Unit 12.1

Security and the fight against crime

Law Enforcement Agencies

For emergencies call 999. For non-urgent crimes contact local police on 101.

  • The United Kingdom is divided into 45 territorial police forces:
    • The territorial police force (England and Wales): Are forces responsible for the general policing in areas based on local government areas. England is divided into 39 police areas and Wales is divided into four such areas. Territorial police is headed by the chief commander.
      • Metropolitan Police Service is a formation, acting as territorial police in all of Greater London’s districts except the City of London. It is called the Met and Scotland Yard. In addition to the typical tasks of the territorial police, its officers provide personal protection to members of the British Royal Family and major politicians.
    • Police Service of Northern Ireland is the police force in Northern Ireland. It is the second-largest in terms of the area of responsibility. Officers have full powers of a Constable everywhere in Northern Ireland and the nearby United Kingdom waters.
    • Police Service of Scotland is a national police force of Scotland. It is the largest territorial police in the UK.
  • Miscellaneous police forces are responsible for policing specific local areas or activities.
  • Royal Military Police is the corps of the British Army. They are responsible for the policing of army service personnel, and for providing military police in the UK. Members of the RMP are often known as Redcaps.
  • Special forces:
    • Civil Nuclear Constabulary is responsible for providing law execution and security at the relevant nuclear site and for the security of nuclear materials in transit in the United Kingdom.
    • British Transport Police guards railways and light-rail systems in England, Scotland and Wales.
    • National Crime Agency is a national law enforcement agency. It works against organised crime; human, weapon and drug trafficking; cybercrime and economic crime.
    • The Ministry of Defence Police provides armed protection and counter-terrorism services, as well as uniformed policing and some investigative services to the Ministry of Defence.
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