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A guide to filming with the police in London

Using the police to help with your production is not just limited to when you need to film scenes with firearms, or for shooting scenes that may have issues of public safety. There is a wide variety of other reasons that you may need assistance, so we enlisted help from the Met Police to bring you key facts to consider when filming with a police presence in the capital.

Photo credit: PC Dan Elliott at MPS Film Unit

Apply in advance

A notification of intent to film must be supplied in advance of filming, including a brief synopsis and description of the scene or scenes that will need police assistance. You can find this form here.

When a police presence is needed for location filming

There are seven types of filming on location that will likely require a police presence. These are:

• Filming with weapons
• Filming with replica, imitation or airsoft firearms
• Filming with actors or extras in police uniform
• Filming with replica or fake police vehicles
• Filming scenes of crime or violence
• Filming real or perceived nudity
• Filming with issues of public safety

Photo credit: PC Dan Elliott at MPS Film Unit

Filming on London roads

The Met Film Unit provides advice, management and supervision when filming on the roads in London’s 32 boroughs, not including the City of London. The help includes providing ‘no objections’ notices, advising local authorities about your production and sending police officers to assist and supervise where necessary.

Filming stunts, fights or other hazardous activities

The main reason for police involvement during filming scenes involving violence or danger is so that the public doesn’t think the event is real. It is vital you contact the Met Film Unit in advance for these scenes.

General guidelines to observe when filming stunts or violent scenes include:

• Make sure your crew is wearing high-vis clothing to let the public know filming is underway
• Use signs to inform the public about filming
• Leaflet residents in advance
• Provide stewards to preserve the security of the set and reassure the public

Using firearms and other weapons

The following are essential points you must consider regarding filming with firearms or other weapons:

Photo credit: FilmFixer

• Liaise with the Met Film Unit in advance of any filming with replica, imitation or airsoft firearms
• Get a film weapon ‘CAD’ number from the Met Film Unit
• Tell the Met Film Unit and Borough Film Service (BFS) of any activity involving weapons to prevent the emergency deployment of armed police
• Read the specific guidance on the Met Police’s website about filming scenes involving weapons to make sure you notify the right authorities well in advance

Owning and transporting police equipment

The UK Film and TV Registration Scheme is for supporting artists (SAs) who own police costume, uniforms, vehicles or equipment. The scheme protects SAs when they’re travelling with these items, reducing the risk of misunderstandings if stopped by the police and of the equipment falling into the wrong hands.

How to register

To join the UK Film and TV Registration Scheme, visit You’ll be issued with a photo ID card you must carry with you whenever you’re travelling with police equipment.

All UK police forces are aware of the scheme and how to verify the identity of an SA who produces a UK Film and TV Registration Scheme card.

Photo credit: PC Dan Elliott at MPS Film Unit

Using the Met’s intellectual property

To depict the Met in print, film or a TV broadcast, you may need an intellectual property (IP) agreement or licence. A standard fee is charged for incidental use of the Met IP. To obtain an accurate quote, get in touch using our quick and simple online request an IP licence form.

The Met police logo, uniforms, cap badges, royal armorial (crest), warrant badge, vehicle liveries, New Scotland Yard revolving sign, paperwork and other items are all copyright of the Metropolitan Police Authority. Some of these are also trademarked.

The Met doesn’t commercially endorse or advertise products or services. Permission and approval may be granted for an image to appear as incidental, such as in the background at a football match, or directing traffic.

Where police are needed for advertising purposes, we’d suggest a generic police force is depicted, with no identifying logos or badges.

Photo credit: FilmFixer

Using Met staff, animals, equipment and campaign material

The Met does not hire out staff or animals as performers, but has a range of advice and support services available.

The Met doesn’t hire out uniform, equipment or vehicles, but they can be sourced from various registered providers.

For productions that require set-dressing, the Met can provide a poster pack, which includes posters from various Met campaigns, at a cost of £50, plus VAT. Poster packs can only be sent out if you’ve been granted a Met IP licence.

With many thanks to the Met police for their help and info compiling this guide. Take a look at their website for specific details including ghost vehicles and registration plates, filming on the move in London and application forms for other criteria covered in this guide.

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