DEVON and Cornwall Police is dropping its official title of constabulary, and with it 150 years of history, it has emerged.
The force, which has carried the constabulary title since the 1850s, has already started to implement the changes arguing that it made it "more accessible to the public".
Tanya Croft, head of corporate communications, stressed that there were no financial implications because signs, stationery and other branded items were being changed only when necessary.
She said: "The way we are doing it means there are no costs involved because the change from constabulary to police will only be done when things need replacing."
The name change has already been made on many of the force's fleet cars and on signs at the new flagship police station at Bodmin in North Cornwall.
Changes will be made on headed paper, other stationery and promotional material when existing supplies run out. However, the change from constabulary to police is being made more quickly where there are no costs involved, such as the force website.
Ms Croft said research had shown that the public searched for Devon and Cornwall Police, rather than constabulary, on the Internet and in the phone book.
The number of people who searched for constabulary, she said, was "negligible". She added: "For all those sorts of reasons, we decided police was more recognisable than constabulary and that's the direction we should be going in. It is just about making it more recognisable and more accessible to the public.
"The issue for us was that it is not a term used in common parlance. We are not going down the road of legally changing our name – just using police more than constabulary."
Ms Croft said there was no deadline for the change and that the public might spot posters and other material carrying both titles until the process had been completed.
"We haven't launched it because there is nothing to launch. We have not used a branding company and we haven't got a new logo. It is nothing to do with bringing us in line with anyone else. It is to do with how we think people recognise us as an organisation."
The force dates back to 1836 when 24 borough police forces were formed across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The Devon County Constabulary and Cornwall County Constabulary were created in the 1850s along with Exeter City Police and the Plymouth Borough Police.
They finally came together in a series of mergers resulting in the formation of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary in 1967. It currently employs 3,500 police officers, some 2,000 civilian staff and 362 police community support officers.