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Protected persons

The UK Protected Persons Service (UKPPS) is a national service, with a regional footprint serving the NCA, National Policing and other public bodies. We work closely with our aligned partners from the Metropolitan Police Service, Police Scotland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. UKPPS provides protection to people judged to be at risk of serious harm where the protection arrangements required by the individual are not available to the local police force or referring agency. These may include witnesses, subjects of honour-based violence and people in some way helping with the investigation of serious crime.

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How we work

Protection is usually bespoke and dependent on the level of threat to the individual in question, however it would usually involve removing people from the area of threat to a new, safe location.

Regional protected persons units will then work with the individual to keep this location discreet and rebuild lives in the new area. To do this we need the cooperation and collaboration of the person at risk.

Protected Persons Units work discreetly and with a large degree of secrecy. It is the discretion around the new location that helps us to keep people safe.

Many of our cases involve witnesses and in all cases we are governed by rules as to what we can and what we cannot do. This kind of detail is discussed with the person concerned when a case is referred to us, and we do all we can to take into account the persons wishes in terms of relocation areas, work, schooling and other issues.

We are committed to treating people fairly, honestly and professionally. Our staff are specialists and the safety of those in our care is our main responsibility. We operate discreetly and only with the full cooperation of those for whom we have responsibility.

Protected Persons Units have dealt with thousands of cases in the last 20 years or so. Protected persons quietly get on with their new lives in the knowledge that they are supported by the authorities, and safe in their new locations.

The UKPPS needs to process personal information about you so that we are able to perform our functions. This document Privacy Notice (130 KB)  explains how we look after personal information and relates only to processing of personal data by the UKPPS. It also explains your rights as a data subject.

Structure of the UKPPS

The UKPPS is led and managed by the NCA and has a regional footprint.

The Metropolitan Police, Police Scotland and Police Service of Northern Ireland retain their own units, which are aligned to the UKPPS. 

Whilst the UKPPS is part of UK law enforcement we work independently of police forces in providing protection arrangements, and concentrate solely on keeping people safe and helping to bring offenders to justice.

The Central Bureau is the national headquarters of the UK Protected Persons Service. This is managed by the National Crime Agency and provides strategic and practical assistance and coordination to officers supporting protected persons.

Contact us

Referrals can only be made to the UKPPS by police forces, the National Crime Agency and other law enforcement bodies.

Members of the public cannot refer themselves to the UKPPS. If you have concerns about your safety you should contact your local police force in the first instance.

In an emergency call 999


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