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Bedfordshire Police
Motto Serving communities and making them safe from crime
Agency overview
Formed 1966
Preceding agencies
  • Bedfordshire Constabulary
  • Luton Borough Police
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Ceremonial county of Bedfordshire in the country of England, United Kingdom
Map of Bedfordshire Police's jurisdiction.
Population 582,600
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed by Bedfordshire Police Authority
Headquarters Kempston
Police constables 1,232
Agency executive Gillian Parker QPM, Chief Constable
Divisions 2
Stations 11
Airbases RAF Benson & RAF Henlow
Official website
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

Bedfordshire Police, is the Home Office police force responsible for policing the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire in England, which includes the unitary authorities of Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Luton. Its headquarters are in Kempston. The county had an estimated population of 582,600 in mid 2005, so the force is one of the smaller ones in England.

A professional police force was established in Bedfordshire in 1839, under the County Police Act 1839, replacing the earlier system of elected parish constables. It initially comprised a chief constable, who was based in Ampthill, 6 superintendents and 40 constables. Constables were paid 19 shillings a week, which was nearly twice the typical wage of an agricultural labourer in the county at that time.[1]The force is now divided into two divisions covering the "county" areas of Bedfordshire and the area covered by the Unitary Authority of Luton.

There was an independent Luton Borough Police from 1876 to 1947, and then from 1964 to 1966, when it amalgamated with Bedfordshire Constabulary, which was then known as the Bedfordshire and Luton Constabulary until 1974. In 1965, Bedfordshire Constabulary had an establishment of 497 and an actual strength of 430.[2]

Proposals made by the Home Secretary on March 20, 2006, would have seen Bedfordshire Police merge with neighbouring forces Hertfordshire Constabulary and Essex Police to form a strategic police force. [1] However in July 2006 Prime Minister Tony Blair signalled that police force mergers will not be forced through by the central government, and given the amount of local opposition to such mergers it is not expected that any voluntary mergers will occur.[3]

In June 2007, the force received media coverage when one of its officers, PC Jon Henry, was stabbed to death in the street in Luton town centre on 11 June by a Nigerian immigrant, Ikechukwu Tennyson Obih, who is currently on remand, charged with his murder, along with the attempted murders of two other men that he stabbed on the same morning in the town.[4]

In October 2007, Bedfordshire Police Force was rated the worst performing force in England and Wales[5], according to a league table based on Home Office figures, being rated "poor" for protecting vulnerable people, implementation of neighbourhood policing, and local priorities.[6]



  1. ^ History of Bedfordshire 1066-1888 (1969), Joyce Godber.
  2. ^ The Thin Blue Line, Police Council for Great Britain Staff Side Claim for Undermanning Supplements, 1965
  3. ^ Blair accused of wasting police time on mergers, Daily Telegraph, 13 July 2006.
  4. ^ Nigerian charged with PC's murder
  5. ^ BBC News - Bedfordshire police 'rated worst'
  6. ^ Police performance assessments 2006/7

External links



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