But in reading coverage about events in Tottenham, Enfield, Brixton and elsewhere (such as this interesting piece about the role of Blackberry Messaging service in helping to organise the mayhem) I've stumbled more than a few times over a bit of terminology that I hadn't expected and which, because of my interest in the history of policing, intrigues me.
Since when have cops in Britain been referred to as 'the Feds'?
Mark Duggan, whose shooting by police sparked the disturbances, used Blackberry Messenger to send his last message to his girlfriend, Semone Wilson, 29, writing: “The Feds are following me."
Since the UK is a unitary (and not a federal) state, this doesn't really make sense (not that slang ever really has to), and I'm assuming that it's borrowed from the US. (Transmitted by...what, music? The Wire?)
Having written about another instance of the transfer of policing-related slang from America to Britain in the early twentieth century (i.e., 'the third degree'...it seems the original article is freely available at the moment, so get it while you can), I'd be interested to know whether anyone who is a bit more hip to what the young people are saying these days might be able to enlighten me.