Liverpool Cathedral Constables

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Crest of the Liverpool Cathedral Constables

Liverpool Cathedral Constables are a private constabulary responsible for providing security for Liverpool Cathedral. Its officers follow a long held tradition dating back to the thirteenth century. At one time many Anglican cathedrals appointed ecclesiastical constables to uphold law and order in and around their precincts. Liverpool Cathedral is one of only four cathedrals nationally to employ constables along with York Minster (York Minster Police), Canterbury Cathedral, and Chester Cathedral. The constables endeavour to maintain the history and tradition of ecclesiastical constables through the Cathedral Constables' Association.[1]

Today, Liverpool Cathedral and its precinct are protected by a team of 10 constables managed by a Head Constable who in turn reports to the Cathedral Inspector. Working in teams of two, they provide 24-hour cover, 365 days a year. The security of the Cathedral is not their only responsibility; constables also patrol the adjacent residential college campus, providing security to the young people who live there. Constables work out of the Constables’ Lodge, a single story building at the entrance to the Cathedral’s precinct, and from where they watch all comings and goings with the aid of an extensive range of CCTV cameras and monitors. In January 2011, the Cathedral appointed its first female constable.

The Cathedral's constables wear uniforms similar to typical British police officers. They wear a white shirt with epaulettes, black tie, black combat style trousers, and a high visibility jacket with the words "Cathedral Constable" on the back. Not all officers are attested, but sworn officers are distinguishable by their wearing of a cap with a blue and white chequered band, and the carrying of personal safety equipment. All constables are trained to deal with difficult and occasionally dangerous situations whilst ensuring minimal disruption to the spiritual tranquillity of the Cathedral. The constables, through the Cathedral Constables' Association, have published a short book entitled, Cathedral Bobbies. The book is a series of reflections related to individual constable's experiences.

The more traditional policing functions for the cathedral are conducted by the local territorial police force, Merseyside Police.