Get Involved with the Metropolitan Police Service
Rank is not the only way to determine the different roles within the Metropolitan Police Service. We also have many departments, or branches, that specialise in different areas of policing.
If you've looked around this site you've probably come across some of these departments already. You will have seen that Safer Schools Officers and Safer Neighbourhood teams have different roles to play than say, our Specialist Firearms Officers.
Below you can see a sample of some of the roles.
Part of the Air Support Unit
that operates one of the Met’s three Eurocopter EC145 helicopters and provides 24 hour aerial assistance for vehicle pursuits, suspect searches and public order incidents.
A vital member of the Met’s Catering Services, which provides over 5,000,000 meals a year and mobile facilities to cater for critical incidents and other policing events such as Notting Hill Carnival.
These are specially trained officers who deal with situations involving hazardous materials and who ensure the safety of the public.
Officers regularly use bicycles to carry out duties from patrolling neighbourhoods to traffic enforcement. Trained cycle officers also give cycle safety demonstrations to help reduce road casualties.
Our detectives are famed around the world for their experience and professionalism. They work on a range of criminal investigations from burglaries and car thefts, to sexual assaults, murder and terrorism.
A search that may be impractical for humans alone may be ideal for a dog support unit
. Dogs are trained to find items like drugs, explosives and human remains.
Police Community Support Officer
PCSOs provide a visible policing presence throughout London. By gathering intelligence and carrying out reassurance patrols they deter crime and anti-social behaviour. Whilst they do not have powers of arrest, they are pivotal to our link with communities.
The London ‘Bobby’ lies at the core of our capacity and highly skilled officers are on the streets and in our communities 24/7 providing reassurance, investigating crime and responding to public calls for assistance.
officers’ duties include high visibility patrols and the policing of events such as football matches and demonstrations. The high vantage point and versatility of mounted officers makes them valued police resource.
Available around the clock for forensic examination of crime scenes, from theft to murder. Their work for Forensic Services
includes finger print and DNA recovery and analysis.
Line Access Officer
These highly trained officers search restricted spaces to help locate vital evidence and search for missing vulnerable people. They also carry out searches in hard to reach places to protect VIPs and the general public at major London events.
These officers are able to reach critical locations in traffic or where there are unexpected obstacles. They help to reduce the number of traffic related deaths, injuries and crimes on London’s roads. Some officers also perform special escort and diplomatic protection roles.
Custody Nurse Practitioner
These nurses are responsible for the health and wellbeing of people in police custody, victims of crime as well as police colleagues.
Police sergeants lead and manage teams of police constables, special constables and community support officers. They ensure these teams are used effectively, where they are most needed.
Our team of experienced police staff carry out more than 200 different roles in support of front line officers, dealing with 999 calls and preparing cases for court through to maintaining police buildings and vehicles. Without them we could not deliver an effective police service.
Volunteers, from all kinds of backgrounds, lend their skills and free time to help make London safer by working in their local borough, in areas such as Safer Neighbourhoods or assisting at the front counter.
Specialist Firearms Officer
These highly trained officers’ duties include armed stops and hostage rescues. The armed support provided by the Specialist Firearms Command
allows the majority of London policing to be performed unarmed.
Territorial Support Group Officer
These officers police any planned or spontaneous public events where disorder may break out. They also respond to critical incidents and support boroughs through activity such as preplanned police operations.
With London one of the world’s busiest cities these traffic officers
are trained in preventing and investigating accidents, maintaining traffic flow, enforcing traffic legislation and promoting road safety.
Underwater Search Officer
Our trained diving team supports investigations involving crime, reports missing persons or lost property of high value. They are a vital resource when it comes to policing London’s waterways.
Volunteer Police Cadet
The cadets offer young people aged 14 and over fantastic opportunities to take part in interesting, and challenging activities, to develop skills and to make a real difference to their community. Cadets come from all over London.
These ordinary Londoners make a difference to our city and give their time to work alongside police officers as special constables. They have the same uniform, powers and responsibilities as regular officers.
Forensic Services is made up of a number of departments providing services required for modern policing. Its sub-units include:
- Forensic Services Command Unit for Territorial Policing
This team is responsible for forensic examination of all crime scenes
- Forensic Investigation Specialist Crime & Operations
Conducts forensic investigations of crimes such as murder and armed robbery
- Specialist Evidence Recovery Imaging Services (SERIS)
A central office which manages photographic requests including sending out photos to help as evidence in investigations and court cases.
- Fingerprint Bureau
This is the team that searches and compares finger and hand prints from crime scenes with our database of criminal records and unidentified marks collected from other crimes.
More can be found on our main Metropolitan Police site.
Art and Antiques Unit
The London Stolen Arts Database has details and images of some 54,000 items of stolen property. The Art and Antiques Unit, working as part of the Metropolitan Police Service's Fraud Squad, gathers intelligence on art crime and conducts operations using its specialist knowledge about art faking and forgery to theft and money laundering. Find out more on the Metropolitan Police Service's website.
There are many other branches and lots more information available about them all. Below we've listed out the various branches you might find interesting. Each of them link through to a detailed description of the role on our main Metropolitan Police Service's website:
You can also watch videos about our driving school and aviation security units:
The Metropolitan Police Service's Driving School
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