Talk:HM Customs and Excise

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What links here[edit]

Clicking on 'what links here' gives a large number of sites which should probably now point to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. I'd love to change them all but don't really have the experience MikesPlant 13:26, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Waterguard officers[edit]

As a retired Customs Waterguard Officer I take exception to the claim that Waterguard Officers did not have the right to enter premises or to arrest offenders. [John G. Avery] 20 July 2006

That was added by Johndarrington (talk · contribs) - perhaps you might like to speak ask him on his talk page? I am afraid that I don't know one way or the other (although it always seemed a bit odd that there would be two classes of Customs officer, one with powers of entry and one without). -- ALoan (Talk) 10:11, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Well it's a bit like the difference between commissioned and non-comissioned officers of the Royal Navy. In fact, technically, waterguard are not officers of her Majesty's customs, although they never liked that fact to be known. Any law enforcement officer needs a Search warrant to enter premises, but if it's inconvenient to get one, they often rely on intimidation to obtain permission from the occupant. Of course, they can always make a citizen's arrest. Johndarrington 13:00, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

The gentleman above was of course talking from a position of not too much knowledge and clearly had an axe to grind with Customs (as was) re his comment on the use of intimidation to get permission. At the time he wrote, the Waterguard had not existed for many years despite his use of the present tense. Without getting to much into the technicalities if they were not officers of HMCE (as was) then what were they? In terms of his comment that any LE officer needs a warrant to enter premises that is rather Daily Mail reader type knowledge - HMCE officers in the past could conduct searches the Writ of General Assistance which was standing power of search issued by the monarch (no longer used). More pertinently of course HMCE officers (as was) and police officers could search premises under S.18 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 after making an arrest and that power still remains (despite the moans of the Daily Mail etc I am sure). There are also certain other powers that enable entry and search without warrant. Whilst I don't know for certain I also doubt very much that the only power of arrest that Waterguard officers had was a citizens arrest power - that was certainly of course not correct in terms of HMCE officers in designated roles from 1979. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:57, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

Unarmed, Fleet list[edit]

Re unarmed: I've seen a British Customs cutter with a gun on the front (Seeker out of either Portsmouth or Cowes).Lexiconius 05:11, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Ditto. I have seen a customs cutter with a gun on the front - and the words "Customs" painted down each side, just to avoid confusion! Also, this site currently lacks (as far as I can see) any sort of fleet list of customs cutters - can anyone help? Timothy Titus Talk To TT 16:16, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

There is an interesting article about the fleet here (though not a complete list of vessels): with some sources listed here: --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 12:45, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

See also HM Customs Cutter Valiant, named a year before the service merged with the Revenue. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 12:57, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Regarding weapons on HMCC Seeker: in absence of obvious reliable sources, make your own judgement of these recent pictures [1][2] , which seem to differ from this press photo dating from when HM Customs and Excise existed. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 13:15, 9 September 2008 (UTC)


I have a commendation from a "Collector" to an "Assistant Officer (CP)" dated 1981, yet neither rank is mentioned in this article. Any idea what the (CP) refers to? Boothferry (talk) 00:07, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

 The (CP) stands for Coast Preventive. An Assistant Officer who patrolled a part of the coastline looking for unusual or suspicious activity liasing with local coastal communities, yachtsmen and others who knowing  the area were able to recognise any activities which were outside the normal for that part of the coast.

Previousl known as CPM (Coast Preventive Men) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:10, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

Rank Badges[edit]

Quote: "The pictures [in Wikipedia] are wrong, in my opinion. APO was one, PO two, CPO three. After reorg, Detection senior Officers are two & half and cutter commanders now have three. Nobody here ( Dover ) has ever heard of or seen four."

Source: (talk) 02:59, 8 August 2012 (UTC)