Port of Portland Police (United Kingdom)

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Port of Portland Police
Portland Port Police.jpg
Badge of the Port of Portland Police
Agency overview
Formed February, 2017
Legal personality Non government: Privately funded police service
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Port area of Portland Port in the country of England, UK
Legal jurisdiction Land & Property belonging to Portland Port and up to 1-mile (1.6 km) from same
Governing body Portland Port
Constituting instruments
  • section 79 of the Harbours, Docks, and Piers Clauses Act 1847
  • incorporated by Portland Harbour Revision Order 1997
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Port Police Cruise Office, Portland Port, Portland, Dorset, United Kingdom, DT5 1PP
Agency executive James Grant, Inspector (Chief Police Officer)
Stations 1
Ford 4x4s 1
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Port of Portland Police are a body of special constables responsible for policing and protecting the Port of Portland, Portland, Dorset. They are a non-Home Office, specialist force of fully warranted constables and security officers and are headed by an Inspector. They were established in 1997 when the Portland Harbour Authority Ltd. bought the port from the British Government.[1] Although, the police only came into effect in February 2017.[2]


Port Police officers are attested under section 79 of the Harbours, Docks, and Piers Clauses Act 1847 (as incorporated by Portland Harbour Revision Order 1997).[3][4] The act uses the term 'special constable'; at the time this act was passed 'special constable' meant any constable who was not a member of a territorial police force.

It is a condition of entry to the port that any person is liable to stop and search on entry, on exit and whilst on the estate. This is used only when absolutely necessary and policies comply fully with Home Office codes of practice and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE)[5].


The Portland Port Police are responsible for ensuring the security and safety of not only the port itself but also its tenants, employees, users and visitors as well as international ships visiting the port[6].

This consists of foot patrol, static post and vehicle patrols, enforcing byelaws (in accordance with the Portland Port General Byelaws 2016), access control, CCTV monitoring and other police duties. The Port Police may carry out stops and searches at anytime, in accordance with the PACE 1984. The main entrance is covered by the Port Police 24 hours a day, throughout the year[7].

Some examples of what is an offence under the byelaws are:

  • Use of photographic equipment or other imaging equipment without written authority.
  • Fish.

Organisation and Leadership[edit]

The Port Police are headed by one Inspector, who is the Chief Police Officer and also functions as the Port Faculty Security Officer (official in charge of the security of the port as a whole)[8].

Vehicles and Equipment[edit]

The Port Police operate at least one vehicle; a marked Ford 4x4. The vehicle has blue flashing lights and battenburg police markings[9]. It is used to provide escorts to wide vehicles[10] as well as police patrols[11].


The Port Police officers wear normal modern British police uniform consisting of black trousers, black tops, black windproof/outside jacket, yellow high-visibility jackets (lightweight and bomber-type), peaked caps and Custodian helmet helmets (male Constables and Sergeants only)[12]. They also wear black and high-visibility equipment-carrying vests[13]. It also seems that male officers are allowed to have facial hair whilst in uniform. Rank is worn on rank slides or epaulettes on the shoulders of jackets and tops.

Security Officers wear black tops, black trousers, yellow high-visibility jackets and black boots. Identity cards may also be worn[14].

Social Media[edit]

The Port Police have an active Twitter (social media website) account[15] and an active Facebook (social media website) account[16]. They regularly upload news articles, photographs and advice.

See also[edit]