Admiralty Constabulary

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Admiralty Constabulary
Navy Board Flag from 2003.gif
Department overview
Preceding Department
Superseding department
TypePolice Force
Parent departmentDepartment of Admiralty
Navy Department

The Admiralty Constabulary was a special police force of the British Admiralty established in 1949 it replaced the Royal Marine Police. In 1971 it was unified with the amalgamated with the Army Constabulary and the Air Force Constabulary to form the Ministry of Defence Police.


The Constabulary can trace its history back to 1686 when the Royal Navy needed an organisation to prevent dockyard crime. In the 18th century the Secretary to the Admiralty - Samuel Pepys, formed a force of 'porters, rounders, warders and watchmen' to guard the naval yards. Porters identified and escorted visitors, rounders patrolled the yard, warders were responsible for the keys and backed up the porters at the gates, and the part-time watchmen guarded buildings and areas by night.[1]

The Special Constables Act of 1923 allowed for the establishment of a special police force for the Department of Admiralty leading to the creation of the Royal Marine Police. In 1931 the Royal Marine Police until 1949 when it was renamed the Admiralty Constabulary. In 1964 the British Admiralty was absorbed with two other service ministries, the War Office and Air Ministry into the Ministry of Defence where they became service departments. This force remained part of the Navy Department until 1971 the force was unified along with with the Army Department Constabulary and the Air Force Department Constabulary to form the Ministry of Defence Police.[2]

The force was controlled and directed through Admiralty Constabulary Headquarters.


  1. "Ministry of Defence Police Bill [Lords] (Hansard, 27 January 1987)". Hansard, vol 109 cc276-85. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  2. Button, Mark (2012). Private Policing. Oxford, England: Routledge. p. 47. ISBN 9781135997557.