City of London Police

The City of London Police is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement within the City of London, including the Middle and Inner temples. The force responsible for law enforcement within the remainder of the London region, outside the City, is the much larger Metropolitan Police Service, a separate organisation. The City of London, which is now primarily a financial business district with a small resident population but a large commuting workforce, is the historic core of London, and has an administrative history distinct from that of the rest of the metropolis, of which its separate police force is one manifestation.

City of London Police
Agency overview
Formed1839 (1839)
Annual budget£134.1m[1]
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionCity of London, England, United Kingdom
City of London police area (red)
Size1.1 sq mi / 2.8 km²
Populationapprox 9,400 residents[1]
Legal jurisdictionEngland & Wales
Governing bodyCommon Council of the City of London
Constituting instrument
General nature
Police officers756[1][2]
Support Staffs451[1]
Agency executive
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The City of London area has a resident population of around 9,400, however there is also a daily influx of approximately 483,000 commuters into the City, along with thousands of tourists.[1]

The police authority is the Common Council of the City, and unlike other territorial forces in England and Wales there is not a police and crime commissioner replacing that police authority by way of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011,[3] but like a police and crime commissioner, the Common Council is elected.

As of 2019 the force had a workforce of 1,207 including 756 full-time police officers and 451 support staff.[1] The force is also supported by much smaller numbers of special constables, police community support officers, and designated officers. The headquarters is located at the Guildhall and there are three additional stations at Bishopsgate, Snow Hill and Wood Street.[1] The City of London Police is the smallest territorial police force in England and Wales, both in terms of geographic area and head-count.[4] The current Commissioner (equivalent to the Chief Constable in other forces) since January 2016 is Ian Dyson, QPM, who was formerly the force's Assistant Commissioner.[5]


Traditionally the responsibility for policing in the City had been divided between day and night City Watch, primarily under the two sheriffs. Their responsibilities were shared with the aldermen's officers – the ward beadles – who are now purely ceremonial. It was these officers' responsibility for ensuring that the Night Watch was maintained. Policing during the day eventually came under the City Patrol, which evolved into the City Day Police, which was modelled on the Metropolitan Police. The London City Police was officially formed in 1832, before becoming the City of London Police with the passing of the City of London Police Act 1839, which gave statutory approval to the force as an independent police body and headed off attempts made to merge it with the Metropolitan Police.[6][7]

In 1840 the City of London Police moved its headquarters from the Corporation's Guildhall to 26 Old Jewry, where it remained until it was relocated to Wood Street in 2001.[7] The force's current headquarters is at the Guildhall.[7] Former stations include Moor Lane (destroyed in the Blitz on 29th December 1940) and Cloak Lane (closed 1965).[7]

Some notable events the force has been involved with include the Jack the Ripper murders, the 1910 Houndsditch Murders, and the response to the IRA{'s bombing campaign during the years of the Troubles.[7] The early 1990s saw the IRA carry out a number of high profile attacks in the City, such as the 1992 Baltic Exchange bombing and the 1993 Bishopsgate bombing, resulting in huge economic and infrastructural damage. As a result the "Traffic and Environmental Zone", better known as the 'ring of steel', was officially established in 1993 by Owen Kelly, the then City of London Police commissioner.[8] Some aspects of the ring of steel was 'stepped down' in the late 1990s following the cessation of IRA hostilities.[9]


The City Police is organised into five Basic Command Units:[1]

  • Economic Crime Directorate
  • Crime Directorate
  • Uniformed Policing Directorate
  • Information and Intelligence Directorate
  • Business Support and Chief Officer Directorates

Because of the City's role as a world financial centre, the City of London Police has developed a great deal of expertise in dealing with fraud and "is the acknowledged lead force within the UK for economic crime investigation."[10] The Economic Crime Directorate includes:

  • The Directorate also formerly had an Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit (OACU), however this unit (along with the Metropolitan Police's Proceeds of Corruption Unit) was transferred to the NCA in 2015 and renamed the International Corruption Unit (ICU).[14]

Leadership structure

  • Commissioner - Ian Dyson, QPM
  • Assistant Commissioner - Alistair Sutherland
  • Commander - Jayne Gyford (Operations & Security)
  • Commander - Karen Baxter (National Coordinator for Economic Crime)
  • Chief Superintendent - David Lawes (Uniformed Policing Directorate)
  • Temporary Detective Chief Superintendent - David Evans (Intelligence and Information Directorate)
  • Temporary Detective Chief Superintendent - Glenn Maleary (Economic Crime Directorate)
  • Temporary Detective Chief Superintendent - Peter O'Doherty (Crime Investigation Directorate)


Whereas the majority of British police forces have white metal badges and buttons, those of the City Police are brass. The force also have red and white chequered sleeve and cap bands (red and white being the colours of the City of London), which in most other British police forces are black and white. Female officers wear a red and white cravat.[15]

Their helmet has altered little since its introduction in 1865 and has a crest instead of the white metal boss worn on the Metropolitan Police helmet. The "helmet plate" or badge is the City of London coat of arms; this is unusual for a police force in England and Wales in that it does not include the St Edward's Crown, neither does it have the Brunswick Star, which is used on most other police helmets in England and Wales.[16]

On State and ceremonial occasions the Commissioner and his deputy wear a special Court Dress Uniform with a gold aiguillette and a cocked hat adorned with white swan's feathers; other than on these occasions, they wear standard uniform.[17]


Like other British police forces, City of London police officers are not routinely armed. The force has a small pool of AFOs to deal with firearms incidents in the city. However, all (except PCSOs) officers are equipped with Hiatt Speedcuffs, ASP batons and PAVA incapacitant spray. Many officers are also equipped with the TASERX26 conducted energy weapon.(CEW)[18]

Warrant card

The City of London Police warrant card badge[19] is the city shield enamelled in red and white. The City motto Domine Dirige Nos (Lord Guide Us) in gold on a black scroll above the words "City of London Police". Two Tudor dragons surround the shield, a reference to the heraldic supporters of the City's arms. The warrant number is printed below and the word "police" is written beneath that in braille (at the suggestion of blind former Home Secretary David Blunkett).


The ranks from constable to chief superintendent are the same as all other British police forces. The three senior ranks are similar to those used by the Metropolitan Police.

Ranks of the City of London Police

Constables and Sergeants display collar numbers on their rank badges (in the range 1 to 150 for Sergeants and 151 to 999 for Constables). Officers between the ranks of Inspector and Chief Superintendent (who do not have collar numbers) display their warrant numbers instead.


Special Constabulary


Two City of London Police vans.

The City of London Police has a fleet of vehicles including response cars, four-wheel-drive traffic vehicles, motorcycles, public order carriers, a horsebox (Scania P270), dog section vehicles and cage vans.

It has no independent marine capacity, and so relies on the Metropolitan Police Marine Policing Unit when its operational needs require such capacity.

Like all other forces in England and Wales, it relies on the National Police Air Service for its airborne capacity.

Officers killed in the line of duty

The Police Roll of Honour Trust[21] lists and commemorates all British police officers killed in the line of duty. The Police Memorial Trust since its establishment in 1984 has erected over 38 memorials to some of those officers.

Since 1857 31 active City of London Police staff have died; officers who died while attempting to prevent or stop a crime in progress include:[22]

  • Sgt Robert Bentley, PC Walter Choat and Sgt Charles Tucker, 1910 (all fatally shot prior to the Siege of Sidney Street).
  • Cmdr Hugh Moore QPM, 1993 (suffered heart failure following a violent arrest).


Teams of the City of London Police have participated in the Olympic games three times in the tug of war tournament. At the 1908 Summer Olympics they won the gold medal, beating a team of the Liverpool Police in the final. In 1912 the team was beaten in the final by one of the Stockholm Police. At the 1920 Summer Olympics the team regained its title, beating the Netherlands. This was the last time tug of war was an Olympic sport, which means the City of London Police is still the reigning Olympic champion.[23][24]


The City of London Police Museum is dedicated to the police force and its story of policing.[25] Exhibits include uniforms, Victorian-era police equipment and artefacts, communication devices, World War II displays, and exhibits about Jack the Ripper and other famous murder cases.

The museum relocated in November 2016 to the space formerly used by the Clockmakers' Museum, next to the Guildhall Library.[26] The new museum was funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.[27]

See also


  1. "City of London Police - Policing Plan 2017-20 (Year 3 2019/20)" (PDF). City of London Police. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  2. "PEEL assessments".
  3. "Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011".
  4. "The police | Home Office". Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
  5. "City of London appoints new Police Commissioner". City of London Corporation. 15 October 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  6. "Records of City of London Police Officers in CLRO" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 February 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  7. "City of London Police History - Key Dates". Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  8. Corporation of London (1999), "Memorandum by the Corporation of London (IT 134)", House of Commons Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs
  9. "New 'Ring of Steel' planned for London Square Mile". BBC. 24 December 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  10. "City of London Police – Economic Crime Directorate". City of London Police. 23 July 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
  11. "DCPCU".
  12. "Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department".
  14. "City of London Police - International Corruption Unit". Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  15. "Uniforms and Buttons". Retrieved 9 September 2010.
  16. "Uniforms". Retrieved 9 September 2010.
  17. "Uniforms and Buttons".
  18. "City of London Police - tasers". Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  19. "Other Insignia".
  20. Widdup, Ellen (26 May 2009). "City police hire 50 specialists to fight £1 billion fraudsters". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  21. Trust, Police Roll of Honour. "Police Roll of Honour Trust".
  22. Police Roll of Honour Trust - City of London Police. Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  23. "London 1908: Drugs, discord, cheating, boycotts and 56 gold medals for Britain". The Scotsman. Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
  24. "City Police history". City of London Police. Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
  25. City of London Police Museum website
  26. "London gets a new museum – of police history". IanVisits. 27 November 2016.
  27. "Inside London's quirkiest new museum". Telegraph. 3 November 2016.
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