Canterbury Cathedral Constables
The office of Constable has existed at Canterbury under various titles since the 12th Century and today forms an integral part of the Cathedral community.
The role of the Constable at Canterbury hadn’t existed in entirety for more than one hundred years but due to the challenges of the modern world, the Constabulary was resurrected in 2016.
The Constabulary is led by the Head Constable, with a Deputy Head Constable as second in command, who also has the role of Constabulary Operations Officer. The Constabulary is broken down into Duty Shifts, each being led by a Cathedral Sergeant.
The Constables work from the Constables’ Lodge which is situated within the Precincts and has been occupied by the Constables for over three hundred years with Cathedral records having evidence of a “Watchman” being in residence in 1660AD.
The Constables have since their role was created been charged to maintain “Good Order” within the Cathedral and its Precincts and are sworn in by a magistrate as a Warranted Constable to do so. Today the Constables are familiar figures both to congregation members and regular visitors to the Cathedral.
Modern Constables deal with all manner of situations from monitoring the Cathedral’s CCTV system and manning the access gates into the Cathedral, to dealing with the prevention of crime and liaising with Kent Police along with other Police Constabularies. In the past the Constables have dealt with people brandishing knives and firearms and have assisted locally with the arrest.
The Constabulary uniform is recognisable to the Cathedral community and visitors from all around the world as the local “Cathedral Bobbie”.
Constables wear black cargo trousers, a black duty shirt displaying their Constabulary number and police cap with a blue and white Sillitoe tartan band. “Close” Constable wears the Canterbury Cross as their cap badge and the “Cathedral” Constable the Constabulary badge with the Queen’s Crown. Personal Protective Equipment is worn consistent with the officer’s duties including an armoured vest, handcuffs and baton. During parades or events such as the Christmas service, the Constables wear their parade tunics along with their Government or Cathedral medals.