Metropolitan Police Service

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Metropolitan Police redirects here. See also metropolitan police.
Metropolitan Police Service
Metropolitan Police Service area
Area Greater London
(except City of London)
Size 1,578 km² (609 sq mi)
Population 7.4 million
Formed 1829
HQ New Scotland Yard
Officers 31,073
Divisions 33
Stations 180
Commissioner Sir Ian Blair
Website Metropolitan Police

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is the Home Office police force responsible for Greater London, with the exception of the square mile of the City of London. It is commonly referred to as the Metropolitan Police, and informally as "the Met" or sometimes MP.

With over 31,000 officers, the Metropolitan Police Service is the largest force by manpower in the United Kingdom.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The Metropolitan Police's headquarters is at New Scotland Yard in Westminster, commonly known as Scotland Yard; its head is the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis or simply the Commissioner. The post was first held jointly by Colonel Sir Charles Rowan and Sir Richard Mayne. The current commissioner is Sir Ian Blair, who is responsible to the Metropolitan Police Authority.


[edit] Area covered and other forces

The Metropolitan Police's area is known as the Metropolitan Police District (MPD), which today coincides with the 32 London boroughs which make up Greater London, but excludes the City of London, which is policed by the City of London Police.

Before April 1, 2000, the MPD covered a larger area, established well before the current borders of Greater London were set. It included parts of Surrey, Hertfordshire and Essex, specifically all of Epsom and Ewell, Hertsmere and Spelthorne districts, along with Banstead, Cheshunt, Chigwell, Loughton, Esher, Northaw and Cuffley and Waltham Abbey.

The Ministry of Defence Police is responsible for Ministry of Defence property in the capital, and other bases and premises in the UK.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

The British Transport Police is responsible for the rail systems, including London Underground, Tramlink and Docklands Light Railway.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The English part of the Royal Parks Constabulary, which patrolled a number of Greater London's major parks, was absorbed by the Metropolitan Police in 2004. There are also a few parks police forces, such as the Royal Botanic Gardens Constabulary (it polices the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) and Hampstead Heath. Those officers have full police powers within their limited jurisdiction, but all substantial crime and incidents remain the responsibility of the Metropolitan Police.

Some London boroughs also maintain their own borough park constabularies, such as Newham in east London; however, their remit only extends to park by-laws, so parks constables are not police officers as such, and any criminal investigations in these areas remain the responsibility of the Metropolitan Police.

[edit] Structure: Metropolitan Police directorates

Mounted Metropolitan Police officer outside Buckingham Palace, London

Due to the size of the Metropolitan Police and the wide range of tasks it performs, the force is divided into ten departments or directorates. Each is commanded by an Assistant Commissioner or, in the case of civilianised departments (such as Human Resources) a director of police staff which is the equivalent civilian grade to that of Assistant Commissioner. These ten persons, together with the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police - currently Ian Blair - and Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson make up the Management Board of the service.

[edit] Territorial Policing

The Territorial Policing directorate is commanded by Assistant Commissioner Tim Godwin. This department is responsible for everyday policing across London. In terms of territorial policing the force is divided into 32 Borough Operational Command Units (BOCUs) which are contiguous with the London boroughs Each BOCU is commanded by a Chief Superintendent apart from Westminster, which due to its high concentration of government facilities in its area is led by a Commander.

Each BOCU provides patrol and response police officers, safer neighbourhood teams, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers and other local squads and units. The Aviation Security Operational Command Unit (OCU) is also under the remit of Territorial Policing. This OCU is responsible for policing Heathrow Airport and also London City Airport.

[edit] Number of officers per borough

Each BOCU has a varying 'officer establishment' as follows:

Barking & Dagenham - 402

Barnet - 537

Bexley - 340

Brent - 668

Bromley - 444

Camden - 807

Croydon - 660

Ealing - 664

Enfield - 543

Greenwich - 580

Hackney - 739

Hammersmith & Fulham - 516

Haringey - 685

Harrow - 329

Havering - 349

Hillingdon - 464

Hounslow - 484

Islington - 676

Kingston upon Thames - 269

Lambeth - 947

Lewisham - 634

Merton - 334

Newham - 761

Redbridge - 435

Richmond upon Thames - 275

Kensington & Chelsea - 544

Southwark - 856

Sutton - 274

Waltham Forest - 529

Tower Hamlets - 741

Wandsworth - 579

Westminster - 1,541

(These figures are the authorised establishments and may not be the actual number of officers posted to each BOCU – Source: Metropolitan Police Authority.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>)

[edit] Specialist Crime Directorate

The SCD is commanded by Assistant Commissioner Steve House. It deals with serious, organised and specialist crime investigations and is divided into commands which are made of various units as follows:

  • Economic and Specialist Crime Command (SCD 6) including the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit, the Money Laundering Investigation Team, Financial Investigation Development Units, the Specialist Crime Operations Team, the Stolen Vehicle Unit, the Arts and Antiques Unit, the Computer Crime Unit, the Wildlife Crime Unit, the Extradition and International Assistance Unit, the Criminal Justice Protection Unit, and the Regional Asset Recovery Team.
  • Child Abuse Investigation Command (SCD 5) which is made up of the Paedophile Unit, the Hi-Tech Crime Unit, the Child Abuse Prevention and Partnership Unit, the Ports Safeguarding Team and Major Investigation Teams.
  • Homicide Command (SCD 1) is made up of a number of major investigation teams - MITs - and is responsible for the investigation of homicide and other serious crimes in London. Other units, such as Child Abuse Command and Operation Trident (see below) do, on occasion conduct murder investigations if the homicide falls into their remit. MITs investigate murder, manslaughter, infanticide, attempted murder where the evidence of intent is unambiguous or there is a substantive risk to life, missing persons or abductions where there is a substantive reason to suspect life has been taken or is under threat and other investigations identified for specialist needs. Another unit in this command is the Homicide Task Force which conducts work to suppress murder and ‘man hunts’ for those suspects wanted for murder.
  • Trident Operational Command Unit (SCD 8) was originally set up in 1998 as a proactive unit combatting gun crime perpetrated on London’s black communities. A new command structure was set up on 24 July 2000, with three specialist senior detectives supported by 160 police officers tasked to black community gun crime cases. Trident is currently broken down into murder, proactive/shootings and intelligence wings staffed by 270 police officers and 70 police staff. In January 2004 Trident also took on the investigation of shootings in all of London’s other communities, through the Trafalgar team of 34 officers.
  • The Serious and Organised Crime Group (SCD 7) functions to, ‘tackle serious and organised crime, life-threatening crimes in action and those who inflict human misery on the people of London through fast time pro-active response’. The group is made up of the Central Task Force, the Projects Team, the Flying Squad, the Kidnap and Special Investigation Unit, the Hostage and Crisis Negotiations Unit and the Intelligence Support Unit.
  • Forensic Services (SCD 4)
  • Covert Policing (SCD 10)
  • Intelligence (SCD 11)

[edit] Central Operations

Central Operations (CO) is commanded by Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur. This department is responsible for pan-London units which often support the BOCUs and specialist units in there various tasks. Units in this department include Public Order Operational Command Unit (CO11), Olympics Preparation Operational Command Unit (CO12), Traffic Operational Command Unit (CO15), Transport Operational Command Unit (CO17), Operational Support OCU (CO18) comprised of Mounted Branch, Air Support Unit, Dog Support Unit & Marine Support Unit, the Specialist Firearms Command (CO19), and the Territorial Support Group (C020).

A new unit, The MSC Tasking Unit (also referred to as MSC OSU) is the latest addition to this ever growing list. The unit which consists mostly of Special Constables also operates across London and normally on Friday & Saturday nights. They are deployed to boroughs across London to provide high visibility policing and conduct public order patrols, mainly as part of Operation Optic, an initiative aimed at reducing alcohol related violence.

[edit] Specialist Operations

Specialist Operations (SO) is commanded by Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman. This department is responsible for units which undertake tasks of national importance such as protection of the Royal family and anti-terrorism and are part of the force's responsibilties policing the nation's capital. This department is undergoing restructuring and will eventually mainly consist of three ‘commands’. Protection Command will be responsible for the protection of the Royal Family, members of HM Government and other VIPs. Security Command will be responsible for security at such places as Downing Street, London's Royal Palaces, the Palace of Westminster and embassies. And an Anti-Terrorist Command will result as Special Branch and the Anti-Terrorist Branch are merged. To perform the various duties of this department there are numerous units (which may be altered with the changes), such as the Diplomatic Protection Group, the Special Escort Group, Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department, Palace of Westminster Operational Command Unit and the Royal Parks Operational Command Unit.

[edit] Public Affairs Department

Is led by Director of Public Affairs Dick Fedorcio which deals with the media and looks after publicity and also internal communications.

[edit] Resources Department

Is led by Director of Resource Keith Luck which is responsible for finance, buildings, procurement and so on.

[edit] Strategy, modernisation & performance

Is led by Director Stephen Rimmer.

[edit] Human Resources

Is led by Director of Human Resources Martin Tiplady.

[edit] Standards & Intelligence

Commanded by Assistant Commissioner Alan Brown and includes the Professional Standards Unit and Legal Services.

[edit] Information Department

Is led by Director of Information Alisa Beaton. Responsible for information systems and operational communications including the C3i project.

[edit] History

The service was established on September 29, 1829, by the then Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel, giving rise to the nicknames of "Peelers" or "Bobbies" for members of the force. The Metropolitan Police was the third official non-paramilitary police force in the world (after the City of Glasgow Police and the Paris Police).
Red Metropolitan Police Diplomatic Protection Group (DPG) car

Until the middle of the 18th century, no police force operated in London. General law and order was maintained by magistrates, volunteer constables, watchmen and, where necessary, the armed forces. If a victim of crime wished to pursue an offender they could employ a "thief taker" who earned a living from such payments and, in the case of notorious offenders, the rewards offered by the courts. The novelist Henry Fielding was appointed a magistrate in Westminster in 1748. His house at No. 4 Bow Street was established as a courtroom in 1739 by the previous owner Sir Thomas de Veil. Fielding brought together eight trustworthy constables, who came to be known as the Bow Street Runners, and gave them the authority to enforce the decisions of magistrates. Bow Street Magistrates' court closed in July 2006, breaking its long association with law enforcement.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The building is due to be converted to a boutique hotel.

Fielding's blind half-brother Sir John Fielding (known as the "Blind Beak of Bow Street") succeeded his brother as magistrate in 1754 and refined the patrol into the first truly effective police force for the capital, although the Runners were still essentially magistrate's officers and not patrolling police officers.

By 1792 salaried constables were being paid by local magistrates, and 1798 saw the establishment of the Marine Police, a private body based in Wapping and organised primarily to police the docks and prevent the theft of cargo. This force later amalgamated with the Metropolitan Police to form its Thames Division, which still exists to patrol the river.
Two Metropolitan Police officers and a community support officer near Buckingham Palace, London

During the early 19th century, the Industrial Revolution saw London become much larger. It became clear that the system of locally maintained constabularies was ineffective in the prevention and detection of crime amongst such a large population. Royal Assent was given to the Metropolitan Police Act on 19 June 1829. This act placed the policing of the capital directly under the control of the Home Secretary. The initial force consisted of around 1,000 men with instructions to patrol the streets within a seven-mile (11 km) radius of Charing Cross in order to prevent crime and pursue offenders. In 1857 the Commissioner Richard Mayne was paid a salary of £1,883, and his two Assistant Commissioners were paid salaries of £800 each.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

It took some time to establish the standards of discipline expected today from a police force. For instance, in 1863, 215 officers were arrested during the year for drunkenness.[citation needed] One of the priorities of the police force from the beginning was "maintaining public order", and they were very active for example against the major Chartist demonstrations. The force continued to be controlled directly by the Home Secretary until 2000, when the newly created Greater London Authority was given responsibility for the force, by means of the Metropolitan Police Authority. The MPA is made up of members appointed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly, and several independent members. However the Metropolitan Police Commissioner is still appointed by the Home Secretary.

Female police constables first joined the force in September, 1949. They used the prefix 'Woman' — as in Woman Police Constable (WPC) and Woman Police Sergeant (WPS) — in front of their rank to distinguish themselves from male officers, who had wider authority. Their original duties were restricted to patrolling and the care and observation of female and juvenile male detainees. They were usually seconded to the CID but the first Woman Detective Constable was not appointed until 1970. They were given six-day, 48-hour work weeks but were not allowed to work night shifts, except for special on-call duty, until June, 1973.

On 1 April 2000, the boundaries of the MPD were altered to conform exactly with those of Greater London, excluding the City of London.

[edit] Police ranks

See also: UK police ranks
See also: Special Constabulary

The Metropolitan Police uses the standard UK police ranks on shoulder boards up to Chief Superintendent, but it has five ranks above that level compared to the standard three.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Metropolitan Police Officers protecting World Cup revellers in London.

The prefix 'Woman' in front of female officers' ranks — as in Woman Police Constable (WPC) and Woman Police Sergeant (WPS) — has been obsolete since 1999. Members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) up to and including the rank of Chief Superintendent prefix their ranks with 'Detective'. Other departments, such as Special Branch and Child Protection, award non-detectives 'Branch Detective' status, allowing them to use the 'detective' prefix.

[edit] Police numbers

The Metropolitan Police consists of full-time uniformed officers, civilian officers who often staff the front desk of a police station - they wear a uniform consisting of a vertically blue-striped shirt - and Police Community Support Officers.<ref>Metropolitan Police PCSO</ref> The Met was the first force to introduce these. There are also uniformed staff in the control rooms at Scotland Yard, known informally as the Information Room. There are also uniformed Special Constables with police powers, who volunteer to work as police officers on top of their full-time or 'day' job. They are not paid, but do receive expenses, and have an additional epaulette or shoulder marking: SC.<ref>Metropolitan Police Special Constables</ref>

Furthermore, there are also uniformed Traffic Wardens. They are employed by the Met, and wear a uniform with yellow and black markings - they are a distinct body from local authority parking attendants. The former have greater powers that include being able to stop vehicles and re-direct traffic at an incident.<ref>Metropolitan Police Authority website, home-page</ref>

Metropolitan Police Vauxhall Vectra V6 CDI area car in current silver livery

[edit] Total numbers 2005/2006

[edit] Historic numbers

  • 2003 — approximately 28,000<ref>GLA press release, 11 March 2003</ref>
  • 2001 — approximately 25,000<ref>Hansard, 23 April 2001</ref> (London population 7,172,000)
  • 1984 — approximately 27,000<ref>Hansard, 26 February 1996</ref>

[edit] Police stations

Image:Met Police Blue Lamp.jpg
A traditional "blue lamp" as seen outside most police stations. This one is outside Covent Garden Police Station

In addition to the Metropolitan Police Headquarters at New Scotland Yard, there are 140 police stations in London which are open to the public.<ref>Met Police stations: A-Z Directory</ref> These range from large borough headquarters staffed around the clock every day, to smaller stations which may only be open to the public during normal business hours, or on certain days of the week.

The oldest police station at Bow Street, which had been opened in 1881, closed in 1992 and the adjoining Bow Street Magistrates Court saw its last case on 14 July 2006.<ref>BBC: Bow Street court closes its doors</ref>

Currently, the oldest operational police station is at Wapping and was opened in 1908. It is the headquarters of the Marine Support Unit (formerly known as Thames Division) which is responsible for policing the River Thames. Wapping also houses a mortuary and the River Police Museum.

Most police stations across England can easily be identified from one or more blue lamps located outside the entrance. These were introduced in 1861.

A typical police station features separate entrances for the public and police officers, with a small reception room for members of the public, a custody suite and cells for holding and questioning suspects, and administrative offices.

In recent years, however, there has been a call from some quarters for more imaginative planning of police stations to aid in improving relations between the police service and the wider community.<ref>Institute for Public Policy Research: Re-inventing the police station (PDF)</ref>

[edit] Notable incidents and investigations

Some notable major incidents and investigations in which the Metropolitan Police Service has been involved:
A Fast Response Targa 31 boat of the Marine Support Unit of the Metropolitan Police, on the River Thames in London
  • 1993 - "Gay Slayer" - Former soldier Colin Ireland murders five homosexual men in a deliberate bid to get notoriety - he had read an article that said to be a serial killer you must have killed 5 times or more.<ref>Crime Library: Colin Ireland</ref>
  • 31 March 1990 - Trafalgar Square Riot - Also known as the Poll Tax Riot, this was triggered by growing unrest against the tax (officially known as the Community Charge), and grew from a legitimate demonstration which had taken place that morning. An estimated £400,000 worth of damage was caused.
  • 1982-1986 Railway Rapists - John Duffy and David Mulcahy committed 18 rapes of women and young girls near railway stations in London and the South East, murdering three of their victims. Metropolitan Police officers worked with neighbouring forces to solve the crimes. Duffy was convicted in 1988 but Mulcahy was not brought to justice until almost 10 years later.<ref>BBC News website: Life for depraved killer</ref>
  • 1970s-1990s - IRA bombing campaign - Throughout the last quarter of the 20th century, several major bombings were carried out in London by the Provisional IRA. A list of these and other bombings in London to which the Metropolitan Police responded can be found here.

[edit] Facts and figures

  • In 1981 a report by Lord Scarman stated that London's Metropolitan Police were guilty of racial discrimination.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The issue arose again in the 1999 Macpherson Report which stated that there was institutional racism.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
  • 2000, more than 25% of the population of London are from ethnic minorities, while only 4% of Met police officers are.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
  • 2003/04, There were 6,202 accidents involving Met Police vehicles. The City of Westminster borough being the highest over a three year period to 2003/04, with 847.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
  • Between 1998 and 2005 60 people have died in Met Police custody.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
  • Between 1990 and 2005 41 serving Metropolitan police officers have died in the execution of their duty, 8 of these were murdered or fatally injured by an assailant.<ref>History of the Metropolitan Police: Book Of Remembrance</ref> The last death of a serving police officer in a violent incident was in 1997.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
  • 2005 pay scales for the Metropolitan Police differ from other areas in the UK to take account of the cost of living and working in the capital.
  • New constables in the Met are paid a starting salary of £26,730, rising to £29,103 on completion of initial training. This rises to £30,423 after two years' probationer training, (based on figures for 2005).<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
  • The Metropolitan Police Federation, is the staff association for all officers below the rank of Superintendent in the Met.
  • In July 2006, The Crown Prosecution Service, confirmed that it would not be pursuing charges against any Metropolitan Police officers involved in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. De Menezes was shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder. The Metropolitan Police claimed immediately after the incident that de Menezes was a suspected suicide bomber. It later emerged he was innocent and unarmed. CPS senior lawyer, Stephen O'Doherty said, "there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against any individual police officer."<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> However, the MPS as an organisation is due to face charges under health and safely laws.<ref>Q&A: Met health and safety charges</ref>

[edit] References


[edit] See also

[edit] Other police services and related sites

[edit] Other emergency services

[edit] External links

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