Law enforcement in the United Kingdom is organised separately in each of the legal systems of the United Kingdom: England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
England and Wales is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, which form the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follow a single legal system, known as English law.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign state in western Europe.
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain.
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Most law enforcement is carried out by police officers serving in regional police services within one of these jurisdictions.
A police officer, also known as a policeman, policewoman, police agent, or a police employee is a warranted law employee of a police force.
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These regional services are complemented by UK-wide agencies, such as the National Crime Agency, and specialist bodies hosted by regional police forces, such as the Specialist Operations directorate of the Metropolitan Police.
The Metropolitan Police Service, formerly and still commonly the Metropolitan Police, and also formerly semi-formally called the Metropolitan Police Force, and informally referred to as the Met Police, is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement in Greater London, excluding the "square mile" of the City of London, which is the responsibility of the City of London Police.
Police officers are granted certain powers to enable them to execute their duties.
Their primary duties are the protection of life and property, preservation of the peace, and prevention and detection of criminal offences.
In the British model of policing, officers exercise their powers to police with the implicit consent of the public.
"Policing by consent" is the phrase used to describe this.
It expresses that the legitimacy of policing in the eyes of the public is based upon a general consensus of support that follows from transparency about their powers, their integrity in exercising those powers and their accountability for doing so.