secret police


secret police
a police force that functions as the enforcement arm of a government's political policies and whose activities, which often include surveillance, intimidation, and physical violence as a means of suppressing dissent, are usually concealed from the public. Also called security police.
[1920-25]

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Police established by national governments to maintain political and social control.

Generally clandestine, secret police have operated independently of the civil police. Particularly notorious examples were the Nazi Gestapo, the Russian KGB, and the East German Stasi. Secret-police tactics include arrest, imprisonment, torture, and execution of political enemies and intimidation of potential opposition members.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • secret police — noun the secret police a police force controlled by a government, that secretly tries to defeat the political enemies of that government …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • secret police — Synonyms and related words: Cheka, FBI, Gestapo, Interpol, MP, MVD, Mounties, NKVD, OGPU, RCMP, SP, Scotland Yard, bugging, cloak and dagger work, constabulary, counterespionage, counterintelligence, county police, electronic surveillance, espial …   Moby Thesaurus

  • secret police — noun [treated as plural] a police force working in secret against a government s political opponents …   English new terms dictionary

  • secret police — se′cret police′ n. gov a police force that operates secretly, esp. to suppress dissent against the government • Etymology: 1920–25 …   From formal English to slang


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