History of the International Police Association

Arthur Troop is born

December 1914

Arthur Troop was born on 15th December 1914, in Lincoln, England, where he spent his childhood and attended the local school. His working life began as a mechanic but quickly he found interest in other areas. He continued his education at Ruskin College, Oxford, and obtained a diploma in Economics and Social Sciences. During this time he also completed a 3-year study of Russian history. He was awarded a bursary to visit Moscow and Leningrad in 1934. Thereafter followed a 2-year study of agriculture at Avoncroft Agricultural College in the Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire.

Arthur Troop joins the Police

June 1936

On 19th June 1936 Arthur joined the Lincolnshire Police where he performed duties in various departments, but specialised in traffic. Shortly after the Second World War, Arthur set about the enormous task of founding a friendship organisation for police officers worldwide. He had always held great faith in people talking to each other rather than fighting, and believed in the positive qualities of friendship. At that time, however, he was regarded as eccentric, and experienced considerable opposition from his Police Chief and the Home Office.

The IPA is founded


In the years 1948-49, Arthur Troop made contact with his police friends in both the UK and abroad. In 1949 he had an article published in the British Police Review under the pseudonym of ‘Aytee’. Following an amazing response, Arthur was convinced he should proceed, and the IPA was founded on 1st January 1950 under the Esperanto motto ‘Servo per Amikeco’ (Service Through Friendship). Arthur Troop became the first Secretary General of the British Section. His notion of an association with development of social, cultural and professional links amongst its members, in an environment free from distinction of rank, gender, race, language or religion, became a reality. 

1st IPA World Congress

September 1955

With the help of early pioneers, Arthur Troop worked untiringly to encourage the founding of other National Sections. From small beginnings the IPA message quickly took hold and the formation of new Sections throughout the world became rapid. Soon there were sections in the majority of Western Europe. In 1955, at the first International Executive Committee meeting in Paris, Arthur Troop became the first International Secretary General, a post he held until he stood down in 1966 for personal reasons. 

First sections outside of Europe affiliated

March 1961

On 16th March 1961 at the extraordinary World Congress held in Paris, the first sections outside of Europe – Canada and Hong Kong, were affiliated.

At the third World Congress held in Stuttgart, Germany, in September 1961, the first African IPA section was also affiliated, with IPA Kenya joining the association.

Arthur Troop awarded British Empire Medal

June 1965

After Arthur Troop had created what has become the world’s largest police organisation, there was a change in the authorities’ view towards the International Police Association. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 1965, Arthur Troop was awarded the British Empire Medal for his work in founding the IPA, amongst others. He was later to receive many high awards from various countries. These included: an Honorary Doctorate from Canada; the Cross of Honour from the President of the Republic of Austria; and following the unveiling of the Arthur Troop statue on the great Plain of Hungary in 1998, he was presented with the ‘Golden Sword of Hungary’.

IBZ Gimborn founded

October 1969

Gimborn Castle, in Germany, houses the IPA’s International Education and Conference Centre, and is widely referred to as the Flagship of the Association.

It is here where professional seminars, conferences and meetings are held in idyllic wooded mountainous surroundings, some 30 miles east of Cologne in the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

IBZ Gimborn was founded on 25th October 1969  by a group led by Günter Kratz, Hans Jansen and Theo Leenders. They seized the opportunity to rent the castle from Baron von Fürstenberg. Conversion work was started on the main building and the defunct local primary school. Seminars initially were held in nearby Dürhölzen.

Gimborn was officially opened in 1971 in the presence of the Interior Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Mr Willi Meyer.

First female PEB member elected

May 1982

1982 saw the election of the first female IPA member to the PEB, the former name of the International Executive Board, Phyllis Nolan of IPA Section Ireland.

She served for 12 years, initially as 2nd and then 1st Vice President.

Phyllis also served as President of IPA Section Ireland and is currently Chair of that section’s Region 4 and the manager of the IPA House in Dublin.

International Administration Centre formed

September 1987

In 1986, due to the increasing membership of the Association, the need for permanent staff was identified. It was recognised that it would be increasingly difficult to move the administration from Section to Section as had been the practice until then. As such, a permanent centre was established in the United Kingdom in 1987 at the headquarters building of Section UK.

The archives of the Association are also accommodated here, with records going back to the beginning when our founder Arthur Troop first started to establish contacts

Arthur Troop awarded IPA World Police Prize

October 1995

On retiring from the police service in 1966, Arthur Troop’s desire to help others continued. He took up another career with the Lincolnshire Social Services Department, as a Home Visitor for the blind and again achieved national recognition for his charity work in providing Guide Dogs. Even during his later illness Arthur, along with his wife Marjorie, continued to run the Stamford Blind Club. 

As an ex-officio member of the International Committee (Permanent Executive Bureau), Arthur continued to attend international meetings, where his advice was heeded and respected. At the XI World Congress in 1985, he became the first recipient of the Association’s Gold Medal. At the 26th IEC Conference in Vienna, 1995, Arthur was awarded the IPA World Police Prize. 

Arthur Troop passes away

November 2000

In spite of his serious ill-health, Arthur prepared himself for the Association’s 50th Anniversary World Congress, held in Bournemouth, UK, during May 2000. Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, attended the opening ceremony and paid tribute to “… the man from Lincolnshire, for ruthlessly pursuing the arduous task of establishing the International Police Association by Service through Friendship”. Her Royal Highness went on to say “… Arthur Troop came through much adversity, isolation and disinterest from further up the ladder than we can ever realise”.

On 22nd June 2000, Arthur and Marjorie celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary. Sadly, following a long illness, Arthur passed away on Thursday 30th November 2000.

Arthur was an ordinary British policeman with a dream who achieved his goals by founding the world’s largest police organisation. 

60th Anniversary Celebration

June 2010

As part of the events programme to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the IPA, Section UK organised an Open Day at the Arthur Troop House in Nottingham, and the members of the International Administration Centre were pleased to open up the office to visitors.

 A steady stream of IPA members arrived over the course of the day and took the opportunity to chat with Wendy, Lesley and Stephen, the IAC staff.

Apart from many UK visitors, there were IPA friends from Moldova, Germany and the entire IPA Netherlands National Board.

The famous Trent Bridge Cricket Club provided a room for IPA special interests, including a sale of police caps and other souvenirs, built up over the years at the Arthur Troop House, with proceeds going to the COPS charity. Tours of the cricket club, Town Hall and city centre were available, and the day was rounded off by an enjoyable dinner dance.


Membership of the IPA is almost 360,000. National Sections exist in 65 countries throughout the world, with more in foundation. We have witnessed the steady growth of what has become the undisputed major police organisation in the world, both in membership number and influence. 

 Arthur Troop’s fundamental ideas still remain to this day