Port of Tilbury Police

The Port of Tilbury Police is a small, specialised police force responsible for policing the Port of Tilbury, owned by the Port of Tilbury London Ltd, a subsidiary of Forth Ports plc. Known before 1992 as the Port of London Authority Police, at over 200 years old, it claims to be the oldest police force in the country. Any serious or major incidents or crimes become the responsibility of the local Home Office police force, Essex Police.

Powers of constables

Port constables are appointed by the port company, and are attested by a justice of the peace.[1] The oath is given by Schedule 6 to the Port of London Act 1968. The port company can suspend or terminate the appointment of a port constable.[1] A port constable has all the powers and privileges of his office within the "port police area"[2] (which is land that is owned by the port company and used for the port)[3] and anywhere within one mile of that land.[3] In addition, if a port constable pursues a suspect from the port police area, he has the same powers of arrest as he would in the port police area.[2] Impersonating a port constable is an offence.[4]


A port constable may enter any vessel within the port police area (and can take people with him to assist if he thinks it necessary):[5]

A port constable may seize anything found on board which he, with reasonable cause, suspects to have been stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained.[5]

Entry and search

A port constable may, within the port premises, enter and search a vessel or vehicle if he, with reasonable cause, suspects that he might find anything which has been stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained:[5]

A port constable may seize anything found on board the vessel or in the vehicle which he with reasonable cause suspects to have been so stolen or obtained unlawfully.[5]

Stop and search

Any constable (not just a port constable) may, within the port police area, stop and search a person whom he, with reasonable cause, suspects of having or conveying in any manner anything which has been stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained:[6]

Other provisions

It is an offence to resist, obstruct or impede a constable in the execution of his duty, or to not carry out the lawful orders of a constable.[7] A constable may detain a person who, after being warned by an officer of the Port Authority not to do so, gets on to or remains on a movable bridge belonging to the Port Authority when it is about to be moved, or is being moved, or before it is properly closed and fastened, if that person's name and address is unknown to and cannot be ascertained by the constable.[8]


External links

See also

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