Policing in the Royal Parks dates back to 1872 when the Parks Regulation Act created a force of Royal Park Keepers. Unusually for that time, the Park Keepers were given all the powers of police constables within the Parks. In 1974 the Parks Regulation (Amendment) Act was passed and the Royal Parks Keepers became the Royal Parks Constabulary (RPC).
After a review of the RPC by Mr Anthony Speed, The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) took on the responsibility for policing the Royal Parks on 1 April 2004.
The OCU provides a service to the several million people who visit the Royal Parks every year, drawn not only by the recreational facilities and open spaces, but also by many of the capital's major tourist attractions. This service is in addition to that provided by the local borough OCUs in which the various Parks are located and also the numerous specialist departments such as CO11, the Public Order Branch and SO13 the Anti-Terrorist Branch.
The Royal Parks OCU goal is to "provide and be seen to provide the best possible level of policing for the Royal Parks, so as to ensure that they remain free from disturbance and the fear of crime". In other words the OCU ensures that visitors feel safe and protected.
The headquarters of The Royal Parks OCU is based in Hyde Park, and there are also other police stations elsewhere across the estate.
View a leaflet giving advice on how to make yourself safer when out in London [76kb].