Northumbria Police
Badge of the Northumbria Police
MottoProud to protect
Agency overview
Legal personalityPolice force
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction
Map of Northumbria Police's jurisdiction
Size2,141 square miles (5,550 km2)[1]
Population1.46 million[1]
Operational structure
Overviewed by
Police officers3,280 (including 125 special constables)
Police staffs
Police and crime commissioner responsible
Agency executive
Website Edit this at Wikidata

Northumbria Police is a territorial police force in England. It is responsible for policing the metropolitan boroughs of Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and the City of Sunderland, as well as the ceremonial county of Northumberland. It is the largest police force in the North East by geographical area and number of officers. The force covers an area of 2,141 square miles (5,550 km2) with a population of 1.46 million.[1]


As of March 2020, it has 3,155 police officers, 125 special constables, 204 police community support officers and 1,649 police staff.[3]

The force's headquarters are located in Wallsend, North Tyneside. However, significant numbers of functions have been dispersed to various locations throughout the force area as part of plans to reduce costs, with the stated intention of operating without a traditional headquarters function.[4] As of February 2018, the chief constable is Winton Keenen.[5]

The force uses a variety of vehicle, the most common of which are Vauxhall Corsa, Vauxhall Astra, Vauxhall Vivaro, Ford Transit, and BMW 3 Series.[6]

Northumbria Police has two inter-operable communication centres:


The force was formed in 1974 by merging the Northumberland Constabulary with part of the Durham Constabulary. The police forces for the county boroughs of South Shields, Gateshead, Sunderland, Newcastle upon Tyne and Tynemouth had already been amalgamated into their respective county forces in 1969, with the Berwick-upon-Tweed police having been merged into Northumberland County Constabulary in 1921.[7]

Notable operations

Fugitive Raoul Moat was pursued by Northumbria Police in the 2010 Northumbria Police manhunt. Moat targeted Northumbria Police officers after his release from HM Prison Durham. A manhunt was initiated by Northumbria Police, calling upon mutual aid assistance from the armed response units of other police forces in support of Northumbria's armed officers.[8] Neighbouring police forces offered support, as well as forces as far away as the Metropolitan Police, which deployed 40 firearms officers trained in the use of sniper rifles. The Police Service of Northern Ireland dispatched 20 specialist off-road armoured vehicles to help in the search on rough terrain in Northumberland.[9] Since this operation, Northumbria Police has significantly increased its armed response capacity.[10]

In January 2014, Northumbria Police launched Operation Sanctuary to investigate sexual abuse gangs targeting vulnerable young white girls.[11] By June 2014, the operation had identified 80 victims and the total number of arrests had reached a 104.[11]

Public controversies

In May 2016, details emerged of an affair between former Chief Constable Mike Craik and then Assistant Chief Constable Carolyn Peacock. Peacock's husband – also then a serving police officer – found out about the affair at a barbecue, and attacked Craik. Officers from Northumbria Police were called to the incident, which was later removed from all police logs on order of the chief constable, and legally banned from reporting in the courts. The legal bans were lifted, after the former head of legal sued the force for unfair dismissal.[12]

Proposed mergers

Under proposals made by the Home Secretary on 6 February 2006, Northumbria was to merge with Cleveland Police and Durham Constabulary to form a single strategic police force for North East England. Both Northumbria and Durham favoured this proposal, while Cleveland expressed a wish that it be merged with the southern area of the Durham force.[13][14] All proposals regarding force mergers were subsequently dropped nationwide.

Funding cuts

Since 2010, Northumbria Police has suffered the most significant funding cuts of any UK police force due to the austerity, amounting to a 23% reduction in the force's budget. Former chief constable, Steve Ashman expressed fears Northumbria police could soon be unable to provide an adequate police service. Ashman said, "If the day of not being able to provide a professional service was here, I would say it is not here, but it is getting very, very close." Northumbria police received £259.6 million for the year 2017–18 which is up slightly from £259.5M in 2016–17. This small rise is insufficient to compensate for inflation currently at just under 3% per year. Northumbria police experienced a funding cut in real terms. Most Northumbrian police stations now close at 8.00 pm or earlier, and people needing the police after that time must use the telephone or an interactive service.[15][16]

Chief officer team

As of July 2021, the chief officer team consists of the following:[17]

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 1900, the following officers of Northumbria Police and its predecessors are listed by the Trust as having been killed while attempting to prevent, stop or solve a criminal act:[18]

On 6 November 2017, Constable John Davidson of the Abbotsford Police Department in British Columbia, Canada, was shot and killed while trying to arrest a suspect who had allegedly opened fire in the parking lot of a shopping centre.[19] Davidson had served with the Northumbria Police from 1993 to 2005, before emigrating to join the Abbotsford Police.[20][21]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Northumbria Police Key facts – 2019/20". HMICFRS. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  2. ^ MUNCASTER, MICHAEL. "Northumbria Police to move its headquarters to station in North Tyneside". The Chronicle. External link in |publisher= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  3. ^ "Police workforce, England and Wales: 31 March 2020 second edition". GOV.UK. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Doughty, Sophie (29 September 2017). "New acting Chief Constable appointed at Northumbria Police". Archived from the original on 21 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Fleet List - 073/20". Northumbria Police.
  7. ^ "Sorry, this page cannot be found – Northumbria Police". Archived from the original on 15 October 2006.
  8. ^ "Marksmen search town for gunman". BBC News. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  9. ^ "Gunman Raoul Moat's camp uncovered by police". BBC News. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  10. ^ BBC Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ a b "Operation Sanctuary arrests top 100". BBC News. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  12. ^ Finnigan, Lexi (4 May 2016). "Police chief 'punched at barbecue over affair with assistant chief constable'". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 26 February 2018 – via
  13. ^ "Police mergers outlined by Clarke". 6 February 2006. Archived from the original on 8 February 2006 – via
  14. ^ "Opinions of the forces on the future merge (accessed 1 Feb '07)". Archived from the original on 8 July 2006.
  15. ^ Hill, Laura (8 September 2017). "Top cop's warning following years of police cuts". Archived from the original on 9 September 2017.
  16. ^ Police chief constable says professional service at risk from budget cuts Archived 9 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine The Guardian
  17. ^ "Executive Team". Northumbria Police. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Police Roll Of Honour Trust". Archived from the original on 27 September 2011.
  19. ^ "Candlelight vigil planned for fallen Abbotsford police officer Monday evening – CBC News". Archived from the original on 16 November 2017.
  20. ^ "'As brave as a lion': Const. John Davidson's U.K. colleagues in mourning – CBC News". Archived from the original on 16 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Death of former Northumbria officer – 08 – Northumbria Police". Archived from the original on 9 November 2017.