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Radman

Definitive List of Known Statutes Enabling Appointment of Non-HO Constables.

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Radman
Posted (edited)

I thought this would be a fun thread to get going as every so often we seem to find another old/obscure piece of legislation that has been forgotten about that enables a council or private authority the ability to appoint constables outside of 'general' acts and statutes.

 

It seems useful to post a definitive list of acts that we know of enabling this power that still exist and are active today in law.

 

Here are the ones I know of:

 

*BTP*

 

s.24 of the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003

 

*CNC*

 

s.55 of the Energy Act 2004

 

*MOD/Defence*

 

s. 2 of the Ministry of Defence Police Act 1987

 

s.3 Special Constables Act 1923 (Special Constables Appointed by Defence Council)

 

*Port Police*

 

s. 79 of the Harbours, Docks, and Piers Clauses Act 1847 (Most Port Forces are established under this act.)

 

Mersey Docks and Harbour (Police) Order 1975 (Port of Liverpool Police attested under this act.)

 

s. 51 of the London Gateway Port Harbour Empowerment Order 2008 (Not currently in use - likely the most modern statute that enables appointment of non-HO Constables.)

 

Part X of the Port of London Act 1968 (Was the basis for the former Port of London Police to be sworn in. Also covers the current Port of Tilbury Police. Interestingly, it includes a provision for establishing a Police Federation for the force.)

 

*Local Authorities, Forest, Open Space & Parks Police*

 

Article 18 of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government Provisional Order Confirmation (Greater London Parks and Open Spaces) Act 1967 (Vast Majority of London Borough Park Constabularies are attested under this act - only available to London Councils - Byelaw Enforcement.)

 

s. 77 of the Public Health Amendment Act 1907 (Not currently in use, available to ALL councils - Enables Byelaw Enforcement in Parks & Open Spaces - Confusing piece of legislation, poorly written - Seemingly extended by S. 52 Public Health Act 1961 "shall be enforced throughout the district of every local authority.")

 

s. 90 of the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Act 1871 (Allows the Conservators to have Constables attested for enforcing the Act. Interestingly, they were originally proposed to be Special Constables with full police powers but there was an outcry at the time about the Earl Spencer having his own private police force.)

 

s. 16 of the Corporation of London Open Spaces Act 1878 (Allows the City of London to designate Officers with the powers of a constable in the open space that they are based. However, they would not be sworn Constables.)

 

s. 43 of the Epping Forest Act 1878 (Grants a power to appoint Forest Keepers with the Power of Police Constables.)

 

s. 3 of the Park Regulations 1872 (Before the legislation was amended this is what the Royal Parks Constabulary were sworn in under, now believed to relate only to the Botanical Gardens.)

 

*Cathedral Constables*

 

Common Law Appointment by Magistrate - (Historical Appointment that grants full powers of a constable on church grounds, only known use of Common Law Constable Appointment still used today without a written statutory empowerment.)

 

*University*

 

s. 1 University Act 1825 (Allows Oxford and Cambridge Universities to appoint Constables. Interestingly, it is probably the only piece of legislation that allows someone who isn’t a Magistrate (i.e. Vice Chancellor of university) to swear in a constable.)

 

 

*Tunnels*

 

s. 105 of the County of Merseyside Act (1980) Mersey Tunnel Police originally appointed under local authority legislation however no longer the case.

 

*Environment & Fisheries*

 

Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 (Grants full powers of a constable to Fisheries Bailiffs.)

 

 

Edited by Radman
Edited to include @ParochialYokal additions.
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ParochialYokal

Special Constables Act 1923-

 

This allows a relevant government department to have people sworn in for particular defence premises. The Tower of London Yeoman Warders were sworn in under this legislation until 15-20 years ago.

 

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ParochialYokal

University Act 1825-

Allows Oxford and Cambridge Universities to appoint Constables. Interestingly, it is probably the only piece of legislation that allows someone who isn’t a Magistrate (i.e. Vice Chancellor of university) to swear in a constable!

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ParochialYokal

Port of London Act 1968-

Was the basis for the former Port of London Police to be sworn in. Also covers the current Port of Tilbury Police. Interestingly, it includes a provision for establishing a Police Federation for the force.

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ParochialYokal

The Wimbledon and Putney Commons Act 1871-

Allows the Conservators to have Constables attested for enforcing the Act. Interestingly, they were originally proposed to be Special Constables with full police powers but there was an outcry at the time about the Earl Spencer having his own private police force.

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ParochialYokal

Section 16 of the Corporation of London Open Spaces Act 1878-

Allows the City of London to designate Officers with the powers of a constable in the open space that they are based. However, they would not be sworn Constables.

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ParochialYokal

Epping Forest Act 1878-

 

Allows the Conservators to have staff sworn in as a constable to enforce the Epping Forest Act only.

 

 

 

 

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ParochialYokal

Park Regulations 1872-

Before the legislation was amended, this is what the Royal Parks Constabulary were sworn in under.

I believe that the Act only now covers the Royal Botanical Gardens and is what Kew Constabulary are sworn in under.

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ParochialYokal

There are more bits of legislation that relate to specific Ports but I won’t dig them out just this minute.

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Radman

Cheers for that @ParochialYokal.

Do you reckon there is much more lurking out there somewhere which has yet to be dug up or do you think this is about it?

I often wonder what happened to the Market Police and other council acts of old.

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MindTheGap

Radman, just a thought - I saw your message to the mods/admins - can we collate the data in this thread into a table and then post the table (and obviously this can be updated as the list grows by yourself?) on a separate post? I am happy to then pin/lock the thread to avoid confusion.

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Radman
1 minute ago, MindTheGap said:

Radman, just a thought - I saw your message to the mods/admins - can we collate the data in this thread into a table and then post the table (and obviously this can be updated as the list grows by yourself?) on a separate post? I am happy to then pin/lock the thread to avoid confusion.

Yeah of course, I've got no issue with that at all.

I wanted to collate this info for everyone to read as it's pretty interesting/useful.

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Radman

Reading into this a little further it appears as if many local city acts and statutes may well still be kicking about today that were never fully repealed which may grant a local authority the ability to appoint police constables, some of these appear to have repealed over time but many seem more modern than others (some date from the 1880s others as late as the 1970s.)

 

The Birmingham Market Police as an example were appointed under the Birmingham Corporation (Consolidation) Act 1883​​​​​​​... The thing is there are literally hundreds of acts from different local authority areas with their own individual pieces of legislation and none of these acts that I can see have been uploaded online...

 

There could potentially be all sorts of weird and wonderful things hidden away within these locally stored pieces of statute that we know nothing about, I also can't tell if these acts have been superseded or suspended (as may be the case given their age.)

 

 

 

 

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Beaker
Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Radman said:

Reading into this a little further it appears as if many local city acts and statutes may well still be kicking about today that were never fully repealed which may grant a local authority the ability to appoint police constables, some of these appear to have repealed over time but many seem more modern than others (some date from the 1880s others as late as the 1970s.)

 

I'm told there is at least one Parish Council local to me that still has the power to appoint Parish Constables.  They haven't for over 100 years, but I'm told it's still on the books.  I'll see if I can find out more, the guy who mentioned it to me is a former councillor and local historian. 

Edited by Beaker
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Radman
 
I'm told there is at least one Parish Council local to me that still has the power to appoint Parish Constables.  They haven't for over 100 years, but I'm told it's still on the books.  I'll see if I can find out more, the guy who mentioned it to me is a former councillor and local historian. 
That would be really interesting to know if you can dig it out.

From my understanding Parish Constables were the default appointment in law prior to modernisation and formalisation into the organised 'police' service we know today.

That being said Cathedral Constables are appointed under nothing more than a magistrates oath at "Common Law" with no statutory implement in writing as to their powers or jurisdiction and it has been held that they have full powers of a constable including search and arrest whilst on Church property (although rarely used.) If indeed this is the case (North Yorkshire Police seem to think so along with York Magistrates who just appointed a number of Constables to the Ministry this year) could this theoretically at least not be used to appoint constables in other posts/positions so long as a Magistrate and local force sign off on their appointment?

I don't know... It all seems a little crazy...

Potentially there are statutes out there that allow for local authorities be they city or parish to appoint fully fledged constables which we may know nothing about, hidden away in Town Centre archives.

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