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Metropolitan Police Guide




1 | Rank Structure

2 | Code of Ethics 

3 | Divisions

4 | Training

5 | Fundamental Police Powers

6 | Regulatory Body

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1 | Rank Structure


The Metropolitan Police Service follows a comprehensive rank structure and all new recruits start as ‘Probationary Officers’. Probationary Officers must attend compulsory training in order to progress into the role of ‘Constable’, whereby they receive access to new vehicles and can specialise into any of the specialist police divisions.


All members of the Police Service agree to the hierarchy of the rank structure, and orders from higher ranks must be followed. Upon obtaining the rank of Probationary Officer, a callsign will be allocated. This will be formatted as [PO-25], for instance. Callsigns will change depending on the officer’s rank. 

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2 | Code of Ethics


The Police Service and it’s Police Officers and Staff serve the public and are held to the highest standards of accountability and scrutiny. The College of Policing has set out a set of ethics that the Police must represent in the service of their communities. 


The Code of Ethics is a supportive, positive, everyday decision-making framework and is a constant reinforcement of the values and standards that policing is proud of. It is intended to encourage personal responsibility and the exercise of professional judgement; empowering everyone in policing to ensure they always do the right thing.


The College of Policing says that having a Code of Ethics is not enough to reduce unprofessional behaviour – it needs to be talked about as an everyday business consideration. If the public don't have the confidence to trust the police to be fair, acting ethically and in their best interests, they are less likely to assist the police in upholding the law.


3 | Divisions

Frontline Policing

Frontline Policing is our core - They’re the men and women responding to emergencies across London. Using an array of vehicles, they respond to anything from Shopliftings to Stabbings. Frontline Policing is the largest of all the divisions and can be the most varied. No two shifts will ever be the same.

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Roads and Transport Policing Command (MO8)

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The Roads and Transport Policing Command’s role is to deter and stop crime on some of the busiest roads in the UK. Using Specialist vehicles and equipment, Traffic Officers will deal with a variety of Traffic Offences, and use their Specialist training to react to the dangers of the road network.

Specialist Firearms Command (MO19)

Firearms Command tackle some of the most serious offences across London, dealing with the most serious violence. To perform this role to the highest standards, they rely on their specialist training, and utilise some of the most advanced equipment available in Policing.

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4 | Training


Training with the Metropolitan Police will be a combination of organised training sessions and on the job learning. You will have the opportunity to shadow senior officers on shift and ask questions to further your own training.


When you first join the force you will be assigned the rank of Probationary Officer and upon successful completion of training sessions and sign off by your trainer, you will soon after be promoted to Police Constable.


Police Constables will then have the opportunity to participate in an advanced training session which introduces you to the basics of command positions, how to organise and conduct regular organised patrols and how to deal with police disciplinary matters. Upon completion of this and a period of supervision thereafter, Police Constables can be promoted to the rank of Sergeant and from there as their skills progress can continue to move up the ranks of the Metropolitan Police  Force.

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5 | Fundamental Police Powers


Once sworn in, Police Officers are designated powers for use in policing and protecting the communities they serve. Your powers and their uses will be explained during your initial training but there are a few fundamental powers that you may find beneficial to know prior to starting with us.

Section 24 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE):


  • Arrest - To arrest a suspect they must have been placed under caution and have had both the grounds and necessity of the arrest clearly explained to them. An arrest should not be carried out unless you have reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence has been committed, is about to be committed or is currently being committed.


  • Caution - A person must be told the caution once they are arrested. The caution advises people of their rights while under arrest. The caution does not have to be recited verbatim, as long as the meaning of the caution is not lost. Best practice of course is to remember the caution exactly.


  • “You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned, something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say, can be given in evidence”.


  • Remember, just because you can arrest, this does not mean you have to arrest. Consider alternate methods of dealing with a situation, such as inviting the person to a voluntary interview at a police station on a later occasion, or by reporting them for summons. 


  • Necessity for arrest: To arrest someone means that you are depriving them of Article 5 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR): Right to Liberty. In order to arrest someone, it must be absolutely necessary to do so, and if it is, this must be explained to the person. To help remember the necessities of arrest, remember ANDICHILD.

  • A - Ascertain the persons’ address

  • N - Ascertain the persons’ name

  • D - Prevent disappearance

  • I - Allow a prompt and effective investigation

  • C - Protect a Child or Vulnerable person

  • H - Prevent obstruction to the highway

  • I - Prevent Injury to self or others

  • L - Prevent Loss or Damage to property

  • D - Prevent offences outraging public decency 


Section 1 PACE 1984:


  • Stop and Search - An officer can stop and search anyone that they have reasonable grounds to suspect that they have any stolen or prohibited articles on them (or in/on their vehicle). You must use the GOWISELY method, in order to ensure your search is lawful you can detain a suspect for a search.

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Section 32 PACE 1984:

  • Search after arrest: Once a person has been arrested, they can be searched under this power for DIE:

  • D - Implements that cause Danger to themselves or others

  • I - Implements to assist escape

  • E - Evidence of any offences 

  • GO-WISLEY does not have to be followed for S32 searches

6 | Regulatory Body

The Metropolitan Police force is regulated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). The IOPC regulatory body deals with all things relating to police misconduct and disciplinary matters.

​Any officers that are found to be breaching the police Code of Ethics will be subjected to review by the IOPC and disciplinary measures may be taken. The IOPC is in place to ensure that the police forces of England and Wales are held accountable to the highest standards of conduct and scrutiny. 

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