London Metropolitan Police Service

London Metropolitan Police Service
December 24 13:32 2010 Print This Article

London Police Officers

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is the territorial police force responsible for policing Greater London, excluding the ‘square mile’ of the City of London which is the responsibility of the City of London Police. The MPS also has significant national responsibilities such as co-ordinating and leading on counter-terrorism matters and protection of the Royal Family of the United Kingdom and senior figures of HM Government.

At the end of February 2010, the MPS employed 52,111 personnel. This includes sworn 33,258 police officers and 2,988 Special Constables, 14,332 civilian police staff, and 4,520 non-sworn Police Community Support Officers. This makes it the largest police force within the United Kingdom by a significant margin. The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, known commonly as Commissioner, is the overall operational leader of the force, responsible and accountable to the Metropolitan Police Authority. The post of Commissioner was first held jointly by Sir Charles Rowan and Sir Richard Mayne. The Commissioner since

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27 January 2009 is Sir Paul Stephenson, QPM who had previously been the Acting Commissioner since 1 December 2008.

A number of informal names and abbreviations exists for the Metropolitan Police Service, such as ‘the Met’, ‘Met Pol’ and ‘ the MPS’. In statutes it is referred to in the lower case as the “metropolitan police force” or the “metropolitan police”, without the appendage “service”. The MPS is also referred to as Scotland Yard after the location of its original headquarters buildings in and around Great Scotland Yard, Whitehall. The current headquarters of the MPS is New Scotland Yard.

The geographical area policed by the MPS, is known as the Metropolitan Police District. In terms of geographic policing the MPS is divided into a number of Borough Operational Command Units which directly align with the 32 London boroughs covered. The City of London (which is not a London borough) is a separate police area and is the responsibility of the separate City of London Police.

The Ministry of Defence Police are responsible for policing of Ministry of Defence property throughout the United Kingdom, including the MoD headquarters in Whitehall and other MoD establishments across the MPS district.

The British Transport Police is responsible for policing of the rail network in the United Kingdom, including London. Within London, they are also responsible for policing of the London Underground, Tramlink and the Docklands Light Railway.

The English part of the Royal Parks Constabulary, which

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patrolled a number of Greater London’s major parks, was merged with the Metropolitan Police in 2004 and is now policed

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by the Royal Parks Operational Command Unit. There is also

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a small park police force, the Kew Constabulary, responsible for the Botanic Gardens, whose officers have full police powers within the park. A few London borough councils maintain their own borough park constabularies, though their remit only extends to park by-laws, and although they are sworn as constables under laws applicable to parks, their powers are not equal to those of constables appointed under the Police Acts, meaning that they are not police officers.

It should be noted that despite these specialist police forces the Metropolitan Police is statutorily responsible for law and order throughout the Metropolitan Police District and can take on primacy of any incident or investigation within the MPD.

Metropolitan Police Officers have legal jurisdiction throughout all of England and Wales, including areas which have their own special police forces, such as the Ministry of Defence, as do all police officers of territorial police forces. Officers also have limited powers in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Within the Metropolitan Police District, the Metropolitan Police will take over the investigation of any serious crime from the British Transport Police and Ministry of Defence Police if it is deemed appropriate. Terrorist incidents and complex murder enquiries will always be investigated by the Metropolitan Police, with the assistance of the relevant specialist force, even if they are committed on railway or Ministry of Defence property.

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