The Minster Police of York Minster will be handed the same power as regular police officers
York Minster's Minster Police – the British equivalent of the Vatican City's Swiss guard – will be handed the same powers as regular police officer's from the Spring.
The eight Cathedral Constables who make up the private police force, have been given specialist training ahead of their reinstatement within the walled city.
They are now set to be attested which will give them the power to carry a baton and arrest miscreants within the precinct of the world famous Minster.
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The Minster's Cathedral Constables were sworn in as constables in the 1930s
York Minster is one of only seven cathedrals in the world to maintain its own police force
Officers will then hand over their suspects to counterparts at North Yorkshire Police who man the city of York.
The eight constables have all undergone the same training as Home Office police forces and their new powers were formally recognised on Tuesday in a memorandum of understanding signed by the Dean of York and Superintendent Adam Thompson.
He signed on behalf of the Chapter of York and the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police.
Minster Police have still played a crucial role in protecting the cathedrlal
Mark Sutcliffe, the cathedral's head of security, said: "York Minster is one of only seven cathedrals in the world to maintain its own police force, which has played an important role in the rich history of the Minster for hundreds of years.
"The memorandum of understanding acts as a formal agreement between the cathedral and North Yorkshire Police around operational policing responsibilities within the Minster and its precinct and the new training and attestation ensures our Cathedral Constables have the professional skills and powers necessary to execute their duties."
Established in the 13th century at the time of King Edward I, the York Minster Police was a forerunner of the modern force established by Sir Robert Peel in 1829.
The private force will have the power to carry a baton and arrest miscreants within the Minster
The Minster's Cathedral Constables were sworn in as constables until the 1930s, when they ceased to be attested – formally certified.
The change was made because the then Dean and Chapter had concerns that their officers could be drafted by York City Police in times of crisis, leaving the Minster without sufficient protection.
Despite having only civilian powers Minster Police have still played a crucial role in protecting the cathedral, not least in 1984 when lightning struck the roof of the south transept, starting a fire which would have totally destroyed the building had they not been able to raise the alarm immediately.
The other six cathedrals that have their own force are Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral; Hereford Cathedral, Chester Cathedral, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome – the Swiss Guard is responsible for the safety of the Pope – and Washington's National Cathedral in the US.
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