City of London: Private or Public?


What is the City of London?

The City of London provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the ‘Square Mile’

In addition to the usual services provided by a local authority such as housing, refuse collection, education, social services, environmental health and town planning, the City of London performs a number of very special functions. It runs its own police force and the nation’s Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey.

Access to information

“Please note that this Act applies to the City of London as a local authority, police authority and port health authority only. The Act does not apply to the City of London’s privately funded functions, including the Bridge House Estates Trust.”


About Barbican

“The Barbican Centre is one of the world’s leading arts centres, founded and run by the City of London Corporation. It encompasses dance, film, music, theatre, visual arts and creative learning who work together in creating the model of tomorrow’s international arts and learning centre.”


About the force

“Policing the Square Mile brings with it particular challenges, quite unlike any other policing area within the UK. The City of London is the world’s leading international financial and business centre. It is an area where disruption to ‘business as usual’ would have significant impact on the diverse range of business interests located here.”

Do you differ from other police forces?

“We are a Home Office police force like all the others. We have the same ranks, work to the same regulations, and carry out the same policing services. The only difference is that our Police Authority (to whom we are accountable) is the Corporation of London’s Court of Common Council, rather than a Police Authority consisting of local councillors, magistrates and independent members as exists for other forces.”

The Court of Common Council

“The Court of Common Council is the City of London’s primary decision-making assembly, and meets every four weeks. It works through committees, like any other local authority, but it is unique in that it is non-party political. Its main business focuses on the reports of committees and members’ questions and motions.”

“The capital already has a commissioner, the Mayor Boris Johnson. The City of London Police will continue to be scrutinised by the Corporation of London.”

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