to the Brits in this forum

abc   Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:45 pm GMT
What agencies correspond to both the FBI and CIA in the UK? Scotland Yard ~FBI?
Damian in London N2   Sun Aug 13, 2006 2:08 pm GMT
The British Police Service

The UK Police Service is directly controlled by a branch of Government called the Home Office, whose HQ is in Whitehall, London.

There are separate Police forces throughout the UK, and these vary in size depending on the areas covered....metropolitan areas with larger populations have larger forces in terms of police officers employed.

The largest police force is the Metropolitan Police which covers the whole of Greater London...EXCEPT for the City of London, which has a separate police force of its own. The City is the very heart of London...the area forming the original Londinium founded by the Romans and from which London gradually expanded over the centuries.

The City of London is comparatively small in area and you know when you cross into it when you see the different street signs all of which carry the emblem of the City of London above the name of the street or square. And the police officers have different uniforms and certainly different helmets. The City is the heart of the commercial, banking, financial, business district of London and the UK, but it still has sought after residential areas, such as the Barbican. The night time resident population of the City of London is about 40,000. During the day time the City of London has nearly 2 million people within its boundary.

The HQ of the City of London Police is in Snow Hill.

The rest of Greater London outside the City is covered by the Metropolitan Police. The HQ of the Met Police is at New Scotland Yard, just off Victoria Street and opposite St James' Park underground station. It's offices employ several thousand people, and London has about 35,000 police officers to keep law and order in the capital city of the UK.

As I say, the rest of the UK is covered by individual police forces, some very urban (eg West Midlands, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire in England and Strathclyde in Scotland. Some very rural like Grampian Police and Northern Constabulary in Scotland). My own home area police force is the Lothian and Borders Police which not only covers Edinburgh city area but a large rural area down to the English border:

General info on the UK Police Service:

Like all police forces there are separate departments in the fight against crime. The uniformed services are the front line...the "ordinary bobbies/coppers" in uniform, male and female. They are supported by uniformed Police Support Officers who are paid, but act solely to support the regular police officers. Then we have the uniformed Specials....the Special Constabulary - volunteers who commit themselves to assisting the Police regulars and support officers, and do this in their spare time and in addition to their own jobs. They have to commit to a certain number of hours per week. They do NOT get paid apart from expenses. I'm not too sure without checking up whether they have powers of arrest or not.

The British Police Service is probably unique in that the vast majority of police officers, regulars included, go out on the beat unarmed. By that I mean they do not carry firearms. They carry a whole array of other deterrents, such as CS spray canisters, along with the rest of their hardware like batons and cuffs and stuff like that. But NOT guns.

The Police Service has specialist firearms departments and they are very strictly controlled. Every UK police force has these. London particularly is very much to the fore in the use of these specialist armed police officers, especially now with the current very strict security measures in force in the face of terrorist threats, happily foiled by the British Police vigilance, but such vigilance exists through the UK, especially at airports.

In the Metropolitan Police the firearms unit is controlled by the Central Operations Specialist Firearms Command (CO19):

All provincial forces have similar (but less well known) specialist departments concerned with the use of firearms.....and decide when and how armed police officers are to be brought into action to deal with incidents.

Apart from front line policing, the behind the scenes work is carried out by the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) which does all the hard grafting in the solving of crimes, with the aid of all specialist sections such as forensics, pathology and all that sort of thing. Every single police force, of course, operates CID departments.

The British Police Service is, of course, linked to the relative external agencies to deal with crime involving countries outside the UK.

My favourite (fictional) detective is Inspector Rebus, a product of the mind of Ian Rankin, who mixes fiction with fact to write about this hard drinking Edinburgh copper with the Lothian and Borders Police force as he goes about using very unconventional means to nobble the crooks in my home city.

Hope this helps. Cheers.
Hamad wawee   Sun Aug 13, 2006 2:10 pm GMT
My quistion is, can I learn English in two month if I read every day abot
13 hours or not?
Nightingale   Sun Aug 13, 2006 3:48 pm GMT
I believe the UK's Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, or "MI6") corresponds to the CIA in the US.

As for the FBI, it is perhaps equivalent to the sum total of the British police's Criminal Investigation Departments (CIDs) and the Security Service ("MI5").
zxczxc   Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:27 pm GMT
MI5 concerns events happening within the UK, whilst MI6 operates abroad.
Damian in London N2   Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:51 pm GMT
I forgot to include the Intelligence agencies! Didnae want to get caught up in some kind of espionage network! Aye...MI5 and MI6...James Bond and all that but I was concentrating more on the more familiar domestic Police Service here.

The MI5 building has got to be one of the ugliest, weirdest looking buildings in London! It's dreich! Makes you wonder what it's like inside those strange blocks of concrete. And it faces across to the elegant Palace of Westminster on the other side of the there's some real cool architecture.
Adam   Sun Aug 13, 2006 6:53 pm GMT
Britain's equivalent of the FBI is SOCA (Serious Organised Crime Agency) which was only launched earlier this year.

Wednesday 4th April 2006
Deconstructing SOCA
By Denise Winterman
BBC News Magazine

To see its logo, which is a big cat, go here -

A new FBI-style crime-fighting agency has been launched in the UK, but what's its big cat logo all about?

If you're launching yourself as Britain's FBI and say you will make the lives of organised criminals "hell" then you need a dynamic logo to match the job.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) has chosen a fierce big cat bearing its fangs and leaping over a stylised silver globe, with a crown capping it all.

It's bold but bears a striking resemblance to the logo of the 1980s children's cartoon series Thundercats. So was the comparison to the show - which featured humanoid cats battling evil mutants in the Earth's distant future - intentional? Soca declined to comment.

One thing's for sure, it's a far cry from traditional police badges and those of Soca's predecessors. The National Crime Squad used a standard police helmet badge with a red and yellow flower at its centre and the National Criminal Intelligence Service used its initials with a sword symbol.

So what is the logo all about and what does it say about Soca? The organisation itself is not willing to shed any light on the subject.


"It's not our policy to comment on the logo or the agency itself, we want to keep a low profile," says a spokesman. Very cloak and dagger.

So the Magazine asked Patrick Cox, the executive creative director of Wolff Olins, one of the country's biggest branding companies, for his opinion. He says the logo is not very sophisticated but gets a certain message across.

"It is a butch translation of a butch organisation," he says. "It uses a sharp-clawed cat to get across the message that the organisation has sharp claws and will use them to get their targets."

He looked at the four key elements:


Thundercats - and Soca - are go!

The Soca logo is capped with a stylised version of the Royal crown familiar from other police insignia known as "helmet plates". The royal insignia is known as the Edward Crown, or Queen's Crown.

"It represents something traditional but with a modern, stylised twist," says Mr Cox. "It's saying the organisation is legitimate but works in a new, more modern way.

"It has overtones of movies or cartoons and looks like a throwing star - as if it could be ripped from the logo and use to kill someone - reinforcing the go-getting attitude of the organisation."

The logo is dominated by a fierce big cat baring its fangs, which looks like a panther or a sabre-toothed tiger.

"The big cat is trying to get across the strength and aggression of Soca," he says. "It is telling criminals that they will come and get them.

"It is a representation of what they want their methods to be seen as - fierce and relentless."


Blair officially launched Soca
The big cat is leaping over the stylised silver globe, which has lines running along it on the left-hand side.

"The lines running along the globe have dots on each and represent a flow of information globally," he says. "It says Soca will work with organisations across the world and swap information to get the criminals it wants.

"It says this organisation is not about PCs on bike, not Dixon of Dock Green stuff, this is a modern crime-fighting force.

On its right-hand side of the globe is a grid.

"The globe is about the international nature of the organisation and says it will target criminals across the world," he says.

"The grid on the right reinforce this message, that Soca will travel anywhere in the world to get its man and the criminals have nowhere to hide."

Summing up, Mr Cox says the logo is very Western and international, something new for a police organisation in this country but nothing new when it comes to design.

"It is very much in the manner of what you imagine would be used in a Jackie Chan movie, if they need a logo for some aggressive agency. It's not very sophisticated."
Damian in London N2   Sun Aug 13, 2006 7:44 pm GMT
Oh God yes....I forgot about SOCA. I had no idea about the "cat logo" though. Looks cool to me.

There are so many changes to the security services in the UK now (more especially in London....I've never seen so many coppers around on duty anywhere in my life before.....nice! :-)'s difficult to keep up when you're assigned to so many other things none of which are police/crime/
law/security services related. I'd really like to specialise in this field it's so interesting......maybe even become attached to the Police Service in some journalistic way......worth investigating, in Scotland preferably but if it means staying here in London then so be it. It's only 4 hours by train King's Cross to Edinburgh Waverleyanyway...... yay!
greg   Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:26 am GMT
Adam : « Britain's equivalent of the FBI is SOCA (Serious Organised Crime Agency) which was *only launched earlier this year*. »

Bon courage !
Damian in London E16   Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:59 am GMT

The HQ of the City of London Police is in Wood Street, London EC2 and not at Snow Hill as I said earlier. Snow Hill is just an ordinary police station. One of the major sins in journalism is feeding wrong information! Ha! :-)

Start of a new week....great!