MDP celebrates 50 years

Posted on 1 October, 2021 by Advance 

The Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) - a civilian special police force - today celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Image courtesy MoD / Crown Copyright

Over half a century the role of the MDP has changed and grown, as a result of the evolving nature of threats, developments in national policing firearms standards and advances in technology for kit and equipment.

Today’s MDP is a unique and specialist Force - a force with a difference - protecting Defence sites and infrastructure critical to national security.

Defence Minister Baroness Goldie said: "For the past 50 years, the Ministry of Defence Police has carried out a vital role across the UK in protecting sites, people and assets essential to the safety of the UK.

"The MDP has shown itself to be a highly professional and adaptable resource for defence, and to support national policing operations and responses to incidents and events when required.

"I thank team MDP for all that they have achieved and delivered during five decades of defence policing."

Defence Chief Operating Officer Mike Baker said: "From highly visible protective security, to firearms and Public Order responses, to investigations behind the scenes, working with counter terrorism partners and protecting the integrity of defence against threats from fraud and corruption, the MDP’s work and its benefits for defence are wide ranging.

"I was pleased to meet new recruits and serving and retired officers during the MDP’s recent anniversary pass out parade event, and I send my congratulations to all MDP officers and civilian staff for your hard work, dedication and resilience over the past 50 years."

Chief Constable Andy Adams said: "I’m proud to be leading the Ministry of Defence Police, as the tenth Chief Constable in post, during its 50th year. It is an honour to work with the committed and resourceful people that deliver our service, and always step up to the challenges we face as police officers and civil servants.

"As we move forward into the next half century of our history, everyone in our police family, past and present, should feel very proud of what they have achieved and proud to be MDP."

Located at more than 40 sites across the UK, with around 2,900 officers and 260 civilian staff, MDP capabilities include:

Counter Terrorism Authorised Firearms Officers (CT-AFOs) and National Firearms Instructors (NFIs): firearms officers make up most of the roles in the MDP and each new recruit trains to be an AFO from the beginning of their career with the Force.

Marine policing: with more than 350 officers working in armed Marine Units, located at the Clyde, Portsmouth and Devonport Naval Bases, the MDP has the largest marine policing capability in the UK.

Police dog teams: the MDP has the second largest police dog capability in the UK and recently became the first non-Home Office Police Force to achieve national accreditation for police dog training.

Crime Command Detectives: a network of specialist intelligence gathering, and operational investigation units located across the UK.

Operational Support Unit: a mobile flexible armed resource that can be deployed at short notice anywhere in the UK, in response to events, incidents and threats. Specialist skills include: Dynamic Entry, search teams, working at heights, Public Order, Radiological Protection, and protester removal.

Special Escort Group: delivering armed protection for the safe and secure transportation of Defence Nuclear Material throughout the UK.

Tactical Firearms Unit: providing a dedicated, specialist firearms capability, that forms an integral part of the protection for the UK Strategic Nuclear Deterrent.

Project Servator: officers specially trained and deployed to spot and disrupt criminal activity, whilst providing a reassuring presence for the defence community and public.

Central Support Group: providing specialist skills and deploying regionally, often at short notice to support Force operations.

Formed in 1971, following the amalgamation of the Army Department, Air Force Department and Admiralty Constabularies, the MDP’s origins can be traced back as far as 1574, at Chatham Dockyard. The MDP - nicknamed MOD Plod -  has its headquarters at MDP Wethersfield, Essex, England.