Providing Low Cost Finance to the London Police Family

About the Metropolitan Police Trading Service

Providing Low Cost Finance to the London Police Family

The METROPOLITAN POLICEMetropolitan Police Trading Service TRADING SERVICE exists for the benefit of its members by supplying finance for goods and services through a network of ‘authorised suppliers’ and extending credit facilities if required.

The Trading Service was established in 1956 as an unincorporated trading association, non-profit making and owned by all members of the Metropolitan Police. Our members are police officers from the Metropolitan Police Service, City of London Police and Metropolitan Police Staff.

The MPTS list of goods and services is very comprehensive and includes cars, motorbikes, computers, electrical goods, cameras, power tools, jewellery, double glazing, carpets, furniture, central heating, building requirements, etc.

Our very low Interest Charge, currently 3% per annum (APR 5.2% variable), can make those personal luxuries or necessities more affordable when you use our finance.

We are based on the A205 (South Circular Road) right next door to WEST DULWICH Railway Station (11 minutes from Victoria)

Top quality suppliers

The Metropolitan Police Trading Service offer an ever widening range of consumer good, products and services from over 200 suppliers.

Low cost finance

Our very low Interest Charge, currently 3% per annum (APR 5.2 variable), can make those personal luxuries or necessities more affordable when you use our finance.

Wide range of goods

We have a wide range of suppliers of products, goods and services ready to offer you attractive and competitive prices, so whatever you are thinking of buying, we are here to help.

History of the MPTS

Labour Exchange, Borough High Street
Labour Exchange, Borough High Street
Inside the Borough High Street showroom

Back in the late 19th century, there were no formal canteen facilities in the Metropolitan Police Force, just a curious mix of local messes and tea clubs. These had been set up to raise money for the sports sections and no doubt to keep the local constabulary of the day out of the local tavern.
The Met and the Metropolitan Police Federation decided it was time to introduce a canteen and grocery supply for the Metropolitan Police District. Following this, the Labour Exchange building on Borough High street was set up as a ‘General Store’ providing poorly paid police officers with extremely affordable duty items such as bootlaces, braces, socks, collar studs and boots. And so.. the Metropolitan Police Trading Service was born (though not named as such just yet) 

On the 18th December 1928, this supply service, still known as The Central Canteen Committee, became an official entity of the Metropolitan Police Service, through the signing of the Trust Deed.

Thomas Landen, Chief Constable of Metropolitan Police, and Charles William Rawson Royds, Deputy Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, both of New Scotland Yard, were called on that day in December, to sign the deed.

25 years earlier, the same Charles William Rawson Royds had been First Lieutenant of the RRS Discovery on Robert Falcon Scott’s National Antartic Expedition. Cape Royds in Antarctica was named after him.

Charles Royds on the boat
Charles Royds on the boat
Charles William Rawson Royds

The involvement of senior Police Officers continued until about 2009 when Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur stood down as a Trustee. Since then the Trustees have come from the Metropolitan Police Federation for purely practical reasons.

The War disrupted the structure of what was then known as the Metropolitan Police Canteens but it retained two very distinct elements – Catering Branch and the Outfitting Department which would become the Trading Service, both elements coming within the remit of the Receiver of the Metropolitan Police.

In 1954 a Credit Instalment Department was introduced to Outfitting and saw a dramatic increase in sales of household and electrical goods.

In 1967 the Board of Management were able to convince the Commissioner that the Outfitting Department could exist and thrive very well as a separate entity within the Met and would be a continuing benefit for all personnel.

The Trading Service was established as an unincorporated trading association, non-profit making and owned by all of its members..

 Acquisition of the large premises in Borough High Street proved to be its most valuable asset. On the sale of this premises the Trading Service moved to Stephen Barrett House, 134, Thurlow Park Road, West Dulwich SE21 8HN, where it remains and enjoys an excellent business relationship with over two hundred suppliers of various goods and services.

We are able to offer credit facilities to Police Officers and Police Staff from the Metropolitan Police Service and Police Officers from the City of London with a current interest charge of 3% per annum (APR variable) over any period up to five years.

The Board of Management comprising representatives from the three Council’s of the Metropolitan Police Federation, City of London Police Federation, Police Staff Association and the Superintendents’ Association, oversees the Trading Service which is run on a day to day basis by John Foster the current General Manager and four staff members. In July 2016 John retired from the MPS after 35 years, the last 16 years as a Detective on the Homicide Command.

The Trustees, originally appointed by the Commissioner, are now appointed by the Metropolitan Police Federation Councils and Superintendents Association through the Board of Management.

The Trading Service in its present form continues to provide very attractive credit facilities to its members.

In essence the Trading Service is the grand old lady of Met Benefits, it is financially independent and self-supporting it is an integral part of, and almost as old as, the Metropolitan Police Service.