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Metropolitan Police Service

Metropolitan Police Service
Metropolitan Police Force
Common name The Met[1]
Abbreviation MPS[2]
Logo of the Metropolitan Police Service
Flag of the Metropolitan Police Service
Motto Total Policing[1]
Agency overview
Formed 29 September 1829[3]
Preceding agencies
Employees 48,661 (total)[6]
31,400 police officers[6]
13,000 police staff
3,700 PCSOs
Volunteers 5,000 special constables
1,500 Met Police volunteers
approx 4,000 volunteer police cadets
Annual budget £3.5 billion[7]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Police area of Metropolitan Police District in the country of , UK
Map of police area
Size 1,578 km2 (609 sq mi)
Population 7.4 million
Legal jurisdiction England & Wales (Northern Ireland and Scotland in limited circumstances)
Governing body Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime
Constituting instruments
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed by Independent Police Complaints Commission/Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary
Headquarters New Scotland Yard
Police officers 31,478 full time[6]
5,479 special constables[6]
PCSOs 3,831[6]
Agency executives
Stations 180
Boats 22
Helicopters 3
Dogs 250
* Police area agency: Prescribed geographic area in the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
British politics portal

The Metropolitan Police Service (abbreviated to MPS and widely known informally as "the Met") is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement in Greater London, excluding the "square mile" of the City of London, which is the responsibility of the City of London Police.[8] The Met also has significant national responsibilities, such as co-ordinating and leading on counter-terrorism matters and protection of the British Royal Family and senior figures of Her Majesty's Government.[9]

As of October 2011, the Met employed 48,661 full-time personnel. This included 31,478 sworn police officers, 13,350 non-police staff, and 3,831 non-sworn police community support officers. This number excludes the 5,479 Special Constables, who work part-time (a minimum of 16 hours a month) and who have the same powers and uniform as their regular colleagues.[6] This makes the Metropolitan Police the largest police force in the United Kingdom by a significant margin, and one of the biggest in the world.[10]

The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, commonly known simply as the Commissioner, is the overall operational leader of the force, responsible and accountable to the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime. The post of Commissioner was first held jointly by Sir Charles Rowan and Sir Richard Mayne. The post is currently occupied by Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe. The Commissioner's subordinate, the Deputy Commissioner, is currently Craig Mackey.

A number of informal names and abbreviations exists for the Metropolitan Police Service, the most common being the Met. In colloquial London (or Cockney slang), it is sometimes referred to as the Old Bill.[1] The Met is also referred to by the metonym Scotland Yard after the location of its original headquarters in a road called Great Scotland Yard in Whitehall.[11] The Met's current headquarters is New Scotland Yard, in Victoria.


  • History 1
  • Governance 2
  • Police area and other forces 3
  • Organisation and structure 4
  • Ranks 5
  • Resources 6
    • Police numbers 6.1
    • Historic numbers of police officers 6.2
    • Fleet 6.3
    • Cost of the service 6.4
    • Crime figures 6.5
    • Detection rates 6.6
  • Stations 7
  • Notable incidents and investigations 8
  • 2015 political spying revelations 9
  • Officers killed in the line of duty 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


The Metropolitan Police Service was founded in 1829 by

  • Metropolitan Police website
  • Metropolitan Police Crime Academy
  • Metropolitan Police Leadership Academy
  • Metropolitan Police Specialist Training Centre – Gravesend
  • Metropolitan Police Federation
  • Metropolitan Police Service collected news and commentary at The Guardian
  • London Metropolitan Police adapting to changing patterns of crime

External links

  1. ^ a b c d "Metropolitan Police Service – Homepage". Metropolitan Police. 2 April 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  2. ^ "Contacts: MPS". MPA. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "Metropolitan Police Service – History of the Metropolitan Police Service". Metropolitan Police. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  4. ^ "The Bow street runners – Victorian Policeman by Simon Dell OBE QCB – Devon & Cornwall Constabulary". Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  5. ^ "Policing the Port of London – Crime and punishment". Port Cities. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Police officer, staff and PCSO numbers | MPA". MPA. 
  7. ^ "Met Police budget settlement to put more police on beat in London". 14 February 2008. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  8. ^ "Scotland Yard". 30 November 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  9. ^ "MPA — Metropolitan Police dedicated to protecting the UK from terrorism". Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "Metropolitan Police Authority". MPA. Retrieved 20 July 2006. 
  11. ^ Douglas Browne (1956) The Rise of Scotland Yard: A History of the Metropolitan Police
  12. ^ [3] Archived 25 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Ministry of Defence Police". MOD. Retrieved 28 December 2008. 
  14. ^ About us. Retrieved on 2013-12-06.
  15. ^ "Policing the Royal Parks – keeping you safe in the Royal Parks". 1 April 2004. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  16. ^ The Committee Office, House of Lords. "House of Lords – Unopposed Bill Committee – Minutes of Evidence". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  17. ^ "'"Met acknowledges 'some justification' to claims the force is 'racist.  
  18. ^ "Badges of Rank". Metropolitan Police Service. Retrieved 19 July 2006. 
  19. ^ Clerk and Treasurer (20 October 2003). "Report 4 of the 20 Oct 03 meeting of the Co-ordination and Policing Committee: Introduction of name badges".  
  20. ^ "Met suspends G20 footage officer".  
  21. ^ "Police begin G20 tactics review".  
  22. ^ "Volunteer Police Cadets". Metropolitan Police Service. Retrieved 19 July 2006. 
  23. ^ "Metropolitan Police PCSO". Metropolitan Police. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  24. ^ "Metropolitan Police Authority website, home-page". 22 July 2005. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  25. ^ "Police Workforce Data, 2014: 14/03/14". Retrieved 23 May 2015. 
  26. ^ "Police Workforce Data, 2014: 14/03/14". Retrieved 23 May 2015. 
  27. ^ "Police Workforce Data, 2014: 14/03/14". Retrieved 23 May 2015. 
  28. ^ "Police Workforce Data, 2014: 14/03/14". Retrieved 23 May 2015. 
  29. ^ "Dog Support Unit - History". Metropolitan Police. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  30. ^ "Mounted Branch – Introduction". Metropolitan Police. Retrieved 13 June 2010. 
  31. ^ "Police Workforce Data, 2014: 14/03/14". Retrieved 23 May 2015. 
  32. ^ "Police Workforce Data, 2014: 14/03/14". Retrieved 23 May 2015. 
  33. ^ "Police Workforce Data, 2013: 13/03/13". Retrieved 23 May 2015. 
  34. ^ "MPS Police officer, staff and PCSO numbers: 31/03/11". Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  35. ^ "MPS Police officer, staff and PCSO numbers: 31/03/10". Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  36. ^ "MPS Police officer, staff and PCSO numbers: 31/03/09". Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  37. ^ a b GLA press release, 11 March 2003
  38. ^ Hansard, 23 April 2001. London population at the time was 7,172,000.
  39. ^ Hansard, 26 February 1996
  40. ^ The Thin Blue Line, Police Council for Great Britain Staff Side Claim for Undermanning Supplements, 1965
  41. ^ Report of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis for the Year 1952. Included 35 Chief Superintendents (including one woman), 12 Detective Chief Superintendents, 62 Superintendents (including one woman), 16 Detective Superintendents, 128 Chief Inspectors (including five women), 64 Detective Chief Inspectors (including one woman), 20 Station Inspectors, 465 Inspectors (including four women), 140 Detective Inspectors (including one woman), 441 Station Sergeants, 202 1st Class Detective Sergeants, 1,834 Sergeants (including 32 women), 414 2nd Class Detective Sergeants (including six women), 11,951 Constables (including 310 women), and 615 Detective Constables (including 27 women). The official establishment was 20,045.
  42. ^ Raymond B. Fosdick, European Police Systems, 1915. Figures at 31 December 1912, including 33 Superintendents, 607 Chief Inspectors and Inspectors, 2,747 Sergeants and 17,142 Constables.
  43. ^ [4]
  44. ^ "Microsoft Word - 2011010002376.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  45. ^ Fido, Martin; Keith Skinner (2000). Official Encyclopedia of Scotland Yard. Virgin. p. 56.  
  46. ^ Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime. Statement of Accounts 2011/12.
  47. ^ Fido, Martin; Keith Skinner (2000). Official Encyclopedia of Scotland Yard. Virgin. p. 57.  
  48. ^ Home Office (July 2011). Crimes detected in England and Wales 2010/11. See Excel file for "Police force area tables".
  49. ^ "Met Police stations: A-Z Directory". Metropolitan Police. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  50. ^ "BBC: Bow Street court closes its doors". BBC News. 14 July 2006. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  51. ^ Institute for Public Policy Research: Re-inventing the police station (PDF)
  52. ^ "Metropolitan Police Service – History of the Metropolitan Police Service". Metropolitan Police. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  53. ^ "TERROR IN LONDON: LONDON UNDER ATTACK: THE IRA CAMPAIGN | Independent, The (London) | Find Articles at BNET". Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  54. ^ "BBC ON THIS DAY | 1975: Couple under siege in Balcombe Street". BBC News. 6 December 1975. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  55. ^ "BBC ON THIS DAY | 1975: London's Spaghetti House siege ends". BBC News. 3 October 1995. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  56. ^ "website: on this day 28 February 1975". BBC News. 28 February 1975. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  57. ^ "website: on this day 30 August 1975". BBC News. 30 August 1976. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  58. ^ "Famous Criminals: Dennis Nilsen". Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  59. ^ "Activists to mark death of teacher – World – NZ Herald News". The New Zealand Herald. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  60. ^ "'"Peach 'died after police attack. BBC News. 27 April 2010. 
  61. ^ Peter Taylor (24 July 2002). "Six days that shook Britain". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  62. ^ "website: on this day 25 November 1981". BBC News. 25 November 1963. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  63. ^ "website: Life for depraved killer". BBC News. 2 February 2001. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  64. ^ "On this day 28 September 1985". BBC News. 28 September 1995. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  65. ^ "On this day 6 October 1985". BBC News. 6 October 1985. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  66. ^ "Serial Killers: Kenneth Erskine". Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  67. ^ "On this day 18 November 1987". BBC News. 18 November 1987. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  68. ^ "On this day 12 December 1988". BBC News. 12 December 1988. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  69. ^ "On this day 20 August 1989". BBC News. 20 August 1989. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  70. ^ "BBC ON THIS DAY | 1990: Violence flares in poll tax demonstration". BBC News. 31 March 1966. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  71. ^ "Colin Ireland". Crime Library. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  72. ^ "Torture killer Colin Ireland dies in Wakefield Prison". BBC News. 21 February 2012. 
  73. ^ "The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry". Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  74. ^ "Stephen Lawrence murder: Dobson and Norris found guilty". BBC News. 3 January 2012. 
  75. ^ "Stephen Lawrence: Gary Dobson and David Norris get life". BBC News. 4 January 2012. 
  76. ^ Police 'smear' campaign targeted Stephen Lawrence's friends and family | UK news. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2013-08-22.
  77. ^ "On this day 13 December 1995". BBC News. 13 December 1995. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  78. ^ The Job: Life sentence for London nailbomber Archived 3 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  79. ^ "On this day 18 June 1999". BBC News. 18 June 1999. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  80. ^ "'"Met pressured for May Day 'apology. BBC News. 11 June 2001. Retrieved 16 April 2009. 
  81. ^ "ENGLAND | Thames torso police meet occult experts". BBC News. 15 April 2002. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  82. ^ "Focus: Torso in the Thames – MUTI: THE STORY OF ADAM". Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  83. ^ Griffiths, Emma (15 September 2004). "Anger and defiance at hunt rally". BBC News. Retrieved 16 April 2009. 
  84. ^ "On this day 7 July 2005". BBC News. 7 July 2005. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  85. ^ "Indepth | London Attacks". BBC News. 22 July 2005. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  86. ^ "UK | 'Airlines terror plot' disrupted". BBC News. 10 August 2006. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  87. ^ "PM pays tribute to police and security services". 10 Downing Street. 10 August 2006. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  88. ^ Biggest ever' gun haul"'". This is Local London. 13 September 2006. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  89. ^ Lewis, Paul (7 April 2009). "Video reveals G20 police assault on man who died". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 7 April 2009. 
  90. ^ "Met suspends G20 footage officer". BBC News. 15 April 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2009. 
  91. ^ McVeigh, Tracy (18 September 2010). "Protest the Pope rally sees 10,000 march through London's streets". The Guardian (London). 
  92. ^ "Night Stalker rapist: Delroy Grant guilty". BBC News. 24 March 2011. 
  93. ^ "Night Stalker rapist Delroy Grant jailed for 27 years". BBC News. 25 March 2011. 
  94. ^ "Royal wedding: Police arrest 55 around security zone". BBC News. 29 April 2011. 
  95. ^ "'"News of the World 'was offered royal numbers. BBC News. 11 July 2011. 
  96. ^ "England riots: Maps and timeline". BBC News. 15 August 2011. 
  97. ^ "London riots: Met Police launch major investigation". BBC News. 7 August 2011. 
  98. ^ "'"Women 'held as slaves for 30 years. BBC News. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  99. ^  
  100. ^ "Alice Gross search: Hunt for missing 14-year-old is largest since 7/7, says Met police". 
  101. ^ "Police continued spying on Labour activists after their election as MPs". 
  102. ^ "Police Roll of Honour Trust — Metropolitan Roll since 1946". Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  103. ^ "Police Roll of Honour Trust — Metropolitan Roll 1900–1939". Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  104. ^ "Police Roll of Honour Trust — Metropolitan Roll 1940–1945". Retrieved 22 July 2011. 


Other London emergency services:

See also

Key to rank abbreviations: PC = Police Constable · WPC = Woman Police Constable · WRC = War Reserve Constable · DC = Detective Constable · Sgt = Sergeant · DS = Detective Sergeant · Insp = Inspector · CEO = Civilian Explosives Officer.

Rank Name Year of death Circumstances
PC Ernest Thompson 1900 Stabbed by a suspect causing a street disturbance
PC Arthur John Wilkins Healey 1902 Fell through roof while searching a premises
PC James Frederick Macey 1904 Collapsed and died after an arrest
PC Leonard Russell 1904 Collapsed and died during an arrest
Sgt Thomas William Perry 1905 Collapsed and died after an arrest
PC William Percy Croft 1905 Fatally injured in a fall while pursuing burglars
PC William Frederick Tyler 1909 Shot dead while pursuing robbery suspects
Insp Alfred Edward Deeks 1912 Collapsed and died while dispersing a nuisance crowd
DC Alfred Young, KPM 1915 Shot dead attempting an arrest
PC Herbert Berry 1918 Fatally injured during an arrest
Sgt Henry William Sawyer 1918 Fatally injured during an arrest
Sgt Thomas Green 1919 Bludgeoned during a mob attack on a police station
PC Thomas Eldred B. Rowland 1919 Died from injuries sustained during an arrest
PC James Kelly 1920 Shot dead while pursuing a burglar
PC David Fleming Ford 1929 Fell through a roof while pursuing burglars
PC Arthur Lawes 1930 Run over while attempting to stop a stolen vehicle
PC George William Allen 1931 Fatally injured with Cautherley when his vehicle crashed during a police pursuit
PC Harry Cautherley 1931 Fatally injured with Allen when his vehicle crashed during a police pursuit
PC George Thomas Shepherd 1938 Dragged by a stolen vehicle while attempting to arrest the driver
WRC Jack William Avery 1940 Stabbed while questioning a suspect
PC Nathanael Edgar 1948 Shot dead while questioning a suspect
PC Sidney George Miles 1952 Shot dead by Christopher Craig
PC Edgar Gerald Allen 1958 Fatally injured when his vehicle crashed during a police pursuit
PC Raymond Henry Summers 1958 Stabbed while intervening in a street affray
DS Raymond William Purdy 1959 Shot dead by Guenther Podola
PC Ronald Alan Addison 1960 Collapsed and died while pursuing suspects
PC Edward Roy Dorney 1960 Struck by a train while pursuing suspects
Insp Philip Pawsey, QPM 1961 Shot dead with Hutchins by a suspect
Sgt Frederick George Hutchins, QPM 1961 Shot dead with Pawsey by a suspect
DS Christopher Head 1966 Shot dead in the Massacre of Braybrook Street
PC Geoffrey Fox 1966 Shot dead in the Massacre of Braybrook Street
DC David Wombwell 1966 Shot dead in the Massacre of Braybrook Street
PC Desmond Morgan Acreman 1967 Accidentally run over while pursuing suspects
PC Douglas Frederick Beckerson 1971 Fell through a roof while pursuing a suspect
PC Michael Anthony Whiting, QPM 1973 Dragged by a vehicle while attempting to arrest the driver
Insp David George Gisborne 1974 Collapsed and died after being assaulted in a riot
CEO GC 1975 Killed attempting to defuse a bomb
PC Clifford Lancaster 1975 Collapsed and died while searching for suspects
PC Stephen Andrew Tibble, QPM 1975 Shot dead off-duty attempting to stop a suspect pursued by police
PC Alan Baxter 1977 Fatally injured when his vehicle crashed during a police pursuit
PC Kevin Kelliher 1979 Fatally injured when his vehicle crashed during a police pursuit
PC Francis Joseph O'Neill 1980 Stabbed while questioning a suspect
CEO GM 1981 Killed attempting to defuse a bomb
PC Robert Benjamin Mercer 1982 Fatally injured when his vehicle crashed during a police pursuit
WPC Jane Philippa Arbuthnot 1983 Killed in the Harrods bombing
Insp Stephen John Dodd 1983 Killed in the Harrods bombing
Sgt Noel Joseph Lane 1983 Killed in the Harrods bombing
PC Stephen Paul Walker 1983 Accidentally run over while pursuing suspects
PC Grant Clifford Sunnucks 1984 Fatally injured when his vehicle crashed during a police pursuit
PC Ronald Ian Leeuw 1984 Collapsed and died while struggling with a violent prisoner
WPC Yvonne Joyce Fletcher 1984 Shot dead while policing a political demonstration
PC Stephen John Jones 1984 Run over while attempting to stop a drunk-driver
PC Keith Henry Blakelock, QGM 1985 Stabbed during the Broadwater Farm riot
DC John William Fordham 1985 Stabbed while on surveillance duty
PC Philip Michael Olds 1986 Died after being shot and left paralysed in 1980 while attempting an arrest
PC Martin Bickersteth Bell 1986 Run over during a police pursuit
PC Ronan Konrad McCloskey 1987 Dragged by a vehicle while attempting to arrest the drunk driver
PC Laurence Peter Brown 1990 Shot dead as he approached a suspect
PC Robert Chenery Gladwell 1991 Died after being assaulted during an arrest
DC James Morrison, QGM 1991 Stabbed attempting an arrest off-duty
Sgt Alan Derek King 1991 Stabbed attempting an arrest
PC Patrick Dunne 1993 Shot dead while investigating reports of gunfire in the street
Sgt Derek John Carnie Robertson 1994 Stabbed attempting an arrest during a robbery
PC George Pickburn Hammond 1995 Died from injuries sustained in a stabbing in 1985
PC Phillip John Walters 1995 Shot dead attempting an arrest
WPC Nina Alexandra Mackay 1997 Stabbed attempting an arrest
PC Kulwant Singh Sidhu 1999 Fell through a roof while pursuing suspects
PC Christopher Roberts 2007 Collapsed and died after a violent arrest
PC Gary Andrew Toms 2009 Run over when attempting to stop escaping suspects
DC Adele Cashman 2012 Collapsed in pursuit of two robbery suspects
PC Andrew Duncan 2013 Run over when attempting to stop speeding vehicle

Since 1900, the following officers of the Metropolitan Police Service are listed by the Trust as having been killed while attempting to prevent, stop or solve a criminal act in progress:[102][103][104]

The Police Memorial Trust lists and commemorates all British police officers killed in the line of duty, and since its establishment in 1984 has erected dozens of memorials to some of those officers.

The sculpture on the grave of Constable William Frederick Tyler, Abney Park Cemetery, London

Officers killed in the line of duty

In response, Peter Hain stated: "That the special branch had a file on me dating back 40 years ago to anti-apartheid and anti-Nazi League activist days is hardly revelatory. That these files were still active for at least 10 years while I was an MP certainly is and raises fundamental questions about parliamentary sovereignty."[101]

In 2015, former Metropolitan Police Special Branch officer Peter Francis revealed that the service has spied on several former and serving Labour MPs including Harriet Harman, Peter Hain, Jack Straw, Diane Abbott, Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Grant, Ken Livingstone, Tony Benn, Joan Ruddock and Dennis Skinner.

2015 political spying revelations

  • 2010: Pope Benedict XVI's visit: In September 2010, Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope to undertake a state visit to the UK. Around 10,000 people demonstrated on the streets of London when the pope's tour of England and Scotland arrived in the capital.[91]
  • 2011: Anti-cuts protest: 201 people were arrested, and 66 were injured, including 31 police officers, as up to 500,000 people demonstrated in central London against planned public spending cuts. It was described as the largest protest in the United Kingdom since the 15 February 2003 anti-Iraq War protest and the largest union-organised rally in London since the Second World War.
  • 2011: Conviction of the Night Stalker: Operation Minstead concluded after 12 years on 24 March 2011 with the conviction of the Night Stalker. Delroy Grant raped and assaulted elderly victims over a period of 17 years from 1992 to 2009 across south London, Kent and Surrey. He was found guilty of 29 charges, including burglaries, rapes and sexual assaults, but officers linked him to over 200 different offences during the 1990s and 2000s.[92] Grant was given four life sentences and ordered to serve a minimum of 27 years in prison.[93]
  • 2011: Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton: Around 5,000 Metropolitan Police officers were deployed to police the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011. In advance of the event, assistant commissioner Lynne Owens said: "People who want to come to London to peacefully protest can do that but they must remember that it is a day of national celebration". Approximately one hundred people were pre-emptively arrested in advance of the wedding and were detained without charge for the duration of the wedding, with the apparent aim of suppressing protest. Other protestors were arrested on the day of the wedding; some were detained at railway stations on arrival. The Metropolitan Police said that one million people were present in London to watch the wedding procession.[94]
  • 2006–2011: News International phone hacking scandal: Part of the scandal revolves around the allegations that some police officers accepted payment from journalists in exchange for information.[95]
  • 2011: Nationwide riots: Dozens of officers were injured in a series of public disturbances initially in the Tottenham area, following an incident in which a suspect was shot dead by Met officers.[96] The Met launched Operation Withern,[97] a major investigation into the disturbances which spread into many other areas of London and included instances of arson and looting.
  • 2013: Lambeth slavery case: In November 2013, officers from the Met's human trafficking unit arrested two suspects in Lambeth who were alleged to have enslaved three women in a house for over 30 years.[98]
  • 2013: Project Guardian: A joint initiative with British Transport Police, City of London Police, and Transport for London to reduce sexual harassment on public transport and increase reporting of sexual offences.[99]
  • 2014: Disappearance of Alice Gross: In the largest investigation since the 7 July 2005 bombings and 21 July 2005 attempted bombings, officers from the Metropolitan Police are leading the search for teenager Alice Gross, who was last seen near the Grand Union Canal on 28 August 2014.[100]
Metropolitan Police officers overseeing the "Protest the Pope" rally on 18 September 2010.
  • 2008: National Black Police Association boycott: Declared against the police force on the grounds of racial discrimination. This followed high-profile controversies involving high-ranking black officers, including allegations of racism made by Tarique Ghaffur – the highest ranking Asian officer in the Met – against commissioner Ian Blair.
  • 2009: G-20 summit protests and the death of Ian Tomlinson: The Met used the "kettling" technique to contain large numbers of demonstrators during the G-20 protests. Ian Tomlinson, a bystander to the protests, died from internal bleeding after he was struck with a baton and pushed to the ground by a police constable of the Territorial Support Group.[89] The jury at the inquest into Tomlinson's death returned a verdict of unlawful killing and the officer who pushed Tomlinson was later acquitted of manslaughter. Following a separate incident, a sergeant in the Territorial Support Group was suspended after being filmed striking a woman's face with his hand and her leg with a baton, but he was later cleared of any wrongdoing.[90]
The Met deployed some of their specialist riot vehicles, similar to this one pictured, to the 2009 G-20 protests.
  • 1888–1891: Whitechapel murders: Suspected to have been carried out by Jack the Ripper who killed at least five prostitutes. No suspect was ever charged with the murders, and the identity of the killer remains unknown.
  • 1911: Siege of Sidney Street: Members of a Latvian gang took a couple hostage on 2 January 1911 after an unsuccessful attempt to rob a jeweller's; Home Secretary Winston Churchill later arrived at the scene and authorised a detachment of Scots Guards to assist police from the Tower of London.[52]
  • 1966: Massacre of Braybrook Street: Three police officers were murdered by Harry Roberts and two other occupants of a vehicle who had been stopped for questioning.
  • 1970–1990s: Provisional IRA bombing campaign: Throughout the last quarter of the 20th century, a number of bombings were carried out by the Provisional Irish Republican Army. A list of bombings carried out within the Metropolitan Police District, and those planted in central London, can be found here.[53]
  • 1975: Balcombe Street Siege: From 6 to 12 December 1975, Provisional IRA members took a couple hostage in their home, while on the run from police.[54]
  • 1975: Spaghetti House siege: The Spaghetti House siege occurred on 18 September 1975 when alleged members of the Black Liberation Army attempted to commit an armed robbery at the Spaghetti House restaurant to gain publicity for their cause. However, the robbery was discovered by police, and the would-be robbers initiated a siege by taking hostages.[55]
  • 1975: London Underground train failed to stop and crashed into the buffers at the end of a tunnel, resulting in the largest loss of life during peacetime on the Tube with over 42 people killed.[56]
  • 1976: Notting Hill Carnival riot: After Metropolitan Police officers attempted to arrest an alleged pickpocket at the Notting Hill Carnival on 30 August 1976, a riot ensued leading to over 100 officers being admitted to hospital.[57]
  • 1978–1983: Muswell Hill murders: Serial killer Dennis Nilsen murdered at least 15 men and boys over a period of five years. He was known for retaining corpses for sex acts, and disposing of body parts by burning them or dumping them in drains. Some remains were found in his home at Muswell Hill when Met officers apprehended him.[58]
  • 1979: Death of Blair Peach: Teacher Peach was fatally injured in April 1979 during a demonstration in Southall by the Anti-Nazi League against a National Front election meeting taking place in the town hall. He was knocked unconscious and died the next day in hospital. Police brutality was never proven to be a contributory factor in his death, but it was claimed that he had fallen to a blow from a rubberised police radio belonging to the Met's now disbanded Special Patrol Group.[59] In 2010, a police report was disclosed that stated that it was likely a Metropolitan Police officer "struck the fatal blow" and attributed "grave suspicion" to one unnamed officer, who it says may also have been involved in a cover-up along with two colleagues.[60]
  • 1980: Iranian Embassy Siege: Members of a terrorist group calling themselves the Democratic Revolutionary Movement for the Liberation of Arabistan (DRMLA) took staff hostage in the Iranian embassy. The Met was heavily involved in negotiations, but after six days they were terminated, and the British Army's Special Air Service (SAS) stormed the building. Five separatists and one hostage died.[61]
  • 1981: Brixton riot: – During the early 1980s the Met began Operation Swamp which was implemented to cut street crime by the use of the Sus law which legally allowed officers to stop people on the suspicion of wrongdoing. Tensions rose within the black community after a black youth was stabbed, leading to severe rioting on 11 April 1981.[62]
  • 1982–86: The Railway Rapists: John Duffy and David Mulcahy committed 18 rapes of women and young girls at or near railway stations in London and South East England, murdering three of their victims. Metropolitan Police officers and the British Transport Police worked with neighbouring forces to solve the crimes. Duffy was convicted in 1988, but Mulcahy was not brought to justice until almost ten years later.[63]
  • 1985: Brixton riot: Rioting erupted in Brixton on 28 September 1985, sparked by the shooting of Dorothy Groce by police seeking her son Michael Groce, who was believed to be hiding in his mother's home, in relation to a suspected firearms offence. He was not there at the time, and Groce was part-paralysed by the bullet.[64]
  • 1985: Broadwater Farm riot: A week after the Brixton riot, while tensions among the black community were still high, riots broke out in Tottenham, north London, after the mother of a black man whose house was being searched died of a heart attack during the operation. During the riot, PC Keith Blakelock was murdered. Blakelock's murder remains unsolved.[65]
  • 1986: The Stockwell Strangler: Kenneth Erskine carried out a series of attacks in Stockwell on elderly men and women, breaking into their homes and strangling them to death. Most were sexually assaulted before being murdered. In 2009, Erskine's murder convictions were reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility after an appeal.[66]
  • 1987: King's Cross fire: Metropolitan Police officers assisted the British Transport Police when a fire broke out under a wooden escalator leading from one of the Underground station platforms to the surface at King's Cross. The blaze and resulting smoke claimed 31 lives, including that of a senior firefighter.[67]
  • 1988: Clapham Junction rail crash: Officers assisted the British Transport Police when a packed commuter train passed a defective signal and ran into the back of a second train, derailing it into the path of a third oncoming train. Thirty-five people were killed and 69 others were injured.[68]
  • 1989: Marchioness disaster: The pleasure boat Marchioness was struck by a dredger and sank, killing 30 people.[69]
  • 1990: Poll Tax Riots: Rioting triggered by growing unrest against the Community Charge, and grew from a legitimate demonstration which had taken place earlier. An estimated £400,000 worth of damage was caused.[70]
  • 1993: The Gay Slayer: Former soldier Colin Ireland tortured and murdered five gay men in a deliberate bid to gain notoriety (he had read an article that said to be a "serial killer" one must have killed five times or more).[71] Ireland was given a whole-life tariff in 1993 and died in prison on 21 February 2012.[72]
  • 1993: Murder of Stephen Lawrence: A series of operations failed to convict the killers of schoolboy Stephen Lawrence, despite substantial evidence. The resulting MacPherson inquiry found that the Met was "institutionally racist".[73] Two men, Gary Dobson and David Norris, were convicted on 3 January 2012 for their role in Lawrence's murder. Their trial was based on newly discovered forensic evidence, following a cold case review in 2007 thar found a tiny speck of Lawrence's blood on a jacket belonging to Dobson and one of Lawrence's hairs on trousers belonging to Norris.[74] The pair were sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 15 years 2 months for Dobson and 14 years 3 months for Norris.[75] In June 2013, the Met were exposed for sending an undercover officer to smear the friends and family of Stephen Lawrence.[76]
  • 1995: Brixton riot: A large gathering protested outside Brixton police station over the death of a local man in police custody, leading to a riot. Three police officers were injured and a two-mile exclusion zone was set up around Brixton. Later reports showed that the male in custody died of heart failure, said to be brought on because of difficulties restraining him.[77]
  • 1999: The London Nailbomber: David Copeland carried out a series of hate attacks on ethnic minority areas and on a pub frequented by the gay community.[78]
  • 1999: Carnival Against Capitalism: Previously peaceful anti-capitalist demonstrations ended with disorder in the City of London, which caused widespread damage, particularly to businesses identified with global capitalism.[79]
  • 1999: Shooting of Harry Stanley: Harry Stanley, was shot dead 100 yards from his home by Metropolitan police officers in contentious circumstances.
  • 2001: May Day protest: In an attempt to control crowds, the Met employed the tactic of "kettling", and were criticised for detaining bystanders for long periods of time.[80]
  • 2001: Thames murder case: The dismembered body of a young boy believed to have been between the ages of four and seven was spotted floating in the River Thames, named by police as Adam in the absence of a confirmed identity. During the investigation, a police commander and a detective chief inspector met with Nelson Mandela.[81] The case was never solved.[82]
  • 2002:
  • 2004: Pro-hunting protests: Demonstrators protesting against the Hunting Act 2004 outside parliament were involved in violent confrontations with Metropolitan Police officers.[83]
  • 2005: 7 July bombings: Four suicide attacks occurred across central London after which the Metropolitan Police worked to a major incident plan to provide co-ordination, control and forensic and investigative resources.[84]
  • 2005: 21 July attempted bombings and death of Jean Charles de Menezes: In the aftermath of multiple attempted bombings two weeks after the 7/7 attacks, Menezes was mistaken as a suspected terrorist while boarding a train and shot dead in a deployment of Operation Kratos.[85]
  • 2006: Transatlantic aircraft bomb plot: Alleged plot to detonate liquid explosives on transatlantic aircraft and other related terrorist activities by militant Islamists were foiled by British police, including some from the Metropolitan Police.[86][87]
  • 2006: Operation Mokpo: Officers from Operation Trident made the Met's largest ever seizure of firearms after a series of raids in Dartford, Kent.[88]
  • 2007: Attempted car bombings: Attempted car bombings in central London. One of the devices, in a car outside a nightclub, was initially reported by a London Ambulance Service paramedic dealing with an unrelated incident nearby. Met bomb disposal officers defused this device and another located in an underground car park. Subsequent investigation led to convictions of those involved.

Notable major incidents and investigations in which the Metropolitan Police has directed or been involved include:

Notable incidents and investigations

In 2004, there was a call from the Institute for Public Policy Research for more imaginative planning of police stations to aid in improving relations between police forces and the wider community.[51]

Most stations have temporary holding cells where an arrested person can be held until either being released without charge, bailed to appear at court on a later date, or remanded until escort to a court.

  • Uniformed police officers and Special Constables who are responsible for attending emergency calls;
  • Uniformed police officers and Special Constables who make up a "safer neighbourhood team", policing a specific area;
  • Police Community Support Officers responsible for a general presence in the community mostly by foot and assisting in policing duties;
  • Met-employed traffic wardens who enforce parking regulations;
  • Non-police Crime Reduction Officers who are responsible for attending public functions with advice, visiting households, and handing out items such as personal alarms;
  • Non-police Firearms Enquiry Officers responsible for issuing firearms certificates and related duties;
  • Non-police Station Reception Officer or Station PCSO who are responsible for interaction with members of the public who enter the front office of the station, along with general administration;
  • Non-police fingerprinting and identification staff who are responsible for maintaining criminal identity archives;
  • Police cadets assisting police officers, PCSOs or other police staff in non-confrontational duties; and
  • CID detectives concerned with criminal investigations.

Metropolitan Police stations may house a variety of roles and ranks of police staff, such as:

The marine policing unit is based at Wapping.

Paddington Green Police Station is a station that has received much publicity for its housing of terrorism suspects in an underground complex.

The oldest Metropolitan police station, which opened in Bow Street in 1881, closed in 1992 and the adjoining Bow Street Magistrates' Court heard its last case on 14 July 2006.[50] The oldest operational police station in London is in Wapping, which opened in 1908. It is the headquarters of the marine policing unit (formerly known as Thames Division), which is responsible for policing the River Thames. It also houses a mortuary and the River Police Museum.

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

A traditional blue lamp as seen outside most police stations. This one is outside Charing Cross police station.

In addition to the headquarters at New Scotland Yard, there are 140 police stations in London.[49] These range from large borough headquarters staffed around the clock every day to smaller stations, which may be open to the public only during normal business hours, or on certain days of the week.


Total Violence against the person Sexual offences Robbery Burglary Offences against vehicles Other theft offences Fraud and forgery Criminal damage Drug offences Other offences
Metropolitan Police 24 35 23 17 11 5 14 16 13 91 63
England and Wales 28 44 30 21 13 11 22 24 14 94 69

The following table shows the percentage detection rates for the Metropolitan Police by offence group for 2010/11.[48]

Detection rates

  • 1829/30: 20,000
  • 1848: 15,000
  • 1873: 20,000
  • 1898: 18,838
  • 1923: 15,383
  • 1948: 126,597
  • 1973: 355,258
  • 1998/9: 934,254

Crimes reported within the Metropolitan Police District, selected by quarter centuries.[47]

Crime figures

In 2011/12, the MPS had a total expenditure of £3,692m, of which £2,754m went on pay.[46]

  • 1829/30: £194,126
  • 1848: £437,441
  • 1873: £1,118,785
  • 1898: £1,812,735
  • 1923: £7,838,251
  • 1948: £12,601,263
  • 1973: £95,000,000
  • 1998/9: £2,033,000,000

Annual expenditure for single years, selected by quarter centuries.[45]

Cost of the service

A marine policing unit operates 22 vessels from its base in Wapping.

An air support unit operates three Eurocopter EC 145 helicopters, using the call signs India 97, India 98 and India 99. The helicopters are marked in police livery and used for a range of operations. They each cost £5.2 million and have a service life of ten years, meaning they will become due for replacement in 2017.

The majority of vehicles have a service life of three to five years; the Met replaces or upgrades between 800 and 1,000 vehicles each year.

  • Area cars, used for patrol and pursuit duties;
  • Incident response vehicles (IRVs), used for patrol and emergency response;
    Met Police IRV
  • Traffic units, used to patrol the highways, enforce traffic laws and encourage road safety;
  • Protected carriers, used for public order duties;
  • Control units, used for incident command and control purposes;
  • Armoured multi-role vehicles, used for public order duties, airport duties or as required;
  • General purpose vehicles, used for general support and transportation duties of officers or equipment;
  • Training vehicles, used to train police drivers; and
  • Miscellaneous vehicles, such as horseboxes and trailers.

The Met operates and maintains a fleet of more than 8,000 vehicles,[43] which are used for a range of duties, including:[44]


  • 2014: 30,932 (this excludes Special Constables who volunteer part-time, of which there were 4,587)[32]
  • 2013: 30,398 (this excludes Special Constables who volunteer part-time, of which there were 5,303)[33]
  • 2011: 32,380 (this excludes Special Constables who volunteer part-time, of which there were 4,459)[34]
  • 2010: 33,260 (this excludes Special Constables who volunteer part-time, of which there were 3,125)[35]
  • 2009: 32,543 (this excludes Special Constables who volunteer part-time, of which there were 2,622)[36]
  • 2004: 31,000 (approx)[37]
  • 2003: 28,000 (approx)[37]
  • 2001: 25,000 (approx)[38]
  • 1984: 27,000 (approx)[39]
  • 1965: 18,016[40]
  • 1952: 16,400[41]
  • 1912: 20,529[42]

Historic numbers of police officers

  • Regular police officers: 30,932 [25]
  • Police Community Support Officers: 2,087[26]
  • Special Constables: 4,587[27]
  • Designated Officers: 695[28]
  • Dogs: around 250[29]
  • Horses: 120[30]
  • Other police staff: 11,303 [31]

Police numbers

Uniformed traffic wardens, who wear a uniform with yellow and black markings, are a distinct body from local council civil enforcement officers. The former have greater powers that include being able to stop vehicles and redirect traffic at an incident.[24]

Metropolitan Police employees consist of uniformed police officers, special constables, civilian staff, and police community support officers.[23] The Met was the first force to introduce PCSOs.

Senior officer on duty at the Queen's Birthday Parade
A Met response vehicle.
Mounted officers policing a protest at Westminster.
Armed police officers. Downing Street gates, 2014
Met officers supervising World Cup revellers in 2006.
Two Metropolitan Police officers overseeing an event at Trafalgar Square.
Met officers talk with a woman in Hyde Park, 1976


The prefix "Woman" in front of female officers' ranks 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". Detective ranks are equivalent in rank to their uniform counterparts. Other departments, such as Special Branch and Child Protection, award non-detectives "Branch Detective" status, allowing them to use the "Detective" prefix. None of these detective ranks confer on the holder any extra pay or supervisory authority compared to their uniformed colleagues.

The Met also has several active Volunteer Police Cadet units, which maintain their own internal rank structure.[22] The Metropolitan Special Constabulary (MSC) is a contingent of part-time volunteer police officers and is attached to most Borough Operational Command Units. The MSC has its own internal rank structure.

London Metropolitan Police ranks
Police Constable Sergeant Inspector Chief Inspector Superintendent Chief Superintendent Commander Deputy Assistant Commissioner Assistant Commissioner Deputy Commissioner Commissioner
  • Police Constable (PC): Divisional call sign and shoulder number. Note that Special Constables and Police Constables are the same rank.
  • Sergeant (Sgt or PS): Three pointing-down chevrons above the divisional call sign and shoulder number. An "acting" sergeant, such as a substantive constable being paid an allowance to undertake the duties of a sergeant for a short period of time, displays two pointing-down chevrons above the divisional call sign, and shoulder number. The use of three chevrons by an acting sergeant is technically incorrect, and should only be used during a period of temporary promotion.
  • Inspector (Insp): Two Order of the Bath stars, informally known as "pips".
  • Chief Inspector (C/Insp): Three pips.
  • Superintendent (Supt): Single crown.
  • Chief Superintendent (C/Supt): Single crown over one pip.
  • Commander (Cmdr): Crossed tipstaves in a bayleaf wreath. This is the first ACPO rank.
  • Deputy assistant commissioner (DAC): One pip over Commander's badge.
  • Assistant Commissioner (Asst Comm): Crown over Commander's badge.
  • Deputy Commissioner (D/Comm): Crown above two side-by-side small pips, above Commander's badge.
  • Commissioner (Comm): Crown above one pip above Commander's badge.

The Met uniformed officer rank structure, with shoulder badge features, is as follows:

Following controversy over assaults by uniformed officers with concealed shoulder identification numbers[20] during the G20 summit, Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said, "the public has a right to be able to identify any uniformed officer whilst performing their duty" by their shoulder identification numbers.[21]

The Met approved the use of name badges in October 2003, with new recruits wearing the Velcro badges from September 2004. The badge consists of the wearer's rank, followed by their surname.[19]

The Metropolitan Police Service uses the standard British police ranks, indicated by shoulder boards, up to Chief Superintendent, but uniquely has five ranks above that level instead of the standard three; namely Commander, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner.[18] All senior officers above the rank of Commander are chief police officers of ACPO rank.


In June 2015, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said there was some justification in claims that the Metropolitan Police Service is institutionally racist.[17]

Each is overseen by an Assistant Commissioner, or in the case of administrative departments, a director of police staff, which is the equivalent civilian staff grade. The management board is made up of the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioners and Directors.

The Metropolitan Police Service is organised into the following directorates:

Organisation and structure

Metropolitan Police officers have legal jurisdiction throughout all of England and Wales, including areas that 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 MPD, the Met 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 almost always be investigated by the Met, with the assistance of any relevant specialist force, even if they are committed on railway or Ministry of Defence property. (A minor oddity to the normal jurisdiction of territorial police officers in England and Wales is that Met officers involved in the protection duties of the Royal Family and other VIPs have full police powers in Scotland and Northern Ireland in connection with those duties.)

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

The English part of the Royal Parks Constabulary, which patrolled a number of Greater London's major parks, was merged with the Metropolitan Police in 2004, and those parks are now policed by the Royal Parks Operational Command Unit.[15] There is also a small park police force, the Kew Constabulary, responsible for the Royal 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.[16]

The British Transport Police are responsible for policing of the rail network in the United Kingdom, including London. Within London, they are also responsible for the policing of the London Underground, Tramlink, The Emirates Air Line (cable car) and the Docklands Light Railway.[14]

The Ministry of Defence Police are responsible for policing of Ministry of Defence property throughout the United Kingdom, including its headquarters in Whitehall and other MoD establishments across the MPD.[13]

The area policed by the Metropolitan Police Service is known as the Metropolitan Police District (MPD). In terms of geographic policing, the Met 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.

Carved whale bone whistle dated 1821. 8 cm long. Belonged to a 'Peeler' in the Metropolitan Police Service in London in the early 19th century.

Police area and other forces

Since January 2012, the Mayor of London is responsible for the governance of the Metropolitan Police through the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC). The mayor is able to appoint to act on his behalf; the current office-holder is Stephen Greenhalgh. The work of MOPAC is scrutinised by the Police and Crime Committee (also known as a police and crime panel) of the London Assembly. These structures were created by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and replaced the Metropolitan Police Authority appointed board created in 2000 by Greater London Authority Act 1999.



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