Port of Tilbury Police

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The Port of Tilbury Police is a small, specialised police force responsible for policing the Port of Tilbury, owned by the Port of Tilbury London Ltd, a subsidiary of Forth Ports plc. Known before 1992 as the Port of London Authority Police, at over 200 years old, it claims to be the oldest police force in the country. Any serious or major incidents or crimes become the responsibility of the local Home Office police force, Essex Police.

Powers of constables[edit]

Port constables are appointed by the port company, and are attested by a justice of the peace.[1] The oath is given by Schedule 6 to the Port of London Act 1968. The port company can suspend or terminate the appointment of a port constable.[1] A port constable has all the powers and privileges of his office within the "port police area"[2] (which is land that is owned by the port company and used for the port)[3] and anywhere within one mile of that land.[3] In addition, if a port constable pursues a suspect from the port police area, he has the same powers of arrest as he would in the port police area.[2] Impersonating a port constable is an offence.[4]

Entry[edit]

A port constable may enter any vessel within the port police area (and can take people with him to assist if he thinks it necessary):[5]

  • if, with reasonable cause, he suspects that an indictable offence has been, or is about to be, committed on board the vessel,
  • in order to arrest a person who he may lawfully arrest, or
  • if, with reasonable cause, he believes that by so doing he will be able to facilitate the detection of an indictable offence committed, or the prevention of an indictable offence which he, with reasonable cause, suspects is about to be committed, within the port police area.[5]

A port constable may seize anything found on board which he, with reasonable cause, suspects to have been stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained.[5]

Entry and search[edit]

A port constable may, within the port premises, enter and search a vessel or vehicle if he, with reasonable cause, suspects that he might find anything which has been stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained:[5]

  • on or from the port premises, or
  • on or from a vessel either in a dock of the Port Authority or at a pier provided by the Port Authority.[5]

A port constable may seize anything found on board the vessel or in the vehicle which he with reasonable cause suspects to have been so stolen or obtained unlawfully.[5]

Stop and search[edit]

Any constable (not just a port constable) may, within the port police area, stop and search a person whom he, with reasonable cause, suspects of having or conveying in any manner anything which has been stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained:[6]

  • on or from the port premises, or
  • on or from a vessel either in a dock of the Port Authority or at a pier provided by the Port Authority.[6]

Other provisions[edit]

It is an offence to resist, obstruct or impede a constable in the execution of his duty, or to not carry out the lawful orders of a constable.[7] A constable may detain a person who, after being warned by an officer of the Port Authority not to do so, gets on to or remains on a movable bridge belonging to the Port Authority when it is about to be moved, or is being moved, or before it is properly closed and fastened, if that person's name and address is unknown to and cannot be ascertained by the constable.[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]