upgrades.
Cyber-hawks are a type of cybernetic construct used by police or other security agencies in order to designate enemies and strongpoints among urban environments or other terrain impossible to observe from foot; they may be also designed to carry out teleguided attacks.


Fast-Penta is a drug widely used in the Nexus for its "truth serum" properties, both in intelligence and criminal operations, as well as for certain medical uses. Use of this drug without consent and without specialized personnel outside of criminal investigations is generally illegal. Some people are allergic to the drug, either naturally or through an induced reaction (as is the case of most non-junior security officials). The drug is very effective, provided the interrogator knows the right questions to ask and the subject actually knows the answers; furthermore, if the subject person does not understand the question, he/she will try to translate it into a question that he/she do understand, resulting in an answer that the interrogator might not understand, as it may not have anything to do with the original topic.
These weaknesses have led some criminal (and/or intelligence/security) organizations to foil fast-penta interrogations by assigning the actual dirty work to underlings who do not know anything important; another known method to evade questioning is to "associating" questions asked to irrelevant topics, such as memorised poetry or plays.

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