Merseyside Police

Merseyside Police
Merseyside Police
Abbreviation Merpol
Merseyside Police logo.svg
Logo of the Merseyside Police.
Agency overview
Formed 1974
Preceding agency Liverpool and Bootle Constabulary
Employees 7,087[1]
Volunteers 456[1]
Annual budget £307.3 million[1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Police area of Merseyside in the country of England, UK
England Police Forces (Merseyside).svg
Map of Merseyside Police's jurisdiction.
Size 250 square miles (650 km2)
Population 1,360,000
Legal jurisdiction England & Wales
Governing body Merseyside Police Authority
Constituting instrument Police Act 1996
General nature
Operational structure
Constables 4,933 (of which 456 are special constables)[1]
Police Community Support Officers 407[1]
Agency executive Jon Murphy QPM, Chief Constable
Basic Command Units 6
Airbases 1
Lockups 8
Boats 1
* Police area agency: Prescribed geographic area in the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

Merseyside Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing Merseyside in North West England. The force area is 647 square kilometres with a population of around 1.5 million. As of March 2009 the force has 4,494 police officers, 2,221 staff, 442 police community support officers and 420 special constables.[2]

Merseyside Police is divided into six Basic Command Units (BCUs), one in each of the metropolitan boroughs that make up Merseyside, and two BCUs for the City of Liverpool. The BCUs are:

The force operates under the oversight of the Merseyside Police Authority, which is made up of nine local councillors, three magistrates and five independent members.

Under proposals made by the Home Secretary on 6 February 2006, it would merge with Cheshire Constabulary to form a strategic police force.[3] The proposals were later abandoned.



The force came into being in 1974 when Merseyside was created, and is a successor to the Liverpool and Bootle Constabulary (itself formed in 1967), along with parts of Cheshire Constabulary and Lancashire Constabulary.

Chief constables


Merseyside Police Volvo.jpg

Merseyside Police has a wide fleet of vehicles. Scientific Support vehicles were usually Peugeot Expert vans equipped with a high intensity roof mounted light which allows forensic examinations to be completed in all lighting conditions. In 2007 and 2010 some of these were replaced by Ford Transit Connects meaning the Peugeot Experts are rare nowadays. Roads policing unit (RPU) vehicles are generally Vauxhall Vectras, Volvo V70 T5s, Volvo V70 S D5s, Land Rover Range Rovers, Ford Mondeo Estates, BMW 530ds, BMW 330ds and BMW X5s, the majority of which are mainly equipped with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR). Armed Response Vehicles (ARV) also use a wide range of vehicles, including Vauxhall Omega Estates, Vauxhall Vectra Estates, Volvo V50 Estates, Volvo V70 Estates, BMW X5s and Mercedes Vitos which are all equipped with ANPR.

The response/patrol cars for Merseyside Police are Vauxhall Astras and Ford Focuses. Many of these are also equipped with ANPR. Since 2009, the Ford Focus has rapidly overtaken the Astra in terms of numbers meaning the Astras are more rare nowadays and are being phased out.

The force also has yellow/orange liveried vans. These are mobile CCTV and patrolling vehicles and the Peugeot Expert van was generally the vehicle used, up until late 2008 where they started to be replaced by Ford Transit Connect vans. In addition, yellow Mercedes Sprinter vans are the main protected vehicles. These are used by a wide number of departments, including Matrix and the Anti-Social Behaviour task force. The Mercedes Sprinter can utilise an onboard ANPR system, a grille that drops down onto the front windscreen to help protect the officers from thrown missiles at public order incidents, fire suppression equipment within the engine bay, perspex windows, a loudspeaker facility and finally a mounted spotlight on top of the lightbar to light up scenes at night.

Off road vehicles used by the force include Land Rover Defenders, scrambler motorbikes and quad bikes to target anti-social behaviour in parks. Unmarked police vehicles include BMW 3 series; Ford Galaxy; Vauxhall Omega.


There are many different Departments that make up Merseyside Police. These include The Matrix disruption team and the Anti-Social Behaviour task force.

Matrix Disruption team

The Matrix Disruption Team led by a Chief Inspector, consists of syndicates made up of Inspectors, Sergeants and Constables. Each syndicate works with other Matrix units to provide the Force with a level two response to gun crime, faction based criminality and cash-in-transit robberies. They are the first response to any major large-scale disorder within the Merseyside force area. These officers are specifically trained to deal with a variety of disorder situations, ranging from small protests to large-scale crowd disorder.

Public Order is one of the main functions of the department and therefore all officers receive the required training and are subjected to rigorous training scenarios. Matrix has a number of Baton Gun trained specialist officers, consisting of two Sergeants and ten Constables.

The Matrix team also have specialist search teams and rope access teams. They use yellow Mercedes Sprinter police vans with special markings on the side to show they are Matrix. The team also uses a marked Vectra Estate but this does not have any Matrix markings on, just the usual Merseyside livery.

Anti-Social Behaviour Taskforce

The Anti-Social Behaviour Taskforce deals with people who are alleged to be creating anti-social behaviour. They also make raids for drugs and known offenders who are alleged to be lowering the standard of life for the community. They use yellow Mercedes Sprinter police vans(QV01, 02 & 03)with special markings on the side to show they are used by the ASB Taskforce. They have different numbers on, which include QV0 + another digit (Units range from QV01 - QV05 with QV90 as the mobile police station). There is also an ASB Taskforce Peugot Expert van (QV05) and a 2009 Ford Focus Estate (QV04).

The unit was initially known as Axis, but the use of this name was dropped around the end of 2007.

It was publicly announced on 9 July 2010 that as a result of budget reductions, this department would be closed[6] and they did eventually disband in early 2011.

Mounted Section

Merseyside Police Mounted Section has a long history. It is the oldest Provincial Mounted section, formed in 1886 as part of Liverpool City Police. It is an integral part of the Operational Support Unit, and is based at Greenhill Road, Allerton, Liverpool.

The mounted section is an operational specialist section with a staff of 1 Inspector, 2 Sergeants, 24 Constables, 11 Civilian Stable Hands and 26 Horses.

The section provides neighbourhoods with an alternative response to reduce the incidents of crime & disorder, using an intelligence-led approach, a tactical option in relation to public order & major incidents, as well as high visibility patrolling at football matches, rugby matches, race meetings and other special events.

Dog Section

Each area within the force has its own allocation of dogs and handlers who work alongside the neighbourhood patrol section.

There are currently 45 General purpose dogs in the force area, 16 of these have extended training for deployment alongside colleagues from the firearms department.

Merseyside Police, like most forces, rely on the German Shepherd Dog for their general purpose police dog work. All general purpose work involves the dogs' outstanding sense of smell, several hundred times superior to that of a human. The dog handler takes advantage of the dogs' natural abilities to search for and detect human scent.

The force also utilises both Springer Spaniels and Labradors for their specialist detection roles; drugs, firearms, explosives and cadaver. These are the preferred breeds as they have extremely high energy levels and are able to search for long periods. The force currently operates 29 specialist dogs to carry out these detection roles.

The department uses vehicles including Ford Focus Estate, Vauxhall Astra Estate, Ford Transit and a Ford Mondeo Estate.

Air Support Group

Merseyside Police Air Support Group was set up in late 1989 in response to an increase in the number of high speed vehicle pursuits that were occurring after burglaries had been committed outside of the force area. The unit was disbanded in July 2011 amid budget cuts with the loss of its helicopter and Woodvale base.

The early days saw the unit based at Liverpool Airport, but due to rising costs, the unit moved to RAF Woodvale and purpose built accommodation.

Merseyside now shares Air Support with Cheshire, Greater Manchester, North Wales and Lancashire as the North West Regional Air Support Group.


The Air Support Group operated a Eurocopter EC 135 helicopter,[7] which was based at RAF Woodvale near Formby. It was new in 2002 replacing a Eurocopter Ecureuil 2.[8] Like its predecessor it is known as Mike One, after the middle two characters of its call sign, XM11. It was also allocated a "matching" aircraft registration, G-XMII.[9]

Officers killed in the line of duty

The Police Memorial Trust lists and commemorates all British police officers killed in the line of duty, and since its establishment in 1984 has erected over 38 memorials to some of those officers.

The following officers of Merseyside Police are listed by the Trust as having died attempting to prevent, stop or solve a crime, since the turn of the 20th century:[10]

  • PC Samuel Ballance, 1911 (died after operations to treat injuries sustained in earlier riot)
  • Sgt George Anderson, 1913 (died from injuries sustained when attacked by hostile crowd)
  • PC Thomas Ashcroft Grundy, 1914 (collapsed and died after an arrest)
  • PC PC Adam Mather, 1915 (collapsed and died after the violent arrest of two suspects)
  • PC Richard Haig Little, 1933 (committed suicide after suffering head injuries in an assault)
  • PC Benjamin Drinkwater, 1935 (while searching for suspects, died when a roof collapsed)
  • War Reserve PC Joseph Pickering, 1942 (fatally injured during an arrest)
  • PC Ronald Brown, 1962 (fell through roof while searching for suspected burglar)
  • PC Raymond Davenport, 1981 (fatally injured when dragged by a stolen car while attempting to arrest the driver; posthumously awarded the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct)

See also


External links

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