Police UK: The British legal system grants certain established powers to police forces.
Independent police forces with police officers operate throughout England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.
UK law provides authority for police forces and officers to execute their policing policies.
Each regional constabulary has the primary duty of protecting human life and property.
The UK police force should preserve peace. Police should prevent and detect criminal offences in the course of their daily duties.
Each regional service gets further help from UK-wide specialist law enforcement agencies. They include the National Crime Agency and Specialist Operations directorate of the Metropolitan Police.
Contact The Police Service
Call 999 if you are reporting a crime in progress or if someone is in immediate danger. The single European emergency number is 112.
Call 101 the police non-emergency number to report crimes that are not an emergency. You can also call 101 to give information to the police or to make an enquiry. Call 999 or report possible terrorist activity online.
Note: You can make a silent 999 call even if you are unable to speak. The operator will ask you to cough or dial ’55’ as part of the emergency ‘Silent Solutions’ system used by police forces in the United Kingdom.
Police and Law Enforcement
A to Z Police Questions and Answers
Do you need quick and simple answers to some popular police questions? The ‘Police FAQ‘ section lists the most common questions on police law enforcement in the United Kingdom.
Antisocial Behaviour Punishment
Find out why you can get given antisocial behaviour punishment and how long the penalty lasts. The page also explains what happens to offenders who break the restrictions.
Being Arrested: Your Rights
Arrests and Detentions
If you have been arrested what are your rights and what happens? UK police must follow strict rules if you are being arrested or getting questioned.
Being Charged With a Crime
What happens after being charged with a crime? The page explains the police procedure if you get charged with a crime in the United Kingdom.
Dealing with Police Officers
Check the top 10 recommendations for handling police encounters and incidents of crime. The guide will help all citizens understand and assert their legal protection in the United Kingdom.
Filming Police While On Duty
Find out your rights for filming a police officer on duty during a stop and search procedure. The guide also highlights the benefits of recording film footage to use as potential evidence.
Police Pull Over Procedure
The law states you must pull over your vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so. But what happens during the police pull over procedure in the United Kingdom?
Stop and Search Powers
UK police officers have the legal authority to stop and question you at any time. Find out your rights on the police powers of search and questioning.
Stopped by Police while Driving
What should you do if you have been stopped by police while driving? Find out your rights for the police breath test and other motoring offences.
Biometric Data Records
Copy of Police Records
There may be a time when you need to get a copy of your police records. Find out how to ask the police for a copy of the information they hold about you.
Fingerprints and DNA
The police store fingerprints and DNA profile after an arrest, a crime, or a conviction. You can determine whether your biometric data records got recorded on the police officer database UK.
Breach of the Peace
Common Law Crimes
Breach of the peace is a crime at common law constituted by one or more persons. Causing a breach of the peace means you are acting in a riotous or disorderly manner. Such conduct is often severe enough to cause alarm to ordinary people and threaten serious disturbance to the community and property.
Is it illegal to use a megaphone in public and can you have a megaphone in your car? This guide aims to clarify the megaphone laws in the United Kingdom.
Police and Crime Commissioners
PCC Role in the Community
You can contact your local PCC to make a complaint (or suggestion) on how your region gets policed or the police budget. Police and crime commissioners get elected to ensure local police meet the needs of the community.
How to Become a PCC
The next PCC elections take place in May 2024. You can register as a candidate as we get closer to the election date.
Make a Complaint about Your PCC
You can complain to your local police force if you think the PCC has broken the law. A panel refers your case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. You can also contact the IPCC directly.
Note: As part of the Beating Crime Plan, the Home Office has started publishing ‘league tables’ for the answering times for 999 calls.
Police Community Support Officers
PCSO Role in the Community
Police Community Support Officers have specific roles and powers. They must wear a uniform clearly marked ‘PCSO’. They work with regular police officers and share some of their powers. But, the power of PCSOs can differ between police forces.
Even though Special Constables have the same powers as police officers, they are volunteers.
Note: A PCSO can give someone a fixed-penalty notice for littering, demand the name and address of someone being anti-social, or take alcohol off a person who is under 18 years old.
Underage Drinking (under 18)
As a parent, stopping your child getting alcohol and then drinking it can be a real challenge. Even so, the combination of alcohol and young people is against the law.