The MINISTRY OF DEFENCE POLICE (MDP) is a civilian police force which
is part of the
The force was originally formed in 1971 by the merger of three
separate service constabularies: the Air Force Department Constabulary
Army Department Constabulary , and the
Admiralty Constabulary .
The force, which consists of two divisions, is headquartered at MDP
Although superficially similar to other UK police forces, the MDP is significantly different in role, function and accountability. The MDP's primary responsibilities are to provide armed security and to counter terrorism, as well as uniformed policing and investigative services to Ministry of Defence property, personnel, and installations throughout the United Kingdom. MDP officers are attested as constables under the Ministry of Defence Police Act 1987 . All MDP officers are trained to use firearms and 90% of those on duty are armed at any given time.
The force has a number of specialised departments and also provides
officers for international policing secondments; including overseas
and training of resident police forces in these areas. These overseas
missions are carried out under the mandates of the
The MDP is currently undergoing significant restructuring as part of the coalition government's post 2010 austerity measures, and the Strategic Defence and Security Review . Its budget was cut from £360 million to £180 million and it is to lose 20% of its manpower and up to 50% of its stations by 2016. The new, smaller force will concentrate on high end tasks such as nuclear weapons security and mobile armed policing of the defence estate.
* 1 History
* 2 Function
* 2.1 Deployment and locations
* 3 Jurisdiction
* 3.1 Policing protocols with other forces
* 4 Oversight * 5 Command structure
* 6 Personnel
* 6.1 Entry requirements * 6.2 Initial training * 6.3 Security clearance * 6.4 Terms and conditions * 6.5 Defence Police Federation
* 7 Uniform, armament and equipment
* 7.1 Uniform * 7.2 Armament * 7.3 Vehicles
* 8.1 Marine unit
* 8.2 Chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear response
* 8.3 Dog sections
* 9 Notable incidents and investigations * 10 Controversy * 11 Affiliated police forces * 12 See also * 13 References * 14 External links
Ministry of Defence Police
These earlier constabularies were formed as a result of the Special
During the period 2004 - 2013 the MDP was part of the wider Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency (MDPGA) together with the civilian uniformed Ministry of Defence Guard Service (MGS). As a result of cuts made to the UK defence budget, arising from the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2010, the MDPGA was disbanded on 1 April 2013. The MDP returned to standalone police force status. The MGS was cut heavily and became part of the new Defence Infrastructure Organisation .
MDP officers conducting a firearms search of a warship 2007
The MDP's primary responsibility is policing the Defence Estate
The Ministry of Defence's requirement of the MDP is expressed in six core capabilities:
* Armed nuclear security * Territorial policing and security * Intelligence gathering and analysis to support the efficient and effective deployment of MDP resources * The prevention, investigation and detection of fraud and corruption, and the theft of or criminal damage to key defence equipment and assets. * To provide specialist civil policing support to defence and other international policing commitments, in support of UK government policy. * To maintain specialist policing capabilities that can be deployed at short notice as part of the response to unforeseen requirements at defence establishments in the UK.
DEPLOYMENT AND LOCATIONS
Main article: List of Ministry of Defence Police locations
The MDP is currently deployed at approximately 55 defence locations
around the United Kingdom. These include—but are no longer limited
to—military establishments, defence housing estates, military
training areas, the royal dockyards, and the Atomic Weapons
Establishment . Since January 2008, the MDP has also taken on the role
of providing armed security at four gas terminals in the UK, part of
Critical National Infrastructure . In February 2015, the MDP
deployed officers to
The MDP once had a presence at 120 Ministry of Defence sites such as
MDP officers are attested as constables in one of the three jurisdictions of the United Kingdom: England there is no requirement for them to be on Ministry of Defence land when doing so.
The MDP is classified by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 as a special police force . This gives MDP officers conditional allowance to exercise the powers available to a constable of a territorial police force if an offence or incident is encountered outwith their natural jurisdiction. Additionally, the MDP is able to provide officers and specialist units to territorial police forces on a mutual assistance basis.
MDP officers are able to take on the powers of constables of
territorial police forces, or other special police forces, such as
British Transport Police
POLICING PROTOCOLS WITH OTHER FORCES
Local agreements with territorial police forces are made under the overarching general protocols agreed between the MDP Chief Constable and other chief constables. These set out the agreed working relationship between the MDP and other police forces; outlining, where necessary, areas of responsibility and accountability. The Protocols make provision for consultation and co-operation between the forces, with the aim of delivering the best policing on the ground.
Unlike the other special police forces in the United Kingdom, the MDP
does not have a police authority to oversee the functions of the
force; however, the
Ministry of Defence Police
According to the Terms of Reference of the MOD Police Committee, the Committee is responsible for:
* providing scrutiny and guidance to ensure that police powers and authority are impartially and lawfully exercised by the Chief Constable * confirming that the MDP is meeting the standards required of a police force * confirming that the MDP’s exercise of its authority is responsible, proportionate and impartial * confirming that MOD’s use of the MDP is appropriate in relation to the exercising of policing powers and authority * providing scrutiny and guidance on matters of efficiency and effectiveness and on any other matter in relation to the use of policing powers which fall within the responsibility of the MDP * considering the MDP’s targets, financial performance and risk management arrangements * providing advice once a year to the top-line budget holder covering financial performance and risk management for inclusion in the Annual Assurance Report * assisting in the appointment of Chief Officers to the MDP * considering all complaints made against MDP Chief Officers (this responsibility may be delegated to a sub-panel of the Committee) * undertaking all responsibilities required of the MDP Conduct and Appeal Regulations * submitting an annual report to the Defence Secretary on the MDP’s discharge of policing powers, and providing advice to ministers and the department, on matters concerning value for money and efficiencies * publishing the operating costs and expenses of the Committee each year
The MDP has its own Chief
The MDP has two land-based functional divisions : (reduced from five Geographic Divisions as part of SDSR in April 2012)
* Nuclear Division * Territorial Division
Each division is commanded by a
An MDP officer (right)—accompanied by an RMP NCO—patrol
As of October 2013, the force strength was around 2,700.
Entry requirements for new officers are similar to UK territorial police forces; however, because all MDP officers can carry firearms, the eyesight focal acuity standard and basic fitness standard is higher. Entrants must also be British nationals . The MDP recruits nationally and new entrants may be given a posting anywhere in the UK. In practice, most new entrants are initially posted to nuclear division; either at one of the two AWE establishments in South East England or one of the stations in Western Scotland.
Officers are selected via the College of Policing SEARCH assessment centre process. In addition, candidates are required to pass the MDP job related fitness assessment and a firearms aptitude test.
MDP recruits are trained at the Force Training Centre at Wethersfield
on a 16-week fully residential course. The program follows the College
of Policing initial learning and development syllabus. An MDP anomaly
is that there are separate English Law and Scottish Law classes
dependent on the individual officer’s posting. Recruits are trained
in personal safety including PAVA , extendable baton and kwikcuffs.
They also receive level three public order training. The final stage
of the course includes the police basic driver assessment and a 6-week
Authorised Firearms Officer
In addition to pre-entry security checks, all MDP officers are required to hold at least UK Government Security Check (SC) clearance (which clears the holder to UK Secret level). All Nuclear Division officers, and about 30% of all other officers, are required to hold Developed Vetting (DV) status which involves an intrusive background investigation and formal interviews. DV status clears the officer to UK Top Secret level. Not all officers pass the DV process; such officers are then employed at SC security level within the force.
Those officers working with US Forces in the UK are required to hold a US Common Access Card for which the US Government carries out its own security checks on the officer.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
This section needs to be UPDATED. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (December 2014)
New entrants perform a two-year probationary period.
Discipline in the MDP is governed by the Ministry of Defence Police (Conduct) Regulations 2009, which broadly resemble the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008 that govern territorial police forces. MDP officers retain a full national mobility liability, and can be posted anywhere in the UK at any time. In practice most movement is voluntary, either on promotion or requested moves for personal reasons. Like all UK police forces the MDP does not have the right to take strike action .
MDP pay follows the same scale as territorial police forces; however, MDP officers are part of the Civil Service Pension Scheme, not the Police Pension Scheme and only contribute 3.5% of their gross salary, compared to territorial police force officers who contribute 11%. To even out this anomaly, MDP officers pay is abated. This is known as the MDP Net Pay Deduction.
The MDP operates a random and 'with cause', alcohol and drugs screening policy. An annual fitness test for all AFOs is to be introduced.
DEFENCE POLICE FEDERATION
Main article: Defence Police Federation
The MDP has its own federation separate from
UNIFORM, ARMAMENT AND EQUIPMENT
MDP Nissan Pathfinder MDP protected patrol vehicle (Battenburg Markings)
The majority of MDP officers are employed on firearms duties and wear
black polo-type shirts and trousers with black jackets. Headdress
depends on role, and is either a police baseball cap, or the standard
UK police checkered flat cap (for men) or bowler hat (for women).
Officers are still issued with custodian helmets and those engaged in
general police duties, such as Defence Community Police Officers, may
wear them while on patrol. Ballistic body armour is issued to all
officers, and a black
The Tunic dress uniform worn by MDP officers is almost identical to that of the Metropolitan Police Service , apart from insignia.
Aside from their personal body armour, PAVA incapacitation spray ,
Most officers are armed with the force weapon, the Heckler & Koch MP7
, while some specialist units use weapons such as the Heckler ">
MDP launch in
The MDP has a large marine fleet. The marine support units are
responsible for the waterborne security of Her Majesty's Dockyards and
HM Naval Bases. The marine support units are based at HMNB Portsmouth
see also - island-class patrol vessel (2013)
CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL, RADIOLOGICAL OR NUCLEAR RESPONSE
Although only constituting 1.5% of the national police force, the MDP has 8% of the national chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) response capability. Officers deployed to Nuclear Division are trained in CBRN defence and to work in radiologically controlled environments . The force maintains a large pool of specially-trained officers nationally, known as the Nuclear Guard Force (NGF), who can be deployed at short notice in the event of a nuclear accident ; they perform this function alongside the UK's national Nuclear Accident Response Organisation (NARO).
The MDP has the second largest number of police dogs of any UK police force and utilises explosive, drug, tactical firearms support, and general purpose police dogs.
SPECIAL ESCORT GROUP
Main article: Special Escort Group (Ministry of Defence Police)
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT
The MDP has a
Criminal Investigation Department
* FORCE INTELLIGENCE BUREAU: The FIB consists of a number of
specialists, such as Crime Intelligence Officers, CHIS handlers,
Communications Data Investigators (SPoCs), and
CENTRAL SUPPORT GROUPS
The Force has three Central Support Groups (CSGs), which provide regional support where additional resources are needed. These are located at Aldershot , Bicester and Scotland .
OPERATIONAL SUPPORT UNITS
Operational Support Units (OSU). The OSU is the MDP's mobile, flexible reserve. Each OSU is a rapid response unit tasked with operational support , public order and anti-terrorist search duties. The force has two OSU units, one covering the north of the country, the other covering the south. OSU South is based at MDPGA Wethersfield , OSU North is based at RAF Linton-on-Ouse .
TACTICAL SUPPORT GROUP
The Tactical Support Group is a specialist group of officers within
the AWE Division. MDP TSG is tasked with, and equipped to provide, an
advanced firearms response capability at short notice to the Atomic
Weapons Establishment. The TSG specialises in dynamic entry and
dynamic intervention inside
DEFENCE COMMUNITY POLICE OFFICERS
DCPOs are unarmed MDP officers who provide community policing to Defence establishments or large military housing estates, in a similar manner to the Neighbourhood Policing Teams of territorial police forces . DCPOs generally work in single-officer posts and often work from within defence community centres or service police stations. In 2013, the number of Defence sites covered by Defence community police officers was cut, from over 40 locations nationwide to 16 locations.
The MDP has carried out a number of international policing
activities, including overseas and training of local police forces in
these areas. These overseas missions have been conducted under the
mandates of the
The MDP have provided officers to police contingents in many locations around the world, including:
The MDP also provided policing for the
NOTABLE INCIDENTS AND INVESTIGATIONS
Milos Stankovic : British Army officer Major Milos Stankovic
MBE, whose father was a Serbian, was arrested and interviewed by the
MDP in 1997 under the
Official Secrets Act
* In December 2013, the
AFFILIATED POLICE FORCES
The Ministry of Defence also has responsibility for two other civilian police forces:
Sovereign Base Areas Police (SBAP), Cyprus: The SBAP provide a
full range of policing for both the Eastern and Western Sovereign Base
Officers from both these forces occasionally attend courses at the
Ministry of Defence Police
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