The basic ranks are:
After those there are the senior managers who use vaious different names, Some forces use the term Commander as well but its basically:
Assistant Chief Constable
Deputy Chief Constable
In law, every member of a police force is a Constable whatever their actual rank, in the sense that, despite being a low-ranking or high-ranking officer, all have the same powers of arrest. The basic police powers of arrest and search of an ordinary constable are identical to those of a superintendent or chief constable; however certain higher ranks are given administrative powers to authorise certain police actions. In England and Wales, these include the powers to:
authorise the continued detention of up to 24 hours of a person arrested for an offence and brought to a police station (granted to sergeants and above at designated police stations),
authorise section 18 (1) PACE house searches (granted to inspectors and above), or
extend the length of prisoner detention to 36 hours (granted to superintendents).
Some authorities are matters of force or national or force policy and not subject to law, such as authorising the use of spike strips, and authorising the use of safe controlled crashes of pursued vehicles, by trained traffic police officers.
In relation to police officers of the Home Office or territorial police forces of England and Wales, section 30 of the Police Act 1996 states that “a member of a police force shall have all the powers and privileges of a Constable throughout England and Wales and the adjacent United Kingdom waters”. Police officers do not need to be on duty to exercise their powers and can act off duty if circumstances require it (technically placing themselves back on duty). Officers from the police forces of Scotland and Northern Ireland and non-territorial special police forces have different jurisdictions. See List of police forces in the United Kingdom for a fuller description of jurisdictions.
Officers holding ranks up to and including chief superintendent who are members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) or Special Branch (and certain other units) have the prefix “detective” before their rank. Due to the nature of their duties, these officers generally wear plain clothes (except for ceremonial purposes) and so do not wear the corresponding rank insignia; however, they still operate within the same structure as their uniformed counterparts.
It is a misconception often portrayed by the media that detective ranks are superior to those of uniformed officers. In the United Kingdom, this is not the case, and a detective sergeant has the same powers and authority as a uniformed sergeant. The “detective” prefix designates that the officer has a proven investigative ability and has received suitable training and passed related examinations, to conduct all manner of criminal investigations.