Rank Structure in the UK Police

I am conscious that many of you may not fully understand the rank structure of UK Police Officers. Allow me to educate you.

The picture shows three police officers. It was taken after they had been stood in the blazing sun dressed in black with 8kg of kevlar keeping them at a near core earth temperature for 6 hours. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall had just left St Agnes after a successful visit and our three stooges, drafted in from the Mainland, were overcome by a burning need for ice-cream.

They are stood in rank order. Left to right Inspector, Sergeant and Police Constable (PC). This distinction is easy to see for yourself by looking at the epaulets on their shoulders. The Inspector has two pips and no number. The Sergeant has chevrons and a number and the PC just has a number. The Inspector supervises the Sergeant. The Sergeant supervises the PC.

However there is also another subtle difference between the ranks which distinguishes them in a more telling fashion. The PC has two scoops to everyone else single scoop. He has worked the hardest and hottest. The Sergeant buys both his own and the PC’s ice-cream. He is benevolent with the welfare of his staff as the very essence of his being and is a skilled motivator. The Inspector purchases his own. So in circumstances where you cannot see the epaulets simply watch the dynamics and the rank structure will develop in front of your very eyes.

There are other higher ranks and for practical purposes the trend continues beyond Chief Constable right up to Home Secretary in which circumstances the ice creams are all taken back.

Sergeant Colin TaylorIMG_6779


About Colin Taylor

Devon and Cornwall Police Officer
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