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From forensics to art and antiques: the different branches of the Metropolitan Police

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.

Forensic Services

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.

MPS Branches Mounted Branch

Mounted Branch

These are the police officers you see riding horses around London, often at big sporting events and public demonstrations. It has around 120 horses and 150 officers, along with other support staff. Find out more on the Metropolitan Police Service's 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

Aviation Security

About the Metropolitan Police Service