AskDefine | Define inspector

Dictionary Definition



1 a high ranking police officer
2 an investigator who observes carefully; "the examiner searched for clues" [syn: examiner]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Latin in- + spectāre, to look.


  • (UK) /ɪnˈspɛktə/, /In"spEkt@/
  • (US) /ɪnˈspɛktɚ/, /In"spEkt@`/


inspector (inspectors)
  1. a person employed to inspect something
  2. a police officer ranking below superintendent


a person employed to inspect something
a police officer ranking below superintendent

Related terms



  1. inspector (male).

Related terms

Extensive Definition

This is about the police rank/position. For the use in graphical user interfaces, see Inspector window.
Inspector is both a police rank and an administrative position, both used in a number of contexts.


Inspector is a rank in many police forces. However, it is not the same (equivalent) rank in each.


In Australian police forces, the rank of inspector is generally the next senior rank from Senior Sergeant and is less senior than a superintendent. Members holding the rank usually wear an epaulette featuring three silver pips. In addition to the general rank of inspector, some police forces use other ranks such as Detective Inspector, District Inspector and Chief Inspector (though this rank is seldom used).


In most Canadian police services the rank of Inspector is the first above the sergeant ranks. It is usually immediately below the rank of Superintendent.

Senior Inspector

Senior Inspectors are higher raining administrative rank on Canada police forces.


In the French National Police, Inspecteur is a former rank of members of the Command and Management Corps. There were several grades of Inspecteur, with senior detectives holding the various grades of Commissaire. See French National Police for current ranks.

Hong Kong

In Royal Hong Kong Police Force(now called Hong Kong Police Force), Inspector (including Probationary Inspector and Senior Inspector) is the rank senior to Station Sergeant and junior to Chief Inspector ,a inspector is a leader of a team,a shift,or a police station.
---Rank badges of Inspectors
The rank badge of Probation Inspector is one silver star on his/her shoulder pad.
The rank badge of Inspector is two silver star on his/her shoulder pad.
The rank badge of Senior Inspector is two silver star above a silver horrizonly bar on his/her shoulder badge.
The rank badge of Chief Inspector is three silver star on his/her shoulder pad.
In the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Services ,they also have Inspector rank such likes Hong Kong Police Force,and the rank badge is similar to HKP,but their stars and bar are bronze.


In the police forces of India, an Inspector is a non-commissioned police officer ranking above a Sub-Inspector and below a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP). Inspectors generally (but not always) have jurisdictions over more than one police station (generally under a Sub-Inspector of Police). How ever in many cities, Inspectors would be the Station House Officer (SHO) at every police station.
The rank insignia for a Police Inspector is three stars, and a red and blue striped ribbon at the outer edge of the shoulder straps.
In states where an Inspector is in-charge of a "Police Circle" (consisting more than one police station) he is also referred to as "Circle Inspector" (CI) or "Circle Officer" (CO).

Republic of Ireland

In the Garda Síochána, Inspector is senior to Sergeant and junior to Superintendent. Inspectors can be either detectives or in uniform.


In Malaysia's police force, the rank Inspector is one step above the Sub-Inspector and one step under Assistant Superintendent. There are three stages:
  • Probation inspector (3 years probation)
  • Inspector
  • Chief inspector
Inspectors are recruited differently from the normal police constable. Their training is also longer.


In the Romanian Police, Inspector is a rank senior to Subinspector and junior to Inspector principal and corresponds to the former rank of Police Lieutenant (see Romanian Police Ranks).

United Kingdom

In British police forces, Inspector is the rank senior to Sergeant and junior to Chief Inspector. Contrary to popular belief, inspectors are not all detectives; in fact, the majority of inspectors are uniformed. Criminal Investigation Department (CID) inspectors are known as Detective Inspectors (DI).
Many Commonwealth police forces also use the rank. The rank has existed since the foundation of the Metropolitan Police in 1829, when it ranked directly below Superintendent.
The rank insignia of an Inspector is two silver pips, the same insignia as a Lieutenant in the British Army.
Police Constables and Sergeants often refer to, and sometimes (especially in the CID) address, Inspectors as "Gaffer" (generally North and Midlands), "Guv" (generally South) or "Boss".

United States

In the United States, the term inspector can have very different meanings depending on the law enforcement agency. For example, in the San Francisco Police Department, Inspector is the normal title for a detective, and the investigative branch of the SFPD is called the Bureau of Inspectors.
In the Berkeley, California, Police Department, Inspector was once the title used for an investigative supervisor, who commanded a specific specialized detail, like Homicide, Robbery, or Property Crimes, within the department's Detective Division. They ranked between sergeants and lieutenants and, on the comparatively rare occasions when they wore uniforms, their rank insignia was identical to that worn by warrant officers in the US Armed Forces. The title has since been phased out, and the duties once performed by inspectors are now performed by detective sergeants.
In the Hayward, California Police Department, the rank of inspector is a civil service rank above a detective and below that of a sergeant.
In the New York City Police Department, Inspector is a high-ranking executive position, two grades above a Captain, and one grade above a Deputy Inspector.
In the LAPD, the rank of Inspector, one grade above captain, was changed to Commander in 1974, because LAPD senior officers preferred the more military-sounding title.
In the FBI, an Inspector is a special agent whose main duty is inspecting local Field Offices and Resident Agencies to make sure they are operating efficiently. Since FBI Inspectors are not tied to any particular Field Office, they have, in the past, also been used as trouble-shooting investigators on major cases. (Such as the fictional character Inspector Lew Erskine, played by Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in the 1965-1974 ABC TV series The FBI.) The United States Marshals Service employs a similar position.
In the Postal Inspection Service, Inspector is the name given to 1811 Criminal Investigators, better known as special agents in most other Federal Law Enforcement Agencies.


In Germany, Inspektor is a civil service rank. It is the lowest and therefore the entry rank of the gehobener Dienst ("upper service") requiring a degree from a three-year administrative college. The rank is not used in the German police services; there, the equivalent of Inspektor is Kommissar.
In American administrative law, an inspector is an official charged with the duty to issue permits, such as a building inspector or sanitation inspector, and to enforce the relevant regulations and laws. An agency may have an Inspector General responsible for preventing internal fraud, waste, abuse and other agency deficiencies.
inspector in German: Inspektor
inspector in Esperanto: Inspektoro
inspector in French: Inspecteur
inspector in Italian: Ispettore
inspector in Japanese: 警部
inspector in Chinese: 警部

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Big Brother, G-man, MP, auditor, bailiff, beadle, beagle, boatswain, boss, bound bailiff, captain, catchpole, chief, chief of police, commissioner, comptroller, constable, controller, deputy, deputy sheriff, detective, examinant, examiner, fed, federal, flic, floor manager, floorman, floorwalker, foreman, gaffer, ganger, gendarme, government man, head, headman, investigator, lictor, lieutenant, mace-bearer, marshal, monitor, mounted policeman, narc, noncommissioned officer, observer, officer, overman, overseer, patrolman, peace officer, police captain, police commissioner, police constable, police inspector, police matron, police officer, police sergeant, policeman, policewoman, portreeve, proctor, reeve, roundsman, scrutineer, sergeant, sergeant at arms, sheriff, sirdar, slave driver, straw boss, subforeman, super, superintendent, supervisor, surveyor, taskmaster, tester, tipstaff, tipstaves, trooper, visitator, visitor
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1