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MDP struggling to address firearms training problems because of lack of resources


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The College of Policing standards licence was restored in May.

MDP struggling to address firearms training problems because of lack of resources

 

Date - 29th October 2018
By - JJ Hutber- Police Oracle

 

The Ministry of Defence Police lost its firearms training endorsement by the College of Policing because of a “systematic failure in human processes”, documents have revealed.

Although the firearms licence has since been reinstated, the MDP committee remains unconvinced the force has the resources to deal with the root causes, its annual report stated.

Police Oracle reported in September 2017 the College of Policing had revoked its approval of the force’s firearms training “until MDP is in a position to demonstrate that it is consistently delivering training to the very high standards set by the College”.

The suspension did not stop the MDP from training staff or carrying firearms. It was restored on May 4.

According to the committee papers, published last weekend, the Firearms Training Licence was temporarily rescinded because of a “systemic failure in human processes involved in maintaining the integrity of firearms training”.

The committee thought it was “understandable the College of Policing wanted to see a sustained improvement based on a change of culture and renewed robustness in the training regime before re-considering the position”.

But a “continual theme” of committee station visits “has been the low level of developmental training due both to the lack of resources and because of the priority afforded to the necessary training for the re-instatement of the Firearms Training Licence”.

Despite the damage to the MDP’s reputation, the impact was limited and the force not only met the requirements of two Operation Temperer deployments in response to requests from Home Office forces but also managed to retain prescribed levels of firearms officers.

The letter formally notifying Chief Constable Andy Adams that the licence was being reinstituted said “remarkable progress” had been made and commented “favourably on the commitment of both the senior leadership and the command chain towards achieving high standards in the standardisation of training and related operating procedures”.

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MDP spent years trying to be recognised as ‘a proper police force’. When it actually got to the point it was acting as such, powers that be reconsidered whether they needed to be ‘real police’ and then stripped them of resources to such an extent that they reverted to being nothing more than security guards with guns.

 

The comments regarding the culture of the force are perhaps a reflection of how the MOD sees them as nothing more than a quasi-military guard force, rather than a police force.

 

The actions of the College of Policing was a warning shot across their bow that unless they Up their game that they will be publicly outed for not meeting the modern requirements of a police force.

 

 

 

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MDP spent years trying to be recognised as ‘a proper police force’. When it actually got to the point it was acting as such, powers that be reconsidered whether they needed to be ‘real police’ and then stripped them of resources to such an extent that they reverted to being nothing more than security guards with guns.
 
The comments regarding the culture of the force are perhaps a reflection of how the MOD sees them as nothing more than a quasi-military guard force, rather than a police force.
 
The actions of the College of Policing was a warning shot across their bow that unless they Up their game that they will be publicly outed for not meeting the modern requirements of a police force.
 
 
 
In today's world the MDP could play a pivotal role in counter terrorism, armed guarding, ARV Policing etc.

Their presence could be upped and they should in my opinion be more widely used and given the adequate funding needed to fulfil this role. Most major cities has MoD property located in the centres and surrounding boroughs, they could be ideally placed to provide extra firearm policing cover within urban centres... Realistically though just like CNC they are treated largely as a guard force, a former MDP cop I have worked with who came to BTP told me in three years he took one statement in relation to a criminal damage job in his entire length of service, he had never completed a case file or did much of anything else bar drive around a fence line in a marked police car.

It's kinda funny in a strange way, you look at many of the council parks Constabularies in London who do prosecute people routinely for byelaw offences etc, a constable with one of those forces will have far more routine experience in dealing with the public, investigation, suspects, arrests etc than your average MDP or CNC Officer...

I just think we are wasting huge pools of potential by not utilising the MDP properly.
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In today's world the MDP could play a pivotal role in counter terrorism, armed guarding, ARV Policing etc.


I always wonder why they don't tbh. Locally to me we have a Barracks in the town I live (though closing in the next couple of years). We've also got a Duke of Lancaster's Regiment about 5 miles outside the town where I'm told they're moving the HQ functions when they close the town barracks. They do have MDP on site, and both sites are brilliantly located for supporting HO forces. I'm sure in other towns and divisions are similarly located. It isn't like ARV usually handle their prisoners anyway (not a slight, I know operationally it is better if they don't), so just having them as an available resource would be brilliant.
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2 hours ago, Radman said:

In today's world the MDP could play a pivotal role in counter terrorism, armed guarding, ARV Policing etc.

Their presence could be upped and they should in my opinion be more widely used and given the adequate funding needed to fulfil this role. Most major cities has MoD property located in the centres and surrounding boroughs, they could be ideally placed to provide extra firearm policing cover within urban centres... Realistically though just like CNC they are treated largely as a guard force, a former MDP cop I have worked with who came to BTP told me in three years he took one statement in relation to a criminal damage job in his entire length of service, he had never completed a case file or did much of anything else bar drive around a fence line in a marked police car.
 

I would query the fact that most cities have MOD property. In the city of Manchester there are only 2 TAVR centre's which are just gated premises. There is no Garrison as the last one was at Ashton Under Lyne and was the Pay officer with a Colonel,  two Sergeants, a Corporal and admin staff. This Garrison closed in the early 90's and is now a housing estate and a Primary school. The MOD Police had no presence there and have no presence at the TAVR centre's.

The MOD Police are, as someone said, a unit of security guards who happen to be armed.

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5 minutes ago, Zulu 22 said:

I would query the fact that most cities have MOD property. In the city of Manchester there are only 2 TAVR centre's which are just gated premises. There is no Garrison as the last one was at Ashton Under Lyne and was the Pay officer with a Colonel,  two Sergeants, a Corporal and admin staff. This Garrison closed in the early 90's and is now a housing estate and a Primary school. The MOD Police had no presence there and have no presence at the TAVR centre's.

The MOD Police are, as someone said, a unit of security guards who happen to be armed.

I would agree with you that effectively that is all they have developed into but do you not think they could become something more? Take a more active role out and about in counter terrorism functions/ARV functions? Become something more than simply armed gate/perimeter guards?

It just strikes me as a very expensive wasted opportunity.

They have the same powers in law as we do in BTP but the difference between how we both operate as forces is night and day, yeah granted we police the public along with an industry but it strikes me that the MDP don't actually utilise their police powers all that often.

Edited by Radman
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They have not got the expertise as your comment about the ex MOD officer having taken one statement. They are unlike the BTP who, at one time, were just the same, a uniform security guard.  However before they were integrated into the Home Office establishment they dealt with all matters, byelaw offences, crime, unsocial behaviour etc. The only difference that they could not charge prisoners with offences. They could arrest and then had to take them to the local nick for process and charging. (Pre PACE).

I do not think that the MOD Police would ever need the same powers. As far as I am aware their establishments also have military personnel who would deal with anything on base. I have never dealt with a job on a military base but know officers who have been called in for serious criminal offences and they worked in conjunction with the RMP's.

I acknowledge what Beaker say's about local Barracks as I have visited Fulwood Barracks but they also have a normal RMP attachment who are far more useful and professional.

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What's been said so far is largely correct, but there are some sites where the MDP do get away from the fenceline and operate on a mobile  ASV basis (pretty much ARV without MOE) and will deal with things such as traffic offences and their assistance is requested by the local Home Office force for anything that's a potential threat to life. However even on those sites they will handover to the local force to process.

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13 minutes ago, Zulu 22 said:

They have not got the expertise as your comment about the ex MOD officer having taken one statement. They are unlike the BTP who, at one time, were just the same, a uniform security guard.  However before they were integrated into the Home Office establishment they dealt with all matters, byelaw offences, crime, unsocial behaviour etc. The only difference that they could not charge prisoners with offences. They could arrest and then had to take them to the local nick for process and charging. (Pre PACE).

 

That's really weird, I had a conversation the other week with a long serving ex-BTP cop who said that back when he first started in Manchester GMP Custodies would insist that prisoners brought to them by BTP were either re-arrested by their officers OR charged by their officers as there was a belief within the force that BTP couldn't charge for their own offences to court and this policy was enforced throughout GMP. I'd never heard of this before and it doesn't sound like other areas in the country operated in this way but it seems that there is some truth behind this story.

Apparently we also had to access PNC via the local forces control room aswell as we didn't have any of our own access at the time, much like the old Manchester Airport Police.

 

Edited by Radman
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6 hours ago, Radman said:

In today's world the MDP could play a pivotal role in counter terrorism, armed guarding, ARV Policing etc.

Their presence could be upped and they should in my opinion be more widely used and given the adequate funding needed to fulfil this role. Most major cities has MoD property located in the centres and surrounding boroughs, they could be ideally placed to provide extra firearm policing cover within urban centres... Realistically though just like CNC they are treated largely as a guard force, a former MDP cop I have worked with who came to BTP told me in three years he took one statement in relation to a criminal damage job in his entire length of service, he had never completed a case file or did much of anything else bar drive around a fence line in a marked police car.

It's kinda funny in a strange way, you look at many of the council parks Constabularies in London who do prosecute people routinely for byelaw offences etc, a constable with one of those forces will have far more routine experience in dealing with the public, investigation, suspects, arrests etc than your average MDP or CNC Officer...

I just think we are wasting huge pools of potential by not utilising the MDP properly.

The MDP only cover a fraction of military establishments, hardly any really.  Although they can provide a policing service MoD wife, realistically they don’t. 

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2 hours ago, Radman said:

That's really weird, I had a conversation the other week with a long serving ex-BTP cop who said that back when he first started in Manchester GMP Custodies would insist that prisoners brought to them by BTP were either re-arrested by their officers OR charged by their officers as there was a belief within the force that BTP couldn't charge for their own offences to court and this policy was enforced throughout GMP. I'd never heard of this before and it doesn't sound like other areas in the country operated in this way but it seems that there is some truth behind this story.

Apparently we also had to access PNC via the local forces control room aswell as we didn't have any of our own access at the time, much like the old Manchester Airport Police.

There was a time when GMP officers would re arrest and use the BTP as evidence but this, as time and authority, passed become completely redundant. Similarly with the Old Manchester Airport Police, they were just security guards in uniform. They also enjoyed free joy rides on flights during their tours of duty.  They were absorbed into the GMP in the 70's.  My father often told be it was an embarrassment  as there were many serving in the Airport Police who had resigned from H.O. Policing before disciplinary who were taken on by the Airport Authorities. When they were then absorbed into the GMP it meant that officers who would have been sacked were now, again serving officers. Under the old Airport Police the GMP provided armed AFO's who patrolled the area's around the airport who were then easily on site if required within the airport boundaries. The Airport Division  of GMP obviously have AFO's patrolling around and within the airport as standard.

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They are unlike the BTP who, at one time, were just the same, a uniform security guard. 

The only difference that they could not charge prisoners with offences. They could arrest and then had to take them to the local nick for process and charging. (Pre PACE).

 

I am not too sure BTP ever we’re just a ‘uniformed guard force’? They have a rich history of policing, although they only became a police force that exists on an almost identical basis to Home Office police forces.

 

I am not sure how it was pre-PACE but I understand that an individual Officer basically prosecuted their own cases in Magistrates Courts. They themselves used to lay the information before the Court, which meant that many Officers would sit around in Court as opposed to being on the streets. The process would not be too dissimilar to that of someone whom made a citizen’s arrest and whom then presented the arrestee before the Court. In essence, a constable was just a ‘citizen in uniform’. If BTP wanted to prosecute their own cases then that would have been a matter for them?

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Police Officer's have not prosecuted their own cases for decades, in fact since the inception of the CPS when Inspectors stopped prosecuting cases in magistrates court. A citizens arrest would be handed over to and taken over by the Police.

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Police Officer's have not prosecuted their own cases for decades, in fact since the inception of the CPS when Inspectors stopped prosecuting cases in magistrates court. A citizens arrest would be handed over to and taken over by the Police.


I am talking pre-PACE, like I thought you were?
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10 hours ago, ParochialYokal said:

 

I am not too sure BTP ever we’re just a ‘uniformed guard force’? They have a rich history of policing, although they only became a police force that exists on an almost identical basis to Home Office police forces.

 

I am not sure how it was pre-PACE but I understand that an individual Officer basically prosecuted their own cases in Magistrates Courts. They themselves used to lay the information before the Court, which meant that many Officers would sit around in Court as opposed to being on the streets. The process would not be too dissimilar to that of someone whom made a citizen’s arrest and whom then presented the arrestee before the Court. In essence, a constable was just a ‘citizen in uniform’. If BTP wanted to prosecute their own cases then that would have been a matter for them?

I've heard this GMP story from a former BTP cop who was adamant it was in place within their custodies that BTP prisoners had to be re-arrested by GMP Officers before process. 

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