Hertfordshire Constabulary
MottoCreating A Safer Hertfordshire[1]
Agency overview
Preceding agencies
  • Hertford Borough Police
  • St Albans Borough Police
Annual budget£171.4 million[3]
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionHertfordshire, England, UK
Map of police area
Size634 square miles (1,640 km2)
Population1.5 million
Legal jurisdictionEngland & Wales
Constituting instrument
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed by
HeadquartersWelwyn Garden City
Constables1,953 (of which 410 are special constables)[4]
Police Community Support Officers246[3]
Police and Crime Commissioner responsible
Agency executive
www.herts.police.uk Edit this at Wikidata
A Hertfordshire police van pictured in 2014

Hertfordshire Constabulary is the territorial police force responsible for policing the county of Hertfordshire in England. Its headquarters is in Welwyn Garden City. The current chief constable is Charlie Hall. As of March 2019, the force consists of over 1,900 police officers, 235 PCSOs, over 1500 police staff, as well as being supported by more than 410 special constables.[5]


The constabulary was founded in 1841, under the County Police Act, five years after the Hertford Borough Police and St Albans Borough Police had been formed. In 1889, the Hertford Borough Police force was merged into Hertfordshire.

The first constables were working-class men and were paid at the level of an agricultural labourer. In Victorian times, officers were entitled to only one rest day in every four to six weeks and were entitled to only one week's unpaid annual leave a year. A ten-hour working day was the norm and no meal breaks were allowed. There were strict constraints on an officer's private life too. For example, officers reportedly could not leave their homes without permission and could only go out with their wives so long as they were not absent for more than two hours and someone was home to take messages.[6]

St Albans Constabulary remained independent until 1947, then being absorbed into the Hertfordshire Constabulary. Finally, it was in 2000 that the current force boundaries came into place with the addition of Hertsmere and Broxbourne, transferred from the Metropolitan Police.[7][8]

In 2006, proposals were made by Charles Clarke, the then Home Secretary, that would see the force merge with neighbour forces Bedfordshire Police and Essex Police to form a new strategic police force.[9] However, in July 2006, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair signalled that police force mergers would not be forced through by the central government.[10] However, with the economic recession beginning in 2008 the force began working on collaboration with neighbouring forces. First joining with Bedfordshire Police and then Cambridgeshire Constabulary in a strategic alliance, the three forces formed joint units in counter terrorism, major crime, dogs, firearms, SOCO, roads policing, operation planning, civil contingencies, ICT and professional standards. Working collaboratively in this way protected local policing by local officers, but enabled specialist units to work across, and be paid for by, all three forces.

Further collaborative work is underway with call handling, control and dispatch, human resources and some 'back-office' functions being examined for merging.[11] For the foreseeable future, the Constabulary looks likely to remain an independent force. Ultimately, the decision for any full merger of the three forces will be in the hands of the Police and Crime Commissioners, and thereby in turn, the public themselves.

Chief constables

Officers killed in the line of duty

See also: List of British police officers killed in the line of duty

The Police Roll of Honour Trust and Police Memorial Trust list and commemorate all British police officers killed in the line of duty. Since its establishment in 1984, the Police Memorial Trust has erected 50 memorials nationally to some of those officers. Since 1950, the following officers of Hertfordshire Constabulary are listed by the Trust as having been killed in the line of duty:[14]

Rank Name Age Year of death Circumstances
PC Frank Edwin Hulme 31 1958 Collapsed and died after a violent arrest.
PC Arthur William Burch 38 1960 Killed when the patrol car he was in collided with a tanker, whilst engaged in the pursuit of a speeding car. Killed alongside PC Silcock.
PC Anthony Richard Silcock 25 1960 Killed when the patrol car he was in collided with a tanker, whilst engaged in the pursuit of a speeding car. Killed alongside PC Burch.
WPC Mandy Dawn Rayner 18 1982 Fatally injured when her stationary vehicle was rammed during a police pursuit.
PC Francis John Mason 27 1988 Shot dead when, despite being off duty, he intervened in an armed robbery. Posthumously awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal.
WPC Jacqueline Ann Brown 23 1989 Fatally injured in a patrol car crash during a prisoner escort at Harpenden.
PC Ronald Raymond Hull 35 1989 Killed assisting at an accident in thick fog when struck by a speeding car.
PC Kevin John Church 46 2005 Killed in a motorcycle accident while on a plain clothes policing operation.

Organisation and structure

Local policing

Local policing is overseen by the Local Policing Command, headed by a chief superintendent. The county is sub-divided into ten divisions, also known as Community Safety Partnerships (CSP), which broadly correspond to the local Borough and Council areas. The ten CSPs, each headed by a chief inspector are: Watford, Three Rivers, Dacorum, Welwyn and Hatfield, St Albans, Hertsmere, East Herts, Broxbourne, Stevenage and North Herts. Each CSP has:

Specialist units

An Armed Response Vehicle seen in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire in 2017

Local policing is supplemented by an array of specialist units, some of which are collaborated with Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. These include:

Operational Support

Notable incidents and investigations

Notable major incidents and investigations in which Hertfordshire Constabulary have directed or been involved include:

See also


  1. ^ "The Hertfordshire Constabulary - About Us". Archived from the original on 2009-01-18. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  2. ^ "General Equality Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  3. ^ a b c "Hertfordshire | Home Office". Archived from the original on 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
  4. ^ "Tables for 'Police workforce, England and Wales, 31 March 2013". HM Government. Office for National Statistics. 31 March 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  5. ^ "General Duty Equality Report 2018 - 2019" (PDF).
  6. ^ "175 Years of Policing in Hertfordshire". Hertfordshire Constabulary. 12 February 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  7. ^ "Greater London Authority Act 1999: Section 323", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1999 c. 29 (s. 323)
  8. ^ "The Greater London Authority Act 1999 (Commencement No. 1) Order: Section 4", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1999/3271 (s. 4)
  9. ^ "Police forces 'to be cut to 24'". BBC News. 2006-03-20. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
  10. ^ "Blair accused of wasting police time on mergers", Daily Telegraph, 13 July 2006.
  11. ^ "Commissioner welcomes plan to share resources with Beds and Cambs". Hertfordshire Commissioner. 12 February 2014. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Chief Constables of the Hertfordshire Constabulary". Hertfordshire Constabulary. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Frank Whiteley to remain Chief Constable of Herts for three more years". The Comet. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  14. ^ Police Roll of Honour Trust. "Police Roll of Honour Trust". policememorial.org.uk.
  15. ^ Champion, Matthew (2017-03-10). "This Is What It's Like To Be Wrongly Accused Of Being A Paedophile Because Of A Typo By Police". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
  16. ^ "Police raid wrong house in Borehamwood". Borehamwood Times. Retrieved 2021-11-19.
  17. ^ Adams, Matt (2021-11-18). "Dad's trauma after armed police raid his home by mistake". Herts Advertiser. Retrieved 2021-11-19; "Man shocked as armed police raid flat by mistake". BBC News. Retrieved 2021-11-19.