Metropolitan Police Service - Ranks

Ranks

See also: Police ranks of the United Kingdom

The Metropolitan Police Service uses the standard British police ranks, indicated by shoulder boards, up to Chief Superintendent, but uniquely has five ranks above that level instead of the standard three; namely Commander, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner. All senior officers above the rank of Commander are chief police officers of ACPO rank.

The MPS approved the use of name badges in October 2003, with new recruits wearing the Velcro badges from September 2004. The badge consists of the wearer's rank, followed by their surname.

Following controversy over assaults by uniformed officers with concealed shoulder identification numbers during the G20 summit, Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said, "the public has a right to be able to identify any uniformed officer whilst performing their duty" by their shoulder identification numbers.

The MPS uniformed officer rank structure, with shoulder badge features, is as follows:

  • Special Constable (SC or MSC): an SC Crown, Divisional call sign and shoulder number.
  • Police Constable (PC): Divisional call sign and shoulder number. Note that Special Constables and Police Constables are the same rank.
  • Sergeant (Sgt or PS): Three pointing-down chevrons above divisional call sign and shoulder number. An 'acting' sergeant, such as a substantive constable being paid an allowance to undertake the duties of a sergeant for a short period of time, displays two pointing-down chevrons above the divisional call sign, and shoulder number. The use of three chevrons by an acting sergeant is technically incorrect, and should only be used during a period of temporary promotion.
  • Inspector (Insp): Two Order of the Bath stars, informally known as "pips".
  • Chief Inspector (C/Insp): Three pips.
  • Superintendent (Supt): Single crown.
  • Chief Superintendent (C/Supt): Single crown over one pip.
  • Commander (Cdr): Crossed tipstaves in a bayleaf wreath. This is the first ACPO rank.
  • Deputy Assistant Commissioner (DAC): One pip over Commander's badge.
  • Assistant Commissioner (AC): Crown over Commander's badge.
  • Deputy Commissioner (D/Comm): Crown above two side-by-side small pips, above Commander's badge.
  • Commissioner (Comm): Crown above one pip above Commander's badge.
London Metropolitan Police ranks
Police
Constable
Sergeant Inspector Chief
Inspector
Super-
intendent
Chief
Super-
intendent
Commander Deputy
Assistant
Commissioner
Assistant
Commissioner
Deputy
Commissioner
Commissioner
For a comparison of these ranks with other British police forces (in and out of London) see Police ranks of the United Kingdom.


The MPS also has several active Volunteer Police Cadet units, which maintain their own internal rank structure. The Metropolitan Special Constabulary (MSC) is a contingent of part-time volunteer police officers and is attached to most Borough Operational Command Units. The MSC has its own internal rank structure.

The prefix "Woman" in front of female officers' ranks has been obsolete since 1999. Members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) up to and including the rank of Chief Superintendent prefix their ranks with "Detective". Detective ranks are equivalent in rank to their uniform counterparts. Other departments, such as Special Branch and Child Protection, award non-detectives "Branch Detective" status, allowing them to use the "Detective" prefix. None of these detective ranks confer on the holder any extra pay or supervisory authority compared to their uniformed colleagues.

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