he Port of Liverpool Police came into being on 19th June 1975, following its creation by The Mersey Docks and Harbour Police Order.

 

Although it is one of the newer forces in the United Kingdom, its origins can be traced back nearly 200 years.

 

The force has jurisdiction over an area of some 70 square miles on both sides of the Mersey. In practice its activities are confined to the Liverpool, Bootle and Birkenhead Dock Estates and one mile outside those limits.

 

Policing of the docks has been carried out since the early nineteenth century when the watchmen policed the city. The watchmen were ordinary laymen of the city who were charged with ensuring that the peace was kept.

 

In 1811, the Liverpool Dock Police was formed and officers of this force policed the docks until 1837, when it was absorbed into the Liverpool Borough Police Force, with officers continuing to police the dock area.

 

In 1852, 40 Dock Police officers were transferred to the Liverpool Fire Brigade, the cost of this being borne by The Mersey Docks and Harbour Board. This continued until 1858, when stations were opened at various docks such as Princes, Brunswick, Collingwood and Salthouse and these were then manned by Police Auxiliary Firemen, subsequently absorbed into the Borough Police. A similar situation existed on the Cheshire Bank of the River Mersey.

 

Land operations continued in the hands of Liverpool Borough Police (operating in Liverpool Bootle and Seaforth) and Birkenhead Borough Police (operating in Wallasey and Birkenhead).

 

Due to the increase in the amount of traffic in and out of the docks, in June 1865 the River Mersey Police was formed and patrolled the river in boats. This force consisted of:

  1. 1 Inspector
  2. 3 Sergeants
  3. 13 Constables
 

It continued to operate until it was disbanded on 15th February 1920, the staff being absorbed into Liverpool City Police. The whole dock area was policed by the Liverpool and Bootle Constabulary, and the newly expanded Cheshire Constabulary between 1967 and 1974, when further amalgamations took place and Merseyside Police came into existence.

 

In October 1975, the Port of Liverpool Police was established and its first Chief Constable, Mr E H Post appointed, and then in January 1976, commenced his duties prior to the setting up of the force.

 

By July 19th 1976, the force had become fully operational, when 40 Constables had been appointed to replace the Constables from Merseyside Police and they began to take on duties on a limited basis on the Liverpool side of the Dock Estate.

 

Gradually more and more duties were handed over to the Port Police and by 1st April 1977 the Port Police had assumed responsibility for policing the entire Dock Estate.

 

By this time the area of responsibility for the Dock Estate had been expanded and included the whole of the Dock Estate in Liverpool, the Birkenhead Docks area and the Tranmere Oil Terminal.

 

As of 2008, the present Chief Officer was Mr Ray Walker, who took over command in June 1997, following a distinguished career with Merseyside Police, where he was Head of the CID with the rank of Chief Superintendent.

 

The Chief Officer is accountable to a Police Committee consisting of three representatives from The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, together with independent representatives from the various port users and includes local Magistrates and a representative from Merseyside Police Authority.

 

As of 2008, the force consisted of:

  1. 1 Chief Officer
  2. 1 Superintendent
  3. 1 Chief Inspector
  4. 2 Inspectors
  5. 5 Sergeants
  6. 44 Constables



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