For the painter see John Constable
A Constable refers to a front line officer or member of the Police force in countries with a British colonial history (known as patrol officers in the USA). This gives rise to the alternative name of Constabulary for the Police force.
In British law and similar legal systems, a Constable has the legal powers of arrest given to him directly by a sworn oath and warrant, rather than being delegated powers that he has simply because he is employed as a Police officer. Technically this means that each sworn Constable is an independent legal official rather than simply an employee of the Police.
In many police forces, the rank of Constable is the lowest rank of a trained police officer. Though the rank of Senior Constable can sometimes mean the head of the police force in an area, the rank of Chief Constable or Commissioner is used more often to describe the head of the police force.
Other Police ranks include:
- Chief Constable
- Deputy Chief Constable
- Assistant Chief Constable
- Chief Superintendent
- Chief Inspector
- PC (Police Constable)
The 'rank' of Senior Constable is not used in any UK force.