The South African Police Force is among the world's most controversial police forces, plagued by allegations of misconduct and archaic methods. John Brewer places these problems in their historical context through this detailed study of the origins and development of policing in South Africa. Brewer sees a major problem in the lack of modernization: long after similar forces around the world had been modernized, South African Police continued to discharge a colonial role, using policing methods and styles suitable for the nineteenth century. Brewer eloquently links this lack of modernization and development to the South African state's need for a police force to uphold and implement its policies of internal colonialism. He argues further that this is the source of the close relationship between the police and state in South Africa. Now that the South African government has been transformed, the police force must adapt. Brewer concludes with a discussion of reform and warns that it will be severely constrained if it fails to transcend its colonial origins.