secret police

noun
a police force that functions as the enforcement arm of a government's political policies and whose activities, which often include surveillance, intimidation, and physical violence as a means of suppressing dissent, are usually concealed from the public.
Also called security police.


Origin:
1920–25

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World English Dictionary
secret police
 
n
a police force that operates relatively secretly to check subversion or political dissent

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
In the old days, the clientele included spies and secret police.
His secret police were everywhere, but so were his handouts.
Oil installations will need to be protected, weapons depots guarded, and secret
  police files preserved.
But people can only get shot at by secret police so many times before they're
  likely to start shooting back.
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