Think of the Imperium as a large city, and systems as city blocks. Some blocks are many small buildings, and some are one big building. Some blocks (or buildings within those blocks) hire security guards, others do not. The Imperium is the city's Police force, tasked with traffic control and occasional big problems on a block. The security guards can be friendly and cooperative with the Police, or they can be indifferent or even hostile. They can even cross the street and play rough with the security guards of other blocks, as long as they don't do something stupid like burn down the building.phavoc wrote:I thought that worlds within the Imperium were not required to be full members, but travel throughout the Imperium essentially required the worlds to obey all laws and to not be a threat to the Imperium?GypsyComet wrote:Every world in the Imperium is an Imperial member. If a world can project power through the whole system, its SDBs are deputized, as it were, to serve Imperial Law in areas beyond the legal reach of their homeworld. That this is also serving their homeworld as protection from hooligans in the outsystem is a bonus.
This is the only way to make law enforcement work, since the subsector and sector fleet elements can't be everywhere at once. In Imperial space the default Imperial Officer is the Portmaster. Important worlds may have more, and real backwaters (E ports) may not have even that, but the Portmaster or his Security Chief are where you start.
Pirates are like street gangs, roaming from block to block making trouble for the residents and hoping they've picked a block the cops aren't about to drive past.