Have told police vs have told the police

Hi, what do you think is the reason for not using the definite article ‘the’ before ‘police’ in the following sentence?

If I’d had proof I’d have told police at the time, but I didn’t. And I still don’t.

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It sounds pretty strange. I’m not sure where I could really use a sentence like that. Even in speech.

Edit: I can. “I ran from Police Tuesday.” Or “He’s always hiding from Police.”
I don’t know quite know how to explain it. It might be because the writer and I are referring to Police as plural rather than singular.


To me, the word police is always plural. Most usually it is preceded by the definite article.

However, while making a general reference we may use it without ‘the’ as in When police failed, army was called in to curb the law and order situation.