Association of Chief Police Officers (U DPO)

ACPO photographWhat was ACPO?

ACPO came into being following a partial merger of the County Chief Constables' Club (established 1858) and the Chief Constables' Association of England and Wales (1896). Both organisations had operated primarily for social purposes, with the County Chief Constables’ Club providing services for senior officers of County forces, and the Chief Constables’ Association providing the same for senior officers of City and Borough Forces. Work towards amalgamation of the two bodies began in 1943, however it was only in July 1948 that the two organisations completed their amalgamation and formed the Chief Constable's Association. At this stage distinctions were retained between City, Borough and County forces. In 1952 this distinction between forces was dropped and the Metropolitan Police became members. From this point the association became the Association of Chief Police Officers of England and Wales (ACPO). The inclusion of the Royal Ulster Constabulary from 1970 onwards resulted in ACPO becoming the Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In 1996 ACPO became a private company limited by guarantee, providing it the status of a legal entity able to bring and defend legal actions. In April 2013 following an independent review into its structure, function and value for money, ACPO was disbanded.

What does the collection contain?

The collection contains records pertaining to ACPO between 1856-2005, including minutes and administrative papers of the Secretariat, the Council, the Committees and Sub-Committees. The collection also contains subject files and covers a wide variety of themes including

How is the collection arranged?

This collection is arranged into the following series:

  • U DPO/1 ACPO Administration
  • U DPO/2 ACPO Council and Committees
  • U DPO/3 Meetings and Conferences
  • U DPO/4 ACPO Business Areas
  • U DPO/5 Papers originating from the Home Office 
  • U DPO/6 Papers originating from the Metropolitan Police
  • U DPO/7 ACPO Media Advisory Group
  • U DPO/8 ACPO Responses to Events of National Interest
  • U DPO/9 Papers originating from External Organisations
  • U DPO/10 ACPO Subject Files
  • U DPO/11 ACPO Library

How can the papers help me in my research?

The collection is useful for researchers looking at the following areas:

  • The development of policing practice in the 20th century
  • Police leadership in the 20th century
  • Employment, working conditions and staff associations
  • The corporatisation of the police service in the 20th century
  • The police response to the 1984 miners’ strike.

Are there any restrictions on access?

U DPO includes items containing personal sensitive information which are not available for public inspection during the lifetime of the data subject. This is in accordance with Section 1 (Principles 1, 2 and 7) of the Data Protection Act 1998. Access will be granted to any accredited reader to all other items.

Are there any related collections?

At Hull History Centre:

  • The papers of Liberty [U DCL], the Chris Mullin MP [U DMU] and Sir Patrick Cormack MP [U DPK] provide content which relates to events present within U DPO.
  • Further records relating to the history of crime may can be found in the Hull Quarter sessions records [C CQA and C CQB], the Hull Borough records [C BR], and the Hull Magistrates records [C DPM].

At Other Repositories: 

  • Archived copies are available via the UK Web Archive and the Wayback Machine
  • The National Archives holds records of the Home Office and also of official inquiries into the police to which ACPO contributed evidence or comment. These can be found by searching their online catalogue (
  • A Guide to the Archives of the Police Forces of England and Wales was created in 1989 by Ian Bridgeman and Professor Clive Emsley. This is available online and provides a useful guide to locating further content.
  • The National Police Library based at the College of Policing in Ryton-on-Dunsmore (as of November 2016) provides a more complete catalogue of police related publications and reports. Their catalogue is searchable online and content can be made available by inter-library loan. The library welcomes enquiries from non-police researchers (