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Mersey Tunnels Police

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Mersey Tunnels Police
Logo of the Mersey Tunnels Police
Logo of the Mersey Tunnels Police
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
Legal jurisdictionMersey Tunnels and approaches
Governing bodyMerseytravel
Constituting instrument
  • Section 105 of the County of Merseyside Act (1980)
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersGeorges Dock Building, Georges Dockway, Liverpool
Officers51 (2015)
Official Mersey Tunnels Website
Mersey Tunnels Police Ford Galaxy
Mersey Tunnels Police car outside the entrance to one of the tunnels for which the police service is responsible

The Mersey Tunnels Police is a small, specialised, non-Home Office police force that provides policing services for the Mersey Tunnels in Merseyside, England. The force, which comprises fifty one officers from Constable to Chief Police Officer is responsible for effective road policing of the Mersey Tunnels, Approach Roads and Exit Roads. It is privately funded by Merseytravel which in turn reports to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

Role and powers[edit]

Mersey Tunnels Police officers hold the office of constable and take their powers from section 105 of the County of Merseyside Act 1980. Unlike most police services in England and Wales, the service is answerable to the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive[1] rather than the Home Office. The executive also appoints the service's officers who are formally sworn in as police constables by a justice of the peace.[2] As of 2010 the service consisted of around 55 officers across the various ranks.


The service's jurisdiction consists of the tunnels themselves, marshaling areas, entrance/exit roads and all Mersey Tunnels premises. Officers execute their duties in accordance with The Mersey Tunnels Bylaws.[2] In some cases, officers may assist with high-urgency motorway incidents in the surrounding area where other patrols are further away.

The tunnels service have primary responsibility for these areas, meaning they enforce the Mersey Tunnels bylaws and like all other police services the various and relevant UK statute law/legislation although perhaps by the nature of the role primarily the Road Traffic Act. Mersey Tunnels Police officers are the first line responders to any incidents or emergencies within the tunnels or premises although certain incidents and enquiries of a serious nature may be dealt with by Merseyside Police in accordance with local agreements between the two services.

History and strength[edit]

Formed in January 1936 with two inspectors, four sergeants and 14 constables they undertook motorcycle patrols of the tunnels. The force grew to a maximum strength of one chief superintendent, one chief inspector, five inspectors, 15 sergeants and 60 constables.[3]

As of January 2015, the establishment of the service consisted of 51 officers, divided amongst the following ranks: One chief officer, five inspectors, 10 sergeants and 35 constables.[4] All new recruits are required to be serving or former police officers in another force; the force does not recruit direct from members of the public.[5]

Rank structure[edit]

The ranks of the Mersey Tunnels Police consists of:

Mersey Tunnels Police rank structure[6]
Rank Constable Sergeant Inspector Chief Officer
Insignia PC Epaulette PS Epaulette n/a

All officers have the powers of a constable, regardless of rank (see above for details).

Uniform, training and equipment[edit]

Mersey Tunnel Police officers wear a uniform similar to other police forces, but wear white-topped peaked caps, as traffic officers.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) include:

  • Monadnock auto-lock baton
  • Rigid handcuffs
  • Stab vests
  • Personal radios.[7]

All officers are trained Police Level 4 Response Driving Standards, as MTP is a specialist traffic service. Training is done by MTP instructors and the Liverpool Cathedral Constables hold kit in their facility.[7]


Mersey Tunnels Police Land Rover Discovery Sport in 2022

The service uses a small range of vehicles. The newest models bought in 2010 being the Land Rover Discovery IV (3 litre) and Ford S-Max. Additionally, the service has some older Ford Galaxy and Land Rover Discovery II models which are also planned to be replaced in the second half of 2010 with Ford and Land Rover Freelander vehicles.

As of 2023 the force have total of 11 police vehicles, 2 × BMW X3, 4 × Volvo V60, 2 × Volvo XC70, which has four-wheel drive capability. 2 × Land Rover Discovery IV, 1 × Mercedes Vito Cell Van,

Media coverage[edit]

Mersey Tunnels Police was heavily criticised by the Merseyside coroner for its handling of a pursuit in which two 14-year-old boys were killed in 2003 after crashing a stolen car into a roadblock set up by Mersey Tunnels officers. The coroner went so far as to recommend that either the policing of the tunnel should be altogether transferred to Merseyside Police, or tunnel officers should be trained to national policing standards.[8]

All officers are now trained in Police Level 4 Response Driving Standards.[7]

Fallen officers[edit]

The MTP has lost one officer in the line of duty:

  • PC Derek McIntyre, struck and killed by a vehicle (10 November 1967).[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mersey Tunnels
  2. ^ a b "Tunnel Byelaws (1985 Local Government Act (Section 105 (i)):1)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Mersey Tunnels Police".
  4. ^ Fitzpatrick, Tony (9 December 2014). "Response to a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act". WhatDoTheyKnow.com. Merseytravel. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Mersey Tunnels Police Officer jobs with great salaries you apply for now", Liverpool Echo, 8 August 2021
  6. ^ "Constable Awards". Cathedral Constables. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d "cathedralconstables.co.uk - Mersey Tunnels Police".
  8. ^ "BBC Tunnel crash deaths 'unlawful'". 25 March 2003. Retrieved 26 November 2015.

External links[edit]