Basic Command Unit

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A Basic Command Unit (BCU) is the largest unit into which territorial British Police forces are divided. This may actually be called a BCU or may have another designation, such as LPU or LPT, Division or Area. There are 228 BCUs (including those with different titles such as division etc.) in England and Wales.

Most forces are divided into at least three BCUs and some have many more. Most BCUs are further subdivided into smaller units. The BCU is usually commanded by a Chief Superintendent.[1]

The Metropolitan Police use the term Borough Operational Command Unit (BOCU) for regional units (which are based on the 32 London boroughs) and Operational Command Unit (OCU) for other units, for example the Aviation Security OCU.

West Midlands Police is split into 12 LPUs (Local Policing Units) and OPS units (Operations Units), and was [clarification needed]

Warwickshire Police has abolished BCUs, the first British territorial police force to do so. The force is now divided directly into five Districts, each headed by a Chief Inspector. These were formerly grouped into two Areas (BCUs), North and South, each headed by a Chief Superintendent.


  1. ^ Neighbourhood Statistics. "Notifiable Offences Recorded by the Police 2001/2002". Retrieved 2009-06-09.