Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Epping Forest Keepers ( Constabulary?)


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Moonie

Moonie

    Student

  • Members
  • 27 posts

Posted 13 March 2013 - 07:01 PM

Apologies if this has been covered before, but can anyone tell me if the Epping Forest Keepers are now known as a Constabulary? I have recently seen a badge depicting the COL crest with the wording " Epping Forest Constabulary" but I can find no amendments to their Keeper's status or an updated Wiki page. I have seen a copy of a proposal from the EF Superintendent asking for Keepers to be given full constabulary/constables powers and status, this was dated last November. 
Can anyone enlighten me? 
Also, what do their vehicles look like? Again, I can find no pictures. 

Any help clarifying this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.



#2 OFFLINE   Forlorn Hope

Forlorn Hope

    Old Timer

  • Members
  • 3,598 posts

Posted 13 March 2013 - 07:06 PM

they used to be duel sworn as met/Essex officers so it's possible



#3 OFFLINE   Moonie

Moonie

    Student

  • Members
  • 27 posts

Posted 13 March 2013 - 07:16 PM

they used to be duel sworn as met/Essex officers so it's possible

Thanks mate, appreciate that. But the badge I saw was of the Corporation of London crest, same as Hampstead Constabulary. That would suggest they are more in line with the CoL Police than either Met or the Essex. Interesting.... must try to find out more. 



#4 OFFLINE   Forlorn Hope

Forlorn Hope

    Old Timer

  • Members
  • 3,598 posts

Posted 13 March 2013 - 07:28 PM

sorry got time to answer you fully now, years ago they were duel sworn as Met & Essex constables in addition to own powers but where put off anything more then a Ranger type role

 

now it seems that might be changing and they carry a Warrant card bearing the title Constable, not sure if I'm allowed t post it but I do have a photo of the Warrant Holder



#5 OFFLINE   Moonie

Moonie

    Student

  • Members
  • 27 posts

Posted 13 March 2013 - 08:02 PM

sorry got time to answer you fully now, years ago they were duel sworn as Met & Essex constables in addition to own powers but where put off anything more then a Ranger type role

 

now it seems that might be changing and they carry a Warrant card bearing the title Constable, not sure if I'm allowed t post it but I do have a photo of the Warrant Holder


Ah! Much obliged for that. That would sure tie in with what I have seen: I get the impression this is a quite recent change which is probably why there isn't much info on it. The warrant card badge may very well be the one I have seen.... The CoL crest with the wording Epping Forest Constabulary.... certainly sounds one and the same; I don't suppose it would hurt to post the pick up, but I may be wrong.  Apparently they were (or could be) sworn in as Constables but only in the jurisdiction of Essex, but because the majority of the grounds are in the MPD, they had no powers. I gather this is why they have "upgraded" then. The paper I saw on this was dated 5th November 2012, so it is a very recent change. 

Very much obliged for the help and clarity on that brother, cheers!  :new_thanks: 

I would still like to know what their vehicles look like, if anyone has a link or is local enough to take a pic. Would be curious to see if their vehicles are marked up like the Hampstead Constabulary..... I should imagine they will be, if not now, then surely eventually. 



#6 OFFLINE   Forlorn Hope

Forlorn Hope

    Old Timer

  • Members
  • 3,598 posts

Posted 13 March 2013 - 08:06 PM

if you PM me a email address I'll email a few bits over that I don't think forum rules allow me to post



#7 OFFLINE   Moonie

Moonie

    Student

  • Members
  • 27 posts

Posted 13 March 2013 - 08:40 PM

Many thanks again mate, have done so. 



#8 OFFLINE   Blakey

Blakey

    Regular User

  • Power Users
  • 507 posts

Posted 14 March 2013 - 03:01 PM

Epping Forest is managed by a team of over 80 full time and part time staff including Information Assistants, Forest Conservation Workers, Ecologists, Litter Pickers, Forest Keepers, Playing Fields Staff, Green Keepers and Administrative Staff, led by the Superintendent of Epping Forest, Paul Thomson.

 

he headquarters of the Epping Forest management team is at The Warren, Loughton, Essex, IG10 4RW, Tel 020 8532 1010, Fax 020 8508 2176 or email epping.forest@cityoflondon.gov.uk.  The office is open weekdays from 9am to 4.45pm

 

 

Source:http://www.cityoflon...Management.aspx



#9 OFFLINE   Moonie

Moonie

    Student

  • Members
  • 27 posts

Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:10 PM

Cheers fellah.... I'm on to it. Many thanks.



#10 OFFLINE   FPO

FPO

    On My Way

  • Members
  • 478 posts
  • Karma

Posted 14 March 2013 - 09:55 PM

Whatever happened to the RPC cops in Edinburgh?



#11 OFFLINE   Moonie

Moonie

    Student

  • Members
  • 27 posts

Posted 14 March 2013 - 11:46 PM

Whatever happened to the RPC cops in Edinburgh?


As far as I understand mate, the Royal Parks Constabulary (Police) were disbanded in England only and were absorbed into the Met's Operational Command..... I am of the impression that the RPC are still responsible for Scotland's Royal park(s) and open spaces..... Again, anyone out their enlighten us? 



#12 OFFLINE   James750

James750

    Learning Curve

  • Members
  • 164 posts

Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:16 AM

RPC in Scotland in their latter days had no connection to London whatsoever. They were part of Historic Scotland. There were only a few of them, mostly responsible for Holyrood Park. With 1 or 2 at Linlithgow Peel. They no longer exist, and were disbanded through natural wastage after a decision was made they were no longer needed in circa 1999. I believe the last officer retired in 2004 or thereabouts. Their vehicles (4x4s) were re-marked up "Park Ranger" and used by Historic Scotland Ranger Service, which has to some extent taken over their duties of bye-law enforcement. However, the Ranger Service also does Cliff Rescue on the crags (hence them having blue lights on their vehicles), and has an educational and conservation role which occupies most of their time. Police matters are dealt with by Lothian and Borders.

 

Epping Forest Keepers are technically "constables" sworn in under the "Epping Forest Act" - although I have never ever heard of them using constabulary powers. They dress in brown / green park warden style uniforms, and don't carry cuffs or batons, and have sensibly thus far steered well clear of the pseudo-Home Office force uniform that landed so many borough parks police in trouble. They drive 4x4 trucks with amber lights on them. I believe the trucks now have "Epping Forest Constables" marked on the side, and warrant cards (nothing like police ones) also say "Constable". They also have a small breast patch with the word "Constable" on it worn on their uniform. Epps used to say "Epping Forest" on them with the City crest, now they are plain green with just the Corporation of London's new logo embroidered on with no specific reference to the Forest. I'm not an expert on the limits of their powers, but as vast amounts of the Forest they patrol lies within the MPD it seems somewhat misleading for them to brand themselves as "Constables" if they don't have any powers in huge chunks of the forest, Would be interested to hear any further info other forum users may have....

 

Further info: Epping Forest used to have Mounted Keepers...but they were disbanded several years ago. I recall that when the RPC was disbanded a couple of RPC officers who had been in their mounted branch moved over to Epping Forest as they didn't want to join the Met. 


Edited by James750, 15 March 2013 - 12:19 AM.


#13 OFFLINE   Moonie

Moonie

    Student

  • Members
  • 27 posts

Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:46 PM

RPC in Scotland in their latter days had no connection to London whatsoever. They were part of Historic Scotland. There were only a few of them, mostly responsible for Holyrood Park. With 1 or 2 at Linlithgow Peel. They no longer exist, and were disbanded through natural wastage after a decision was made they were no longer needed in circa 1999. I believe the last officer retired in 2004 or thereabouts. Their vehicles (4x4s) were re-marked up "Park Ranger" and used by Historic Scotland Ranger Service, which has to some extent taken over their duties of bye-law enforcement. However, the Ranger Service also does Cliff Rescue on the crags (hence them having blue lights on their vehicles), and has an educational and conservation role which occupies most of their time. Police matters are dealt with by Lothian and Borders.

 

Epping Forest Keepers are technically "constables" sworn in under the "Epping Forest Act" - although I have never ever heard of them using constabulary powers. They dress in brown / green park warden style uniforms, and don't carry cuffs or batons, and have sensibly thus far steered well clear of the pseudo-Home Office force uniform that landed so many borough parks police in trouble. They drive 4x4 trucks with amber lights on them. I believe the trucks now have "Epping Forest Constables" marked on the side, and warrant cards (nothing like police ones) also say "Constable". They also have a small breast patch with the word "Constable" on it worn on their uniform. Epps used to say "Epping Forest" on them with the City crest, now they are plain green with just the Corporation of London's new logo embroidered on with no specific reference to the Forest. I'm not an expert on the limits of their powers, but as vast amounts of the Forest they patrol lies within the MPD it seems somewhat misleading for them to brand themselves as "Constables" if they don't have any powers in huge chunks of the forest, Would be interested to hear any further info other forum users may have....

 

Further info: Epping Forest used to have Mounted Keepers...but they were disbanded several years ago. I recall that when the RPC was disbanded a couple of RPC officers who had been in their mounted branch moved over to Epping Forest as they didn't want to join the Met. 


A very interesting read, many thanks for that matey. It sounds like they are slowly migrating towards being a " parks constabulary" then, however reluctant their bosses may be. The majority of the London parks plods have gone now; Everyone seemed to think it was the way forward but quickly realised it was a legal and financial minefield. 
Would be interested also to hear any other latest news as it emerges.... Still trying to locate a decent photo of one of their vehicles if anyone can oblige. 



#14 OFFLINE   Forlorn Hope

Forlorn Hope

    Old Timer

  • Members
  • 3,598 posts

Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:27 PM

you can see the re-branded Scottish vehicles here

 

dscd0285.jpg

 

the site it's on is a great resource for anyone interested in emergency vehicles and has some agencies I'd never even heard of



#15 OFFLINE   Moonie

Moonie

    Student

  • Members
  • 27 posts

Posted 16 March 2013 - 02:05 PM

Yes indeed, that is a great site mate. I have used it many times for references when building models. Was quite surprised at the number of Honourary Police there are on Jersey and that Liverpool had a Markets Police complete with vehicle fleet. 
Keeping with the subject of parks police/constabularies, despite that site's reasonably good selection of pics, they don't have a Greenwich Parks Police vehicle and I cannot find one in a Google search either. I remember seeing them years ago with the green and white "Tartan" around the caps but I don't recall what the vehicles looked like..... 



#16 OFFLINE   Forlorn Hope

Forlorn Hope

    Old Timer

  • Members
  • 3,598 posts

Posted 16 March 2013 - 04:41 PM

Yes indeed, that is a great site mate. I have used it many times for references when building models. Was quite surprised at the number of Honourary Police there are on Jersey and that Liverpool had a Markets Police complete with vehicle fleet. 
Keeping with the subject of parks police/constabularies, despite that site's reasonably good selection of pics, they don't have a Greenwich Parks Police vehicle and I cannot find one in a Google search either. I remember seeing them years ago with the green and white "Tartan" around the caps but I don't recall what the vehicles looked like..... 

they were white 4x4's similar in shape and size to the suzuki vitara, amber light bars



#17 OFFLINE   Giraffe

Giraffe

    Forum Fixture

  • Account Closed
  • 16,571 posts

Posted 16 March 2013 - 05:13 PM

Purely from memory, I'm sure I saw someone post on here in the past that the Epping Forest Keepers were classed as SCs for both the Metropolitan and Essex Police Districts, but not for forces that border those forces as used to be the case for SCs of those forces prior to our powers expending throughout E&W back in 2007.  On the contrary, I've just had a look on Wikipedia, and that seems to suggest that they used to have powers throughout Epping Forest, but lost some of them with a previous boundary change between Essex and the Met.



#18 OFFLINE   Forlorn Hope

Forlorn Hope

    Old Timer

  • Members
  • 3,598 posts

Posted 16 March 2013 - 05:20 PM

maybe it was a case of Epping forest being the force and the neighboring forces were met/essex

 

it sounds a little like what they have in Australia, in the border regions of some states constables are sworn as specials of the neighboring state, and in the case of one Northern Territories Constable apparently a  NT/Queensland and Southern Australia officer



#19 OFFLINE   cfnbryn

cfnbryn

    Damsel's Pet Welshman

  • Lifetime Power User+
  • 2,877 posts

Posted 16 March 2013 - 05:36 PM

From their website:

 

 

 

Epping Forest is patrolled 365 days a year by Forest Keepers whose role is to assist the public to enjoy the Forest safely and to protect the Forest from inappropriate damage or abuse. The Forest Keepers are also attested constables and enforce the Epping Forest byelaws. If necessary, this includes prosecuting byelaw infringement cases in the Magistrates Court.

http://www.cityoflon...Management.aspx

 

This also might be of some interest:

http://democracy.cit...ation of FK.pdf

Authorisation for an Epping Forest Officer to appear in Magistrate's Court to represent the CoL


Edited by cfnbryn, 16 March 2013 - 05:53 PM.


#20 OFFLINE   ninetyone

ninetyone

    Experienced

  • Members
  • 1,983 posts

Posted 14 April 2013 - 11:39 PM

I'm not sure what this stuff about Epping Forest Keepers not having full police powers is about? I see someone edited the Wikipedia page but it appears to be a little misguided - the fact that they are sworn in by an Essex JP doesn't mean they only have powers in parts of Epping Forest that lie in Essex.

 

43. The Conservators may from time to time, for securing the better execution of this Act and their byelaws, procure all or any of the reeves or assistant reeves, and of the bailiffs, and other officers appointed by them, to be sworn in as constables before a justice of the peace for the county of Essex, who shall have power to swear them in accordingly

http://www.cityoflon...-Forest-Act.pdf

 

There was a report to a CoL committee about giving a particular officer the power to bring prosecutions, but this is nothing to do with any question about their general powers as constables.

 



#21 OFFLINE   SS Uncle Ben

SS Uncle Ben

    Getting There

  • Power Users
  • 87 posts

Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:26 PM

Hi all

 

I was one of the Epping Forest Keepers in the mid 1990's and confirm we were sworn in under the 1878 Epping Forest Act as Constables with powers within the confines of the Epping Forest boundaries. Uniform was traditionally brown tunic and trousers with gold buttons and gold City of London collar shields, military light brown shirt and brown tie plus red DM shoes or boots. Practical uniform was usually brown trouser or green combat trouser with light brown shirt. We had hi-viz jackets with reflective badges saying "Constable Epping Forest" The management started to move towards police style when the Hampstead Heath Constabulary was formed in the 1990's by City of London. Patrolling was on foot with each keeper constable having their own neat area on which we lived in tied lodges. Three patrol groups designated A, B and C covered the forest area in an early shift and late shift varying in times depending on time of year (e.g. summer shift would be earlys 7am to 3pm and lates 12 noon 8pm with variations as required. Because we lived in lodges supplied "for the better performance" of our duties we were required to respond to out of hours emergencies as they arose. I was based in Wanstead Park at the south end of the forest and had a blue 999 phone box at my lodge for public to use in emergency.   Any more info needed, just ask 



Further to my last post, I should add that we also had dedicated motor cycle officers using Honda Trans Alps marked with COL crests, a mounted section based predominantly at the north end of the forest, mobile patrols using various vehicles including Landrovers, Mitsubishi pickups, Nissan Primera and Escort vans. Vehicles were Brunswick Green with COL crests and word "Epping Forest".  When I left in the late 1990's they had acquired white Land Rover Discovery vans and had COL crests and the words "Constable Epping Forest" on. We had personal issue mountain bikes and a Honda ATV. 



#22 OFFLINE   Bananaman

Bananaman

    Always Here

  • Members
  • 1,474 posts

Posted 13 June 2013 - 05:47 AM

Interesting info , thanks!

#23 OFFLINE   Crucible

Crucible

    Forum Fixture

  • Power Users
  • 12,818 posts

Posted 08 August 2013 - 09:08 AM

I was told by an Epping Forest Keeper that they were sworn in as Special Constables for the MET and Essex Police areas. He even showed me a lamented card that was supposedly the legislation.

HOWEVER, having read the Epping Forest Act it would seem that they only have powers in relation to by-laws and any provision made under the Act.

There is another piece of obscure legislation that could be used to possibly give them full police powers. Section 16 of the Corporation of London Open Spaces Act allows the Corporation to appoint constables for their open spaces, but I am not sure if this gives them full powers. I cannot track down the wording.

The Hamstead Heath Constabulary are sworn in twice- once under the London legislation for parks constabularies to give them by-law powers and also under this historic legislation. The only reason I can think that they are sworn in under two pieces of legislation is to give them more powers.

In theory, a Hamstead Heath Constable could have full police powers in Epping Forest, whereas an Epping Forest Constable may not?

#24 OFFLINE   Crucible

Crucible

    Forum Fixture

  • Power Users
  • 12,818 posts

Posted 19 August 2013 - 10:07 AM

I have seen a copy of a proposal from the EF Superintendent asking for Keepers to be given full constabulary/constables powers and status, this was dated last November. 

Where did you see this report?

I have read the papers for the Epping Forest Committee and can see no mention of it. I would be interested to see it :)

The City of London Corporation is a bit of an enigma- it is a local authority, part private business and part charity. Epping Forest was 'gifted to the people' and I understand that it is run from the income of invested charitable funds? Therefore, it is run at no cost to the tax payer and is run on a tight budget. So, having a 'police force' would cost money.

I have updated their Wiki entry with some of the stuff that I found. They make about 8 prosecutions a year and their style seems to be having 'advisory conversations' with people about their behaviour. This is now a KPI and Keepers seem to be judged on the number of people they talk to for being 'naughty'. They record about 17 'telling offs' a day across the whole forest.

Reading some of their papers, they estimate that they would only get about 2/3 of costs back for prosecutions. Reading between the lines, I don't think that they want to increase costs by increasing the number of people they take to Court.

I doubt they want their Keepers to have full powers because it might mean the MET and Essex may patrol the forest less. Also, Keepers with full powers could end up in isolated places where it may be hard to get back up to. Whilst they may know the paths and bridle ways, how could they communicate that to local police if they needed urgent assistance? At the moment, a Keeper can just walk away from a situation and call the police. If they had full powers, then they would have more of a duty to act. Some of the most aggressive people they encounter are professional mushroom pickers who have knives and whom they confront off the beaten track. Some people go over there at night with air guns to practice and I am sure more missing east gangsters are buried there than were ever put into the concrete pillars of bridges lol You have numerous dogging grounds and cruising grounds, which they see as a police issue. And you even get strange pagan and cult rituals taking place at night.

Also, the Keepers live in houses on forest ground so if they did more 'policing' then they are at greater risk of getting a visit at night. Where the Keepers live is not a secret.

Just having basic Constabularly powers for bylaws allows them to challenge and advise the public. Stick them in a police uniform then it will cost a lot more money and possibly expose them to danger. It would change their roles from being Keepers that engage the public to police officers that enforce the law in the forest.

Edited by DGP, 19 August 2013 - 10:33 AM.


#25 OFFLINE   Diceman

Diceman

    On My Way

  • Members
  • 382 posts
  • Karma

Posted 12 January 2014 - 11:00 PM

The keepers today are there to protect the forest through the enforcement of the bye laws which is why they are sworn in as special constables.

The management tries to get Essex police to cover the forest an then cut back the number of keepers but were surprised when they found that Essex would dedicate a team 100% to the forest.

From what I understand they have recruited more from the scientific/ ecological backgrounds over the last few years and those willing to be forward about enforcing the laws are few. Or so my Dad tells me.




0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users