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Dave Wilkinson

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Blog Comments posted by Dave Wilkinson


  1. It is my understanding that the Met. Commissioner, the Deputy and the Assistant Commissioners upon appointment loose any "Constable" only powers including those relating to arrest. This was certainly the case during the period when they were ex officio Justices of the Peace, it being incompatible for a Justice of the Peace to also be a Constable. Mervyn's comment "...having come through the ranks they are most certainly Police Officers with a power of arrest", is largely meaningless if on appointment to the ranks mentioned, legislation removes those powers from them.

    I have always found this forum to be very informative and a very good source of information. That said, I sometimes wonder how accurate that information is. I believe it should be so, otherwise readers will be mislead. I will set myself a task and get to the bottom of this Met. Commissioner business once and for all. There seem to be varying differing opinions in respect of his constitutional position i.e. Is he the UK's most Senior Police Officer, does he hold the "Office of Constable" and another "does he or doesn't he" still carry a silver token! Various individuals (including myself) give their views but those on the sidelines reading these comments will still scratch their heads and ask "Well, that's interesting but who's right?" As a retired Merseyside Police Officer, I'll contact the current Commissioner, Sir Bernard (former Chief Constable of Merseyside) and I'll ask him if he would be kind enough to give me answers to the questions posed. I'll let you know what he says. Mervyn, here in the UK Watch Committees were abolished in 1974 (nearly 40 years ago) when the Hull City, Bradford City, Leeds City and Birmingham City Police forces ceased to exist.


  2. Mervyn seeks to set out a "seniority structure" which is in effect non existent. It is a fact that we don't have one senior police officer in England and Wales, we have 43 of them. Another fact which you have wrong is that the Met. Commissioner ceased to be appointed by the Home Secretary many years ago. He is appointed by the Queen upon the recommendation of the Metropolitan Police Authority. I have checked archive copies of the Police & Constabulary Almanac stretching back to 1942 and can tell you that the Met. Commissioner etc has been a member of ACPO since its formation and before that was a member of its predecessor organisation "The County Chief Constables Club". I am not sure that the rank insignia is particularly significant. The City Commissioner uses the same insignia as the Met. Commissioner yet the City Chief has a force which is smaller in strength than any of the provinces. A further relevant point is that niether the Commissioner nor his Deputy are attested police officers, so on that basis I fail to see how they can be regarded as the most "Senior Police Officers in England & Wales".


  3. I beg to differ. I think Mervyn is spot on with regards the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and Deputy Commissioner being the Senior Police Officers in England and Wales. But I will defer the HMIC top job considering the person now in post.

    You just have to look at the rank insignia to see the difference. Chief Constables in fact wear the same rank as Assistant Commissioners in the Met. I accept a Chief Constable has autonomy in his/her policing area but how can you assess that the Commissioner with National Policing responsibilities including Counter Terrorism and a staff of over 50,000 is on par with a Chief Constable who may have a total of 1500 staff in their force area? The Commissioner never even used to be a member of ACPO as he is appointed by the Home Secretary.


  4. "The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police is the most senior officer in
    England and Wales - he is followed by H. M.'s Chief Inspector of Constabulary and third in
    seniority is the Deputy Commissioner. Chief Constables rank below these officers.
    "

    Mervyn,

    I'm sorry but you are wrong. This is a common misconception amongst members of the public and the media. The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis is of equal rank to the provincial Chief Constables. The Deputy Commissioner is of equal rank to the Deputy Chief Constables. You are even further adrift with the Inspectorate of Constabulary. They have in the past been retired police officers who on appointment become civil servants. In recent years several have been appointed without previous police experience. They do not have any police powers and cannot and never have been able to give directions or orders to the Chief Police Officers Indeed, the current Chief Inspector of Constabulary has never even been a police officer. Their role is to advise the Home Secretary and to inspect and report on the efficiency of police forces in England & Wales. So, they fall completely outside your supposed rank structure and do not even form part of the English & Welsh Police Service.

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