Royal Falkland Islands Police

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Royal Falkland Islands Police
Agency overview
Formed 1846
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Police area of Falkland Islands, UK
Map of Royal Falkland Islands Police's jurisdiction.
Size 12,173 km2 (4,700 sq mi)
Population 3,150 residents (approx), plus military garrison
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Stanley
Sworn members 18
Stations 1
* Police area agency: Prescribed geographic area in the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Royal Falkland Islands Police is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement within the Falkland Islands. The Force was established on 1 November 1846 with the appointment of Francis Parry as Chief Constable. The Constables Ordinance 1846, which had been enacted by the colony's Legislative Council on 27 October of that year, created an organisation that has remained at the service of the public ever since. The current Chief Police Officer is Chief Superintendent Gary Finchett, latterly of Cheshire Constabulary.[1] who is also the Director of Community Safety.


The Falkland Islands Police Force was granted the "Royal" prefix by HM The Queen on 1 January 1992. This followed an inspection by the Deputy Inspector General of Dependent Territories Police and was granted in recognition of 146 years of loyal service to the Crown and of the professional standards achieved by the force in the ten years since its virtual destruction by the Argentine occupation of the Falkland Islands in 1982.


The Royal Falkland Islands Police uphold Falklands Islands law (a combination of local ordinances and adopted English Statute Law) and are governed by the Police Ordinance 2000. Codes of practice are published originating from the Criminal Justice Ordinance 1989. All equipment issued to officers and practices used comply with Home Office and Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) guidelines.

Forces and coverage[edit]

Royal Falkland Islands Police Headquarters, Stanley

The Royal Falkland Islands Police currently has an establishment of nine constables, a number of reserve constables (similar to UK special constables), three sergeants (one operations, one training and one detective sergeant), an inspector and a chief superintendent who is the Director of Community Safety and Chief Police Officer. Two civilian police staff are employed, one as senior clerk and the other as licensing officer. The islands' prison is contained within the police building and governed by the Chief Police Officer.

All military police serving with the Joint Service Police Support Unit (JSPSU) of British Forces Falkland Islands are sworn in as Royal Falkland Islands Police reserve constables and thus have civil as well as military policing powers on the islands.[2]

An islands-wide service is provided with 24-hour cover. The control desk maintains a listening watch on marine and civilian emergency radio frequencies and is where "999" emergency calls are answered.

Police equipment is purchased directly from suppliers or through the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary with whom an affiliation has been formed since 1990. Officers do not ordinarily carry firearms however they are issued with, and trained in the use of Quickcuffs and an extendible "ASP" baton, the same as British police forces.

The transport fleet consists of one Land Rover 90, Land Rover 110 for rural patrols, a major incident control vehicle and two Land Rover Discoveries, as general patrol vehicles.

Communication is based on VHF FM radio and is encrypted. The use of a repeater greatly extends the range of coverage.


The police station, which has remained the headquarters building since it was completed in 1873, is situated centrally in Stanley. The building, which has had several wooden extensions added over the years, was built of stone by the detachment of Royal Marines that were stationed in the colony at that time. The station took a direct hit from a British missile during the Falklands Conflict on 11 June 1982 and was severely damaged. The fabric of the building was repaired but after 135 years of continual service it was totally refurbished in 2008. This was completed in 2009 with the new jail being opened by the Princess Royal on 24 March 2009.[3]


  1. ^ "Royal Falkland Islands Police Force". "Chief Superintendent Gary Finchett recently joined the force as Chief Police Officer, having served in the Cheshire Police for 31 years." 
  2. ^ "A Concise History of the Royal Air Force Police". "Joint Service Police Unit (JSPSU) under the command of an RAF Provost Sqn Ldr. All personnel sworn in as Royal Falkland Islands Police Reserve Constables." 
  3. ^

External links[edit]