I believe that an officer of the Metropolitan Police or British Transport Police could just as easily arrest a person within the City of London (which has its own police force) as one of Surrey police could arrest a person in Kingston-upon-Thames (which is not in Surrey).

But can Welsh police enter England and vice versa? Scottish enter England and English, Scotland?

How are British police powers limited by intra-U.K. jurisdictions?

  • 3
    Why do you believe this? Do you have some evidence? Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 13:54
  • @SteveMelnikoff I’m trying to track down a sufficiently official source, but the claim is correct — a constable of a police force in England or Wales holds the office of constable in England and Wales and has authority throughout the jurisdiction. The same is true for a constable in Scotland or in Northern Ireland, but those two jurisdictions only have one main police force so it doesn’t matter as much (of course a Police Scotland constable has authority throughout Scotland).
    – cpast
    Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 14:33
  • @SteveMelnikoff I think I may have been told it by police officers on a couple of occasions in casual chit chat. Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 14:46
  • @cpast so police Scotland do not have powers in England or Wales beyond those of a normal citizen, nor do English have any in Scotland? Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


Within the there are , and .

Broadly speaking:

  • A police officer from one country can cross a border into another country to execute an arrest warrant issued in the 'home' country. For example, a Scottish officer may arrest a person in England who is wanted on a Scottish warrant.

  • A police officer may cross a border to arrest a person for an arrestable offence that occurred in their 'home' country using their 'home' powers. For example, an English officer may pursue a person suspected of committing an arrestable offence in England into Scotland and arrest him under English law.

  • A Scottish officer who happens to be in England may arrest a person suspected of committing an arrestable offence in England in accordance with English law, and must take the person to an English police station. Likewise for an English officer in Scotland and so on.

See Cross-Border Enforcement, Part X of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

Also there is provision for cross-border assistance at s98 Police Act 1996. If for example a chief officer in Scotland applies to a chief officer in England for aid, the English officers go to Scotland and operate under Scottish law.

  • So just to clarify then, the idea that “they have their own police” is somehow evidence or support for the esoteric perceptions around super-royal sovereignty of the city of London is sheer nonsense. Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 1:30

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