Police officers

All UK police officers begin their career at the rank of Police Constable, and many choose to remain as constables.

Police officers are assigned unique warrant numbers (‘shoulder numbers’). These numbers allow you to identify officers. Different UK police forces have constables and sergeants who wear the same numbers.

Police officers:

  • Wear their shoulder number on their shoulder epaulettes, along with their stripes.
  • All police officer warrant cards carry their photograph and certifies their identity, the police force for which they work and their entitlement to use police powers.

Police sergeants:

  • Police sergeants wear their shoulder number with chevrons, which displays their rank.

Police inspector and upwards:

  • From the rank of inspector upward, shoulder numbers are not worn on epaulettes. Various diamond-shaped ‘pips’, crowns and wreathes with crossed staves display rank.

Police Constable (PC - shoulder number)

Police Constable
Police Sergeant (Sgt - shoulder number and chevrons)

Police sergeant
Inspector (Insp - two pips)

Chief Inspector (Ch Insp - three pips)

Chief Inspector
Superintendent (Supt - one crown)

Chief Superintendent (Ch Supt - one crown and a pip)

Chief Superintendent
Assistant Chief Constable (ACC - a wreath and staves)

Assistant Chief Constable
Deputy Chief Constable (DCC - a wreath and staves and one pip)

Deputy Chief Constable
Chief Constable (a wreath and staves and a crown)

Chief Constable

Further information

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