Country's oldest constabulary York Minster Police is recruiting new officers for unique roles

York Minster Police – the country’s oldest constabulary – is recruiting new officers and wardens.

The Minster is now advertising the unique roles on its website. Minster Police officers earn £24,000 for a 38-hour week, and there are two vacancies. Wardens, who are unsworn, earn £19,000, and there is a full-time and a part-time post available.

The cathedral constabulary can date its origins back to the early 12th century, when King Edward I granted their powers. At the time, the Minster was part of the Liberty of St Peter and Peter Prison, meaning it was governed separately to the rest of the medieval city of York. In this early period, the constables often dealt with serious crime and disorder and were armed.

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After a fire in 1829 started by an arsonist, a watchman was employed to guard the building, and 10 years later the Liberty was abolished and the Minster precincts became part of the Corporation of York. By 1855, the watchmen had been renamed the York Minster Police – the first officer was granted grace-and-favour lodgings in Precentor’s Court.

York Minster PoliceYork Minster Police
York Minster Police

Although officers lost their powers of arrest in the 1930s, when attestation ceremonies ended, they regained them in 2017. Anyone detained must be handed over to North Yorkshire Police for custody processing.

The force – one of just seven cathedral constabularies left in the world – consists of eight officers, a sergeant, an inspector and a warden. One of their main duties is the responsibility for 380 sets of keys to buildings and doors on the Minster estate, and they also oversee the movement of money around the Minster and fire safety.

They have an office in the choir aisle, with two vintage truncheons marking the entrance, and provide 24-hour security cover.

Applications can be made via the York Minster website.