Royal Parks Constabulary

Royal Parks Constabulary

The Royal Parks Constabulary (RPC) was the police force formerly responsible for the Royal Parks in London and a number of other locations in Greater London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland; it now only exists in Scotland as part of Historic Scotland.

Unlike most other police forces operating in England and Wales, the Royal Parks Constabulary did not report to the Home Office, but instead to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, who provided funding for it through the Royal Parks Agency.

The force was created in 1872 as the Royal Parks Keepers; keepers were given full police powers within the parks. They were renamed the Royal Parks Constabulary in 1974. Before 1872, the Park had its own constables who lived in some of the entrance lodges and worked out of the rooms inside Marble Arch. One of the last Inspectors of those constables was Samuel Parkes who won the Victoria Cross in the Charge of the Light Brigade in 1854.

The Constabulary worked towards maintaining the standards of Home Office police forces and all constables were trained at regional training centres, alongside their Home Office colleagues. Unlike council-run parks constabularies, constables of the RPC enjoyed full police powers in the parks under their control and had the power to instigate criminal proceedings for offences committed in the English parks.

On 1 April 2004, following a review of the Royal Parks Constabulary by Anthony Speed, the Metropolitan Police took on the responsibility of policing the Royal Parks in Greater London. The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 formally abolished the Royal Parks Constabulary in England, leaving the remainder (responsible for Holyrood Park) in the hands of Historic Scotland.Many of the officers from the Royal Parks Constabulary transferred into the new Metropolitan Police Royal Parks Operational Command Unit (OCU) - the new OCU is funded in the same way, through the Royal Parks Agency, with its funding "ring-fenced" to prevent it being diverted to other Metropolitan Police areas.

External links

* [ Metropolitan Police, Royal Parks OCU]
* [ Historic Scotland (RPC)]

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