Police ranks of the United Kingdom

Police Ranks Of The United Kingdom

Police ranks of the United Kingdom

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Most of the police forces of the United Kingdom use a standardised set of ranks, with a slight variation in the most senior ranks for Greater London's Metropolitan Police Service and the City of London Police. Most of the British police ranks that exist today were chosen by Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel, the founder of the Metropolitan Police, enacted under the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829. The ranks at that time were deliberately chosen so that they did not correspond with military ranking (with the exception of Sergeant), due to fears of a paramilitary force.

Rank insignia

Badges of rank are usually worn on the epaulettes. However, when in formal uniform Sergeants wear their rank insignia on their upper sleeves. When police tunics had closed collars (not open collars as worn with ties), Constable and Sergeant did not wear epaulettes but had their divisional call number on their collar (hence the fact that they are still often referred to as collar numbers). Sergeants wore their stripes on their upper sleeve. Inspector and more senior ranks wore epaulettes at a much earlier stage, although they once wore their rank insignia on their collars. Most forces no longer use divisional call numbers, and retain only the collar number and rank insignia.

The above ranks are used by all territorial forces in...
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