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• View topic - Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council, United Kingdom
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EUROPE - LAW ENFORCEMENT BRANCH & RANK INSIGNIA

Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council, United Kingdom

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Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council, United Kingdom

Unread postby jrichardn2 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:57 pm

I was poking around something and it appears that the head of the National Police Chiefs' Council in the U.K. is styled a Chief Constable and wears the appropriate uniform, even tho' she's not a chief of any police force. I found that interesting. I infer from this that in the U.K. a "chief constable" is almost a kind of rank that obtains even outside current police service.

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Re: Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council, United Kin

Unread postby jrichardn2 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:59 pm

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Re: Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council, United Kin

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:59 pm

If you had got as far as the online bio of the chair of the NPCC then a little more internet digging would have revealed the following...

In 2015 the NPCC replaced the previous Association of Chef Police Officers (ACPO) following a modernisation review. The President of ACPO had specific dispensation in the Police Reform Act 2002, which stated that:

If a person who holds the office of constable becomes the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers. . . , he shall, while he is the president of that Association—
(a)continue to hold the office of constable; and
(b)hold that office with the rank of chief constable.


On the same page as the bio is the following statement regarding the chair of the NPCC:

The NPCC membership elects a full-time Chair, who holds the office of Constable and the rank of Chief Constable under the Police Reform Act 2002.


Every police force is represented in the work of the NPCC through attendance at Chief Constables’ Council, which is the primary decision-making forum for the NPCC. Under the legal agreements under Section 22A of the Police Act 1996, made between all the UK local territorial police services and also the national specialist UK police services (British Transport Police, Civil Nuclear Constabulary, Ministry of Defence Police), as well as other police forces (such as the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey) the NPCC is regarded as a collaborative "National Unit" but is hosted by the Metropolitan Police Service in London.

Under the agreement, the person of chief officer rank elected and appointed to the role of the Chair of the NPCC is also to be appointed as an Assistant Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis. The rank of Assistant Commissioner in the Metropolitan Police is regarded as being equivalent to that of a Chief Constable heading a local territorial police service, and wears the same insignia: crown above crossed tipstaves within a wreath (and, likewise, wears two rows of oak leaves on the peak of the cap and gorget patches with bullion oak leaves on the formal uniform tunic).

The chair of the NPCC is therefore, technically, appointed to be a serving senior officer (of Chief Officer rank) in the Metropolitan Police but, under the agreements, the role is, however, operationally independent of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and their chain of command. On this basis, they appear to have opted to continue to use the more generic UK-wide title of Chief Constable rather than the London-specific title of Assistant Commissioner.

The NPCC also co-ordinates a number of national operations relating to significant threats, such as working with the National Crime Agency, command of counter-terrorism operations, co-ordination of the national police response to national emergencies and the mobilisation of resources across force borders and internationally.

I hope that clarifies things a bit...!

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Re: Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council, United Kin

Unread postby jrichardn2 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:45 pm

Wow. Thanks for that.
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Re: Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council, United Kin

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:55 am

It intrigued me too as I recall the fuss in the press a few years ago when Sir Hugh Orde became the president of ACPO, prior to it being replaced by the NPCC. Some elements of the UK press accused him of wearing a "fake" uniform when he appeared on TV doing interviews in his ACPO role.

Up to that point, the convention had been that the ACPO president (who would have been a Chief Constable prior to taking up the full-time national role with ACPO) continued to wear the uniform of their previous service, and I don't think anyone really noticed or cared.

Sir Hugh, however, had previously been Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, whose uniform was dark green rather than the usual UK dark blue (and the rank insignia are also slightly different). The controversy arose because he chose to wear a more standard UK-style dark navy blue uniform in his ACPO role, not the uniform of his previous position. In fairness, I totally understand that this would be more readily recognised by the majority of the UK population but one of the suggested criticisms was that he had deliberately opted to wear the specific uniform pattern of the Metropolitan Police in London, with the implication that he was positioning himself for an application to be Comissioner of the Met when his tenure with ACPO was concluded. This might have been a bit unfair but he took a lot of criticism at the time.

Typical of the press, I don't recall it ever being explained in any of the articles or interviews that there was actually a strict specification *in law* that the President of ACPO would continue to hold the legal office of Constable and the police rank of Chief Constable for the duration of their tenure. They either didn't care (because the facts would undermine their story) or didn't understand themselves and were too lazy to find out.

I don't know for sure, but I wonder if a similar arrangement for technical employment via the Met Police (as per the current arrangements for the Chair of NPCC) also existed at the time — which would then make the London uniform a reasonable alternative choice if he wasn't going to wear his old PSNI uniform.
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Re: Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council, United Kin

Unread postby jrichardn2 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:00 pm

I didn't dig as deeply as you; and I inferred only that I was missing something (which I was).

I think I hadn't realized how official the NPCC or the ACPO was. The Canadian bodies are just like the American one (IACP): the president is a serving chief of a force. The CACP's About Us page makes a big point that it's just a non-profit association under a general statute.
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Re: Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council, United Kin

Unread postby marcpasquin » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:53 pm

jrichardn2 wrote:I think I hadn't realized how official the NPCC or the ACPO was. The Canadian bodies are just like the American one (IACP): the president is a serving chief of a force. The CACP's About Us page makes a big point that it's just a non-profit association under a general statute.


I wonder what other countries have a similar system of independent local police forces but with a formal national structure other then their ministry responsible for policing.
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Re: Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council, United Kin

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:39 pm

Indeed. In many ways, it seems the the NPCC is rather more formal in its inception than ACPO had been, with a number of specific co-ordination roles at a national level -- I wasn't aware of that either.
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