Hampstead Heath Constabulary celebrates 25 years
The Hampstead Heath Constabulary is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month (July).
In 1992, following the transfer of custodianship of the Heath from the former Greater London Council (GLC) to the City of London Corporation, six Heath Rangers were sworn in as Special Constables with a duty to uphold and enforce the site’s byelaws, and the Heath Constabulary was born.
There has been a policing presence on the Heath since 1889, beginning with the London County Council Parks Constabulary. This was followed by the GLC’s Warranted Enforcement Team which, after the GLC was disbanded in 1986, was superseded by the Hampstead Heath Dog Section under the control of the London Residuary Body.
Today, the Constabulary continues its duties, providing reassurance by patrolling the Heath and protecting the site by reducing levels of crime and anti-social behaviour through engagement, education, deterrence and byelaw enforcement.
The Constabulary has a number of other roles, including providing on-site support for larger events - including annual funfairs and festivals - and working with the Metropolitan Police Service on broader policing issues affecting the Heath.
Today, the Constabulary is made up of a Manager, two Sergeants and a team of ten Constables. Included among the Constables are two Constable Dog Handlers assisted by trained police dogs.
Karina Dostalova, Chairman of the Hampstead Heath Management Committee said:
“The Constabulary has done a fine job of protecting the Heath over the years and continues to do so.
“The team is very important to the security of the Heath, ensuring that many visitors we receive every year have a safe and enjoyable time.
“With the increased need for and popularity of open spaces across London, their support is needed now more than ever.”
Constables are sworn in under Article 18 of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government Provisional Order Confirmation (Greater London Parks and Open Spaces) Act 1967. They are also appointed Constables for City of London Open Spaces Department under section 16 of the Corporation of London Open Spaces Act 1878.
Hampstead Heath is located 3.5 miles from Trafalgar Square and receives over 7 million visits a year. The City Corporation spends more than £5 million a year to maintain the Heath which includes a zoo, an athletics track, an education centre, extensive children's facilities, three natural bathing ponds and a Lido.
The City of London Corporation manages 11,000 acres of green space across London and south east England, including Epping Forest and Burnham Beeches, with many of its sites designated National nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest for their unique ecology and rare plant species.
Carl Locsin, Public Services Media Officer, City of London Corporation
T 020 7332 3654 / M 0738 862 229
Notes to editors
About the City of London Corporation
The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:
- We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, makes grants of around £20 million annually to tackle disadvantage across London.
- We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, the Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important commons in London.
- We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies, all reflecting a long-term approach.
See www.cityoflondon.gov.uk for more details.