In 1955 the District Officer of Christmas Island sent a telegram to Singapore requesting that more police be sent to the island. He feared that 250 newly-arrived labourers 'cannot be properly policed' with the current constabulary.
At the time, the British Phosphate Commission (BPC) was expanding mining activities and required more workers. The early workforce on Christmas Island had been made up of indentured Chinese labourers. By the 1950s indentured servitude was no longer the norm, but many labourers still came from countries including China and Malaysia via contractors in Singapore. This involved a screening process to ensure workers were suitable. However, as the BPC expanded its operations, the vetting was compromised to keep up the supply of labour required by the company.