Special Branch, noun phrase

Forms:
Also with small initials.
Origin:
British English
historical
The security division of the police force; colloquial (plural unchanged), a member of this section; Branch; SB. Also attributive.
Note:
The Special Branch dealt with political matters.
1953 A. Mogale in Drum Apr. 36‘What’s in it for me, Mister Chief-of-the-Special-Branch?’ I asked him.
1958 A. Fugard Dimetos & Two Early Plays (1977) 157You got to watch him. Because if you don’t, he’ll report you as well. Yes, he will...He’ll report you to the Special Branch.
1962 A.J. Luthuli Let my People Go 192All the way to Tambo’s home we had a guard of honour of Special Branch cars.
1963 K. Mackenzie Dragon to Kill 39He could..see a sprinkling of white special branch policemen sitting near the door.
1969 M. Benson At Still Point 101A young man, sober-faced,..adjusted the white-tabbed collar of his Prosecutor’s robes...The others were obviously Special Branch.
1969 M. Benson At Still Point 152From the court came the escort, surrounding Makhana, followed by a group of Special Branch.
1969 M. Benson At Still Point 228The corridors clattered with uniformed police. The handful of spectators entered the galleries of a court bristling with Special Branch.
1977 Daily Dispatch 17 Nov. 1In a day punctuated with angry exchanges in the court, it was also revealed that: The Special Branch considered it was not bound by statute law.
1977 S. Kentridge in E. Prov. Herald 18 Nov. 17I don’t think your worship has heard any criticism of the special branch or of the Security Police except for..those who were concerned with Biko.
1980 J. Cock Maids & Madams 164I hope I’m not going to have the Special Branch after me (nervous laughter).
1982 M. Mzamane Children of Soweto 27After being pulled in several times by the Special Branch he decided to flee the country and died in exile.
1985 in Platzky & Walker Surplus People 256One day I was in the office. There came a special branch. He threatened me, asking me, he was a black.
1986 F. Karodia Daughters of Twilight 85A few weeks later we read in the Sunday Times that Solly K—, arrested by the Special Branch a week earlier, had jumped to his death from the sixth floor of the building.
1991 F.G. Butler Local Habitation 189With touching care for the safety of the régime the Special Branch used to keep a kindly eye on High Corner, taking down the numbers of cars parked outside.
The security division of the police force; colloquial (plural unchanged), a member of this section; Branch; SB. Also attributive.

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19531991