The Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) provide a range of specialist policing capabilities at various sensitive MOD sites across the UK.
The MDP is a statutory force established by the Ministry of Defence Police Act 1987, which authorises the Secretary of State for Defence to establish a police force led by a Chief Constable.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) requirement for the MDP is based around the following defence priorities and desired outcomes:
- the protection of defence people, assets, information and estate
- the secure and uninterrupted operation of the UK nuclear deterrent
- achieving success in overseas operations
To fulfil this role, the MDP provides a range of specialist policing capabilities at various sensitive MOD sites across the UK. These include Faslane and Coulport on the Clyde, the Atomic Weapons sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield, the Devonport Naval Base, Defence Munitions establishments and other key sites, including MOD Whitehall. In addition, the MDP provides services by arrangement to other government departments, US Visiting Forces and non-defence sites such as the Royal Mint.
In order to meet the MOD requirement for the MDP, the force is required to maintain the following core capabilities:
- Core Capability 1: armed nuclear security
- Core Capability 2: territorial policing and security
- Core Capability 3: intelligence gathering and analysis to support the efficient and effective deployment of MDP resources
- Core Capability 4: the prevention, investigation and detection of fraud and corruption and the theft of or criminal damage to key defence equipment and assets
- Core Capability 5: to provide specialist civil policing support to defence and other international policing commitments in support of UK government policy
- Core Capability 6: 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
Unlike most other police forces, the MDP has a national footprint, with officers stationed across the UK. It is highly specialised (being largely an armed force) and some of its capabilities are highly valued by other police forces and agencies.
Alf Hitchcock is Chief Constable of the MOD Police. He has responsibility for around 2600 police officers. Before his appointment in June 2013, he was Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police. He was previously a Deputy Assistant Commissioner at the Metropolitan Police.
Governance and accountability
In its enforcement of the criminal law and to maintain the peace, the MDP operates independently of political or Departmental control.
The MOD Police Committee is appointed by the Secretary of State for Defence and provides an independent scrutiny that the MDP is delivering policing services in accordance with the MDP Act. This assurance is provided in an annual report made to the Secretary of State. The Police Committee has an independent chair and membership comprises police advisers, independent members and senior MOD officials.
The Chief Constable is accountable to the MOD for the management, performance, resources and finance of the MDP.
MOD Police investigation of crime
The MOD has a requirement for dedicated MDP resources to be focused on the prevention and investigation of fraud, corruption and the theft of defence equipment and assets, the loss of which would have a significant impact on defence operational effectiveness, and the recovery of such equipment and assets.
The MDP has a Criminal Investigation Department that works closely with the MOD’s Defence Fraud Team.
Crimes investigated by other police forces
The general responsibility for the maintenance and enforcement of the criminal law in the UK rests with local police forces. The MDP are often called upon to assist the local forces investigating serious defence related crimes by providing defence policing expertise. The relationship between the MDP, Home Office police forces and the forces in Northern Ireland and Scotland is governed by agreed protocols.
Anyone can report suspicions of theft or deception to the:
MOD Fraud hotline: 0800 161 3665.
Allegations are always treated seriously and, if appropriate, investigated by CID officers.
MOD Police Freedom of Information (FOI)
MOD Police has its own Freedom of Information team who deal with FOI requests relating to MOD Police.
How to make a complaint against an MOD police officer
The MDP Professional Standards Department records and investigates public complaints against its police officers, and carries out investigations into matters of internal misconduct. The force is subject to the jurisdiction of the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
If you wish to make a formal complaint against an MDP officer, you should contact:
The Professional Standards Department
MOD Police HQ
Or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
How to join the MOD Police
- minimum age 18
- good health and physically fit
- prepared to work at any UK location
- have lived in the UK for the last 5 years (excluding overseas service in the armed services)
- must be willing to undergo security clearance up to the required level
- willing to carry firearms
- must hold a current UK manual driving licence
You can get further detailed information or download an application form from the MOD Police recruitment website www.mod.police.uk.
- Corporate report
- Corporate report
- Corporate report
- Closed consultation
- Promotional material
Published: 22 May 2014
Updated: 12 July 2016
- Added Policing plan for 2016 to 2017.
- Added MOD policing plan 2015/16.
- Added MOD statement on civilian personnel policy: extended special unpaid leave (ExSul) document.
- Added Talk Through magazine.
- First published.
From: Ministry of Defence