Metropolitan Police Service

Date Established:
Metropolitan Police Service

The Metropolitan Police Service is responsible for policing all of Greater London except for the City of London, which has its own police force. The force is commonly referred to as the Metropolitan Police or, more informally, the Met.

The Commissioner of Police of the metropolis, usually referred to as the Commissioner, heads the Met. Its headquarters is New Scotland Yard on Broadway near St James's Park in Westminster.

The Home Secretary directly controlled the Met until 2000, when responsibility was given to the newly created Greater London Authority by way of the Metropolitan Police Authority (M.P.A.). However, the Home Secretary continues to appoint the Commissioner.

Sir Robert Peel founded the Met in 1829. An original establishment of 1,000 officers policed the area within a seven-mile radius of Charing Cross and a population of less than two million. Officers were nicknamed 'Peelers' or 'Bobbies' after their founder.

By the end of the 19th century, both London and the Met had greatly increased: 16,000 officers policed a population of some seven million people.

At the outbreak of the First World War, 24,000 Special Constables were sworn in to the Met; 31,000 were in service by the end of 1914. In 1917, some 2,300 Met officers were serving in the armed forces.

The Women Police Volunteer Service, later the Women Police Service, was founded in 1914. Women Police Patrols were appointed in 1919, although Women Constables were reduced to an establishment of only 20 in 1922. Women police were not fully integrated into the force until 1973.

Alternate Names

  • The Met

Bookmark with:

  • What are these?