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 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.
In the Hong Kong Police Force, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) ranks between a Senior Superintendent (SSP) and an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP). A CSP is usually a District Commander (DC) or a Branch/Bureau Commander (e.g. Narcotics Bureau). The Commandant of the Police Tactical Unit is also a CSP.
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