In terms of criminal justice, early on Pottinger and Davis co-opted traditional native institutions – such as the Native Peace Officer (baojia) and the head-man (tepo) system – and adapted them to colonial purposes. The pronouncements of the Superintendent of Police on the level of crime, type of crime, and sources of criminality might be thought to command greater credence, but these too were a reflection of predominantly European anxieties. The colonists never felt completely safe or ‘at home’, and constantly scanned the criminal justice system to see if they were achieving order, stability, and ‘civilisation’. By the mid-1840s, Hong Kong was held by the European elite to have arrived at that point ‘when that great adjunct of civilization, a Supreme Court, needed to be established’. By the 1850s, Munn argues, the magistracy – not the Supreme Court – occupied the central position in the criminal justice system, dealing with the bulk of cases and exercising wide powers of punishment.