Association of Chief Police Officers

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Group.png Association of Chief Police Officers   History Commons Powerbase SourcewatchRdf-icon.png
SuccessorNational Police Chiefs' Council
Headquarters10 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0NN
LeaderAssociation of Chief Police Officers/President
Subgroups• Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit
• National Counter Terrorism Security Office
• National Community Tension Team
• ACPO Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service
• ACPO Criminal Records Office
• National Wildlife Crime Unit
Founder ofConfidential Intelligence Unit, National Domestic Extremism Team, National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit
SubpageAssociation of Chief Police Officers/President

The Association of Chief Police Officers, officially The Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, was established in 1948[1] It was a not-for-profit private limited company that for many years led the development of policing practices in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

ACPO provided a forum for chief police officers to share ideas and coordinate their strategic operational responses, and advised government in matters such as terrorist attacks and civil emergencies. ACPO coordinated national police operations, major investigations, cross-border policing, and joint law enforcement. ACPO designated Senior Investigative Officers for major investigations and appointed officers to head ACPO units specialising in various areas of policing and crime reduction.


ACPO was led by Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde who was, until 2009, the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). He was elected as president by fellow members of ACPO in April 2009.[2]


ACPO was funded by Home Office grants, profits from commercial activities and contributions from the 44 police authorities in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. A 2009 article mentioned:

  1. "Selling information from the Police National Computer for up to £70 – even though it pays just 60 pence to access those details.
  2. Marketing ‘police approval’ logos to firms selling anti-theft devices.
  3. Operating a separate private firm offering training to speed camera operators, which is run by a senior officer who was banned from driving."[3]

FOIA status

ACPO had been criticised as being unaccountable to Parliament or the public by virtue of its limited company status.[4] In October 2009 Sir Hugh Orde stated that ACPO would be "more than happy" to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.[5] On 30 March 2010, the Ministry of Justice announced that ACPO would be included under the FOI Act from October 2011.[6] In its response, the organisation stated that "Although organisations cannot voluntarily comply with the Act, a large proportion of ACPO's work is public already or available under FOI through any police force".[7] In January 2011 its website still said it: "is unable to do is to respond to requests for information under the Act. The organisation is too small and there are too few members of staff to be able to conduct the necessary research and to compile the responses".[8] From November 2011, however, FOI requests could be made to ACPO.[9]


Following the Parker Review into ACPO, it was replaced in 2015 by a new body, the National Police Chiefs' Council, set up under a police collaboration agreement under Section 22A of the Police Act 1996.[10]


A Quote by Association of Chief Police Officers

Operation Nicole“The initiative is specifically developed for Muslim communities and feedback during the event has helped to shape the exercise and its content. While we know that terrorism isn’t solely a problem for these communities, at this time the most significant threat to the UK comes from Al-Qaida groups or Al-Qaida influenced ideology who purport to act in the name of Islam. Therefore, counter terrorism operations can disproportionately affect members of Muslim communities.”March 2013Operation Nicole Factsheet


  1. John Steele (20 October 2001). "Police chief 'club' may become closed shop". The Telegraph. London.

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  2. "Sir Hugh Orde elected ACPO President". Police Service of Northern Ireland. 16 April 2009.

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  3. Duncan Gardham (15 February 2009). "ACPO makes £18m from criminal records checks". Daily Telegraph. London.

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  4. Sean O’Neill (10 March 2010). "Tories accuse senior police of giving political cover to Labour". Times Online. London.

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  5. "Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence taken before the Home Affairs Committee - Sir Hugh Orde and Chief Constable Tim Hollis". United Kingdom Parliament. 13 October 2009.

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  6. UK Ministry of Justice. "Greater transparency in Freedom of Information". Press release. 
  7. Association of Chief Police Officers. "Comment on MOJ announcement for ACPO to come under FOI in October 2011". Press release. Retrieved 2010-04-01. [dead link]Template:Cbignore
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

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  10. "ACPO chief Orde to quit as police organisation scrapped"