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Understanding the rank structure of the Police Service in England and Wales

Understanding the rank structure of the Police Service in England & Wales
We’re now going to have a look at ranks of the police service that exist throughout England and Wales. Now, the modern day police service is a highly complex, sophisticated organization and it’s required to deliver a range of increasing services. Despite this, is an organization that really has retained its traditional rank structure, and this dates back to appeals time. Probably is very much a hallmark of British policing, the rank structure, and you can see in other modern police forces across the world, examples of where they’ve almost copied the English police service’s rank structure. The police service is very much a hierarchical organization.
It has a uniform and badges that go with those ranks and the insignia attached to it, to identify it as modern policing. Now I would say the rank structure is divided into two main categories, chief officer rank, which we’ll have a look at, and those that fall below the chief officers. Now, the structures will depend upon the size of the police service because these will vary across countries. Let’s have a look at how this may do and I think using the slides is quite helpful particularly when you’re looking at rank structures and the insignias because you can actually see them. Here we talked about the rank structures dividing in two and this is the chief officer rank here.
At the top of any constabulary, you’ll have the chief constable, now they’d be very much the front face or public face of policing within their area, they will be leading the force, creates that vision and four sides will be very much varied across the country. Within the structure, they’ll have a Deputy Chief Constable, he will support the Chief Constable and they will be responsible for the direct operational accountability of the policing response to any major or critical incident. If you step below that, you can see you will have Assistant Chief Constables there in this particular organization we’ve got three of them.
As I say, this will very much depend upon the four sides, because if you took someone like Manchester, obviously, it’s quite a significant four sides, there you would have more Assistant Chief Constable to support the Chief Constable and Deputy Chief constable. But the Assistant Chief Constable or ACCs, as they’re known as, will lead an operational response in their particular area. This could be exampled neighborhood policing or response policing, so they may have quite a significant command of offices and staff under them. That’s the chief officer rank, so now we need to move on to the ranks below that. The first one you can see there is a Chief Superintendent.
Now, a Chief Superintendent will probably lead large multiple commands within a force area so it could run, let’s say the force command center, something like that where you’d have quite a high number of staff, they’ll have a critical lead in operational policing. You have superintendents, again, they could also run commands depending upon the size, maybe slightly smaller than that Chief Superintendent, but they had maybe a policy lead, and also there’s some specific legal powers attached to the rank of Superintendent. Coming down, you come to the Chief Inspector. These will manage large teams of Inspectors, Sergeants and Constables, and I would probably describe this as the most Senior Operational Response Officer.
If we looked at London, for example, you’d have a chief inspector based in their control center so that if any operational spots was ongoing, they would be the person that you would turn to for advice and support so there would always be someone there. Inspector, we’ve obviously done a linear role here, but the Inspectors will manage large teams of Sergeants and Constables, and then we come down to sergeants who would be very much the first level of line management and they would be responsible for the daily supervision of Constables, and the Constable probably provide probably the most critical role within the structure. They are the critical front line role preventing and detecting crime.
Just to decide vacancy special constables, we won’t go into those, but they are very much volunteer police officers got the same powers as a Constable and PCSO. Let’s have a look at the baggage of ranks. Now I’m focusing on forces across the country in England and Wales, because some forces vary example that the Metropolitan Police Service, if you can see there, you’ve got Commissioner, we talked about front-facing role here Dame Cressida Dick the commissioner at the moment, and you can see her rank insignia there, and also the Deputy Commissioner which is 16 house, and you can see the badges that rank there.
But with an ordinary police force, I say that lightly, but you’ve got the Chief Constable right there you can see there with the crown attached and cross, it saves them, and then you’ve got the Deputy Chief Constable and the Assistant Chief Constable or commander in Metropolitan Police Service. Those are the rank for the Chief Officer, and then if we looked at the Constable up to Chief Superintendent you can see the difference. The Chief Superintendent wear the crown and the PIP, the superintendent just with the crown, three pips for Chief Inspector, two for the Inspector, and source and stripes, which is probably all familiar with this, with the amount of explosion we have on, on the television nowadays, and the constable.
This is just giving you an introduction to the ranks and some of the badges and insignia related to those ranks.
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