The feds in a unitary state
August 7, 2011 6:57 PM Subscribe
In recent coverage of the Mark Duggan shooting and subsequent riots, I've seen a few instances of people referring to the police as "feds". Obviously in Britain there are no actual feds since there's no federal government, so what's the story here?
posted by strangely stunted trees to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Half an hour before his fatal encounter with the police, Mark Duggan sent a text to his girlfriend
saying that "The feds are following me." The Guardian reports
someone in Enfield refusing to talk to the police as saying "Why would we talk to feds? You're the reason this is happening."
Am I correct in guessing that the term is an import from American crime dramas and police procedurals? Is this usage common in Britain, or limited in usage to just London or to young people or to a particular class?
If it is a term with a commonly understood meaning, would it just be the Met that would be the feds, or any cop in general?