Police area

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Not to be confused with Polícia Aérea.
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in the United Kingdom
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A police area is the area for which a territorial police force in the United Kingdom is responsible for policing.

Every location in the United Kingdom has a designated territorial police force with statutory responsibility for providing policing services and enforcing criminal law, which is set out in the various police areas below. Special police forces and other non territorial constabularies do not have police areas and their respective specialist areas of responsibility are shared with the relevant geographic territorial police force. Ultimately the Chief Officer of a territorial police force has primacy over all law enforcement within his police area even if is within the remit of a special police force such as the British Transport Police on the railway infrastructure or the Ministry of Defence Police on MOD property.

History[edit]

The Metropolitan Police District was the first example of a police area - when it was created, all other police forces were responsible for one county or county borough only. Police areas were introduced with the passage of the Police Act 1964 and Police (Scotland) Act 1967, when a number of small (mainly county borough) police forces were merged with county ones.

The current system of police areas in England and Wales is set out by Section 1 of the Police Act 1996.

There are 43 police areas in England and Wales, most of which are defined by Schedule 1 of the 1996 act. They may be altered by order of the Home Secretary.[1] The two other areas, the Metropolitan Police District and the City of London police area, are defined by Section 76 of the London Government Act 1963 and the City of London Police Act 1839 respectively.


In Northern Ireland and Scotland, there is only one police force: the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Police Service of Scotland.

Current police areas of Great Britain[edit]

Map of the United Kingdom police area boundaries
Current police area boundaries in the United Kingdom
Police areas of England
Police force Area
Avon and Somerset Constabulary The county of Somerset and the non-metropolitan districts of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire
Bedfordshire Police The county of Bedfordshire (i.e. the non-metropolitan districts of Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Luton)
Cambridgeshire Constabulary The county of Cambridgeshire and the non-metropolitan district of Peterborough
Cheshire Constabulary The county of Cheshire (i.e. the non-metropolitan districts of Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington)
City of London Police The City of London (including the Inner Temple and Middle Temple)
Cleveland Police The non-metropolitan districts of Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees
Cumbria Constabulary The county of Cumbria
Derbyshire Constabulary The county of Derbyshire and the non-metropolitan district of Derby
Devon and Cornwall Police The counties of Devon and Cornwall and the non-metropolitan districts of Plymouth and Torbay and the Isles of Scilly
Dorset Police The county of Dorset and the non-metropolitan districts of Bournemouth and Poole
Durham Constabulary The county of Durham and the non-metropolitan district of Darlington
Essex Police The county of Essex and the non-metropolitan districts of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock
Gloucestershire Constabulary The county of Gloucestershire
Greater Manchester Police The county of Greater Manchester (i.e. the metropolitan districts of Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan)
Hampshire Constabulary The counties of Hampshire and Isle of Wight and the non-metropolitan districts of Portsmouth and Southampton
Hertfordshire Constabulary The county of Hertfordshire
Humberside Police The non-metropolitan districts of the East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston upon Hull, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire
Kent Police The county of Kent and the non-metropolitan district of Medway
Lancashire Constabulary The county of Lancashire and the non-metropolitan districts of Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool
Leicestershire Constabulary The county of Leicestershire and the non-metropolitan districts of Leicester and Rutland
Lincolnshire Police The county of Lincolnshire
Merseyside Police The county of Merseyside (i.e. the metropolitan districts of Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral)
Metropolitan Police Service Metropolitan Police District (Greater London, excluding the City of London)
Norfolk Constabulary The county of Norfolk
Northamptonshire Police The county of Northamptonshire
Northumbria Police The counties of Northumberland and Tyne and Wear (i.e. the metropolitan districts of Gateshead, Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland)
North Yorkshire Police The county of North Yorkshire and the non-metropolitan district of York
Nottinghamshire Police The county of Nottinghamshire and the non metropolitan district of Nottingham
South Yorkshire Police The county of South Yorkshire (i.e. the metropolitan districts of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield)
Staffordshire Police The county of Staffordshire and the non-metropolitan district of Stoke-on-Trent
Suffolk Constabulary The county of Suffolk
Surrey Police The county of Surrey
Sussex Police The counties of East Sussex and West Sussex and the non-metropolitan district of Brighton and Hove
Thames Valley Police The counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and the non-metropolitan district of Milton Keynes
Warwickshire Police The county of Warwickshire
West Mercia Police The counties of Shropshire and Worcestershire and the non-metropolitan districts of Herefordshire and Telford and Wrekin
West Midlands Police The county of West Midlands (i.e. the metropolitan districts of Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton)
West Yorkshire Police The county of West Yorkshire (i.e. the metropolitan districts of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield)
Wiltshire Police The county of Wiltshire and the non-metropolitan district of Swindon
Police area of Northern Ireland
Police force Area
Police Service of Northern Ireland Northern Ireland
Police areas of Scotland
Police force Area
Police Service of Scotland Scotland
Police areas of Wales
Police force Area
Dyfed-Powys Police The counties of Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Powys
Gwent Police The county of Monmouthshire and the county boroughs of Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Newport and Torfaen
North Wales Police The counties of the Isle of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Denbighshire and Flintshire and the county boroughs of Conwy and Wrexham
South Wales Police The counties of Cardiff and Swansea and the county boroughs of Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale of Glamorgan

See also[edit]

References[edit]