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The subject index / Police


Categories / City Administration/Police, Prisons

POLICE was created in St. Petersburg at the beginning of the 18th century; it was engaged in all the spheres of city life: construction, fire safety, city finances, public institutions, concert and theatre activities, etc. Only the army and the Emperor's Court were excluded from police jurisdiction. The functions of political police in St. Petersburg in the 18th - first quarter of the 19th centuries were implemented by the Secret Office, Secret Senate Office, and since 1826 - by the Third Department of His Imperial Majesty’s Office and by its executive organ - gendarmerie, from 1866 - also by the Security department. In 1880, the general and political police units were united under the supervision of the Department of Police of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The general police before 1802 was an independent structural unit; from 1802 it was included in the department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (in 1811-19, the Ministry of Police). The functions of police in St. Petersburg from 1703 were entrusted to police brigades. In 1715, the Police Office was created and in 1718, the Main Police Office. In 1737 St. Petersburg was divided into 5 units (Admiralteiskaya, Vasilievskaya, Peterburgskaya, Moskovskaya, Liteinaya; see Police Units); in 1739 two more units were added (Vyborgskaya and Okhta). Every unit was headed by a police officer with a team. Every unit had assembly houses with arrest rooms, and from 1803 on fire teams were added. In 1782 the Main Police Office was replaced by the Board of Decency headed by the Chief Policeman; 11 city units were formed (Vasilievskaya, Peterburgskaya, Moskovskaya, Liteinaya, Vyborgskaya, Okhta, Rozhdestvenskaya, Karetnaya, and also three Admiralteisky units) headed by private police officers. Every part had 42 blocks (see Police blocks) headed by block guards. They supervised block lieutenants and police guards, including the night watchmen (booth-guards). In 1804, structural division of police into the Internal and External Departments took place (see Police departments). In 1803, fire brigades were attached to the police, in 1809, the Office of Addresses was set up for passport control purposes. In 1867, blocks were renamed into police districts headed by district police officers. The districts were divided into 93 sections, 2 section guards were responsible for the order in the section, one of them headed the brigade of city guards. A section was divided into posts. By the beginning of the 20th century there were 4 police departments, 12 districts, 39 city and 4 suburb units, and 93 sections. In 1873 city administration headed by the city governor was created, replacing in 1875 the Board of Decency. In the 1860-70s, horse-police security and institutional police (including River, Palace, Port, Factory, Search, Prison, and other units) were established. In the course of February revolution of 1917 police was abolished, city militia was subordinated to the City Duma, police districts were replaced with commissariat districts. There were brigades of working militia independent from city militia in city districts. After October 1917, Worker and Peasant Militia was established (card indexes of police staff were saved, some police staff went to serve in Soviet militia).

Reference: Высоцкий И. П. Санкт-Петербургская столичная полиция и градоначальство, 1703-1903: Крат. ист. очерк. СПб., 1903; Исторический очерк образования и развития полицейских учреждений в России. СПб., 1913; Длуголенский Я. Н. Военно-гражданская и полицейская власть Санкт-Петербурга, 1703-1917. СПб., 2001.

Y. N. Kruzhnov.

Исторический очерк образования и развития полицейских учреждений в России. СПб., 1913
Длуголенский Я. Н. Военно-гражданская власть Санкт-Петербурга, 1703-1917. СПб., 2001

The subject Index
Third Division
Security Department
Ministry of Internal Affairs
Police Units
Board of Decency
Police Blocks
Police Departments
Office of Addresses
February Revolution of 1917
City Duma


Arkharov N.P., Governor General in 1795-97

ARKHAROV Nikolay Petrovich (1740-1814), statesman, Infantry General (1796). In 1755 he was enlisted in Preobrazhensky Life Guard Regiment. In 1772-82, he was Moscow Chief Policeman, in 1782-84, he was Moscow Civil Governor, in 1784-96

City Administration (entry)

CITY ADMINISTRATION. The system of City Administration in St. Petersburg from the beginning of the 18th century developed in 2 directions - the city government and self-government (see City self-government). From 1703 the city was governed by A. D