Law and Order

Detective Chief Superintendent

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[1]In the British police, a Chief Superintendent (Ch Supt; or colloquially "Chief Super") is senior to a Superintendent and junior to an Assistant Chief Constable (or a Commander in the Metropolitan Police or City of London Police).

The highest rank below Chief Officer level, Chief Superintendents were first introduced into the Metropolitan Police in 1949, when Superintendents were regraded to the new rank, and have since been adopted in all British police forces. However, the rank had been used previously to this in some forces in certain circumstances (e.g. in the early part of the 20th century the deputy head of the Shropshire Constabulary bore the official title of "Chief Superintendent and Deputy Chief Constable"[1]).

Between 1949 and 1968, Chief Superintendent was junior to Deputy Commander in the Metropolitan Police, and between 1953 and 1974 it was immediately senior to Superintendent Grade I.

Traditionally, Chief Superintendents have commanded divisions, but since widespread reorganisation in the 1990s many forces have abandoned divisions for different forms of organisation and the areas commanded by Chief Superintendents vary widely from force to force. In most forces, however, they still command the largest territorial subdivisions, often known generally as Basic Command Units (BCUs). The rank of Chief Superintendent was abolished on 1 April 1995 following recommendations made in the Sheehy Report, except for officers already holding the rank. The Home Office officially reintroduced the rank of Chief Superintendent on 1 January 2002.

The senior detective and commander of the Criminal Investigation Department in most forces is a Detective Chief Superintendent (DCS) (although in the Metropolitan Police, a DCS may only command a branch of the CID and the head of CID in each district was formerly also a DCS) and the rank of Chief Superintendent may also be used by the commanders of other headquarters departments.

The rank badge, worn on the epaulettes, is a bath star ("pip") below a crown, the same rank badge worn by a Lieutenant-Colonel in the British Army. Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendents wore a crown over two stars until the abolition of the rank of Superintendent Grade I in 1976, when they changed to the same rank badge as worn elsewhere in the country.

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