Mersey Tunnels Police

Mersey Tunnels Police
Mersey Tunnels Police Ford Galaxy
Mersey Tunnels Police car outside the entrance to one of the tunnels for which the force is responsible

The Mersey Tunnels Police is a small, non-Home Office police force which polices the Mersey Tunnels in Merseyside, England (between Liverpool and the Wirral) on behalf of the Merseyside Passenger Transport Authority.


Role and powers

Mersey Tunnels Police officers hold the office of constable. Unlike most police forces in the UK, the force is answerable to the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive[1] rather than the Home Office. The Executive also appoints the force's officers who are formally sworn in as Police Constables by a Justice of the Peace.[2] As of 2010 the force consisted of around 55 officers across the various ranks. The force's jurisdiction consists of the tunnels themselves, marshaling areas, entrance/exit roads and all Mersey Tunnels premises. Officers execute their duties in accordance with The Mersey Tunnels Bylaws.[3]

The tunnels force have primary responsibility for these areas, meaning they enforce the Mersey Tunnels bylaws and like all other forces the various and relevant UK statute law/legislation although perhaps by the nature of the role primarily the Road Traffic Act. Mersey Tunnels Police officers are the first line responders to any incidents or emergencies within the tunnels or premises although certain incidents and enquiries of a serious nature may be dealt with by Merseyside Police in accordance with local agreements between the two forces.


The force uses a small range of vehicles. The newest models bought in 2010 being the Land Rover Discovery IV (3 litre) and Ford S-Max. Additionally, the force has some older Ford Galaxy and Land Rover Discovery IImodels which are also planned to be replaced in the second half of 2010 with Ford and Land Rover Freelander vehicles.

Media coverage

In recent years, the force has faced severe criticism from the media

The force was heavily criticised by the Merseyside coroner for its handling of a pursuit in which two 14 year old boys were killed in 2003 after crashing a stolen car into a roadblock set up by Mersey Tunnels officers. The coroner went so far as to recommend that either the policing of the tunnel should be altogether transferred to Merseyside Police, or tunnel officers should be trained to national policing standards.[4]

Mersey Tunnels Police also faced criticism in the tabloid press in March 2009, after a driver was allegedly pulled over by a Tunnels officer for laughing behind the wheel; however the force has no official record of this incident.[5]

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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