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Port of Liverpool Police
Port-of-Liverpool-police.png

Area covered
Area Port of Liverpool
Size 181 km²
Population Port staff and passengers
Operations
Formed 1975
HQ Liverpool Freeport
Officers 46[1]
Divisions 7
Stations 2
Chief Officer Ray Walker
Website Force web site

The Port of Liverpool Police is a small police force with the responsibility of policing the Liverpool, Bootle, Birkenhead, Ellesmere Port and Eastham Dock Estates and Freeports, as well as the Manchester Ship Canal areas in the north- west of England.

Contents

Mandate

In common with a small number of ports police services in the United Kingdom, the Port of Liverpool Police is privately run and does not answer to the Home Office, in contrast with territorial police forces[2]. It is owned and operated by The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company[3], the organisation responsible for the docks. However, the port police do have limited accountability to the Department for Transport[4].

Role, function and organisation

In the discharge of their duty, the officers of the force hold the full powers of the office of constable whilst on the 70-square-mile (180 km2) area of the jurisdiction and up to 1-mile (1.6 km) outside of it. The force employs 46 police officers, of whom 40 are uniformed and the other 6 comprise the Criminal Investigation Department.[5] Officers of the Port Police are equipped with articles such as uniform and officer protective equipment purchased through the Merseyside Police[6]

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Rank structure

The rank structure of the Port of Liverpool Police is smaller than that used in most UK police forces, as shown below.

  • Chief Officer (The post is currently held by Ray Walker)[7][8]
  • Superintendent (Deputy Chief Officer)
  • Chief Inspector
  • Inspector
  • Sergeant
  • Constable

As with any Home Office police force, officers are required to sit and pass the OSPRE promotion examinations to be considered for promotion to Sergeant and Inspector[9]. Further promotion within the force falls down to selection, merit and budget allowance.

History

In its present form, the force has existed since the 19th of June, 1975, when it was created by The Mersey Docks and Harbour (Police) Order, statutory instrument No. 1224 of 1975. The dock has had a dedicated police force throughout its history, though not always constantly:

  • From 1811- 37, the Liverpool Dock Police patrolled much the same area until its merger with the Liverpool Borough Police Force
  • In 1852, 40 officers were transferred to the Liverpool Fire Brigade for the purpose of policing the docks[10]
  • In 1865 the River Mersey Police took responsibility for policing these areas until 1920, after which they were policed by territorial forces
  • In 1975, with the passing of the above SI, the current body was formed. It became fully operational in July 1976[11]

Jurisdiction

The force's jurisdiction is limited to its designated area around the docks, though its officers can discharge their duties up to one mile outside of these areas. The port police have entered into a 'memorandum of understanding' with Merseyside Police, the territorial police force with statutory responsibility for policing Merseyside, which sets out how the two forces operate together and the sharing of certain resources, for example, custodial facilities.[12]. As per the SI, the port police respond to the report of all crimes and emergencies within the port area. However, according to the memorandum, they may call upon Merseyside Police where a situation is outside of its skills base. Merseyside Police will take over the handling of major incidents and investigations with regard to:

See also

References


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