York Minster Police

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York Minster Police is a small, specialised cathedral constabulary responsible for policing York Minster in York, United Kingdom.


The Liberty of St Peter and Peter Prison was formed in 1106,[1] and appointed its own officers (including constables) quite separately from the rest of the city of York.[2] Following the Minster fire in 1829, the Chapter of the cathedral ordered that "'Henceforward a watchman/constable shall be employed to keep watch every night in and about the cathedral", and bemoaned the lack of one previously.[2]

The Liberty was abolished in 1839, as a result of which any constables appointed for the Liberty would have been transferred to the new municipal borough of the city of York, and as the liberty ceased to exist it could no longer appoint constables. It is then that the first record is available of the employment of Thomas Marshall as a watchman, which lasted until 1854 at the salary of forty-one pounds and twelve shillings per year. The title of "Minster Police" was first recorded in 1855, when William Gladin replaced Marshall.[2]

Present day[edit]

There are now ten officers of the Minster Police, though they are no longer attested as constables and instead utilise 'any person' powers of citizen's arrest under section 24A of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. They do not carry batons or handcuffs. Their modern-day role is to act as custodians of over 380 sets of keys, to provide information and directions to tourists, security for cash takings and fire protection.[3] The more traditional policing functions for the Minster are conducted by the local territorial police force, North Yorkshire Police.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Not just an ordinary copper". The Church Times. 22 September 2006. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Minster Police". York Minster. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  3. ^ Clark, Matt (19 April 2010). "Behind the scenes with York Minster's police". The Press. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 

External links[edit]