MoD police offers are specialist law enforcement professionals employed by the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP). Essentially, these guys are provided with law enforcement powers similar to those bestowed on civil police officers. However, they are usually given specific responsibilities that focus on issues of national security.
Basically, MoD police officers provide security services across five core areas:
1) Armed security at defence sites
2) Investigation into organised crime and terrorism operations
3) Uniformed policing
4) Development and implementation of defence policing policy
5) International law enforcement.
The main duties and responsibilities of MoD police officers include: perimeter protection at military sites, facilitating the safe passage of nuclear material from one MoD site to another, uncovering and investigating fraudulent activities, and protecting the UK from terrorist activities by conducting searches, gathering intelligence and preventing terrorist plots before they can be put into action.
MoD police officers also have the important task of protecting political leaders and other VIPs when they visit the UK. Furthermore, they provide armed security at locations which may be vulnerable to attack, such as Her Majesty’s Dockyards.
Salary & benefits
MoD police officers earn salaries similar to those paid to civilian police officers, ranging from around £21,000 at entry level to around £55,000 at senior level. Additional benefits are also on a par with those provided to other police officers.
MoD police officers based on high-security sites operate in shifts on a 24/7 basis, and extra allowances are payable for overtime work.
The UK’s Ministry of Defence Police force operates out of headquarters in Wethersfield and five regional command centres at Aldershot, Aldermaston, Clyde Naval Base, Foxhill and York.
In order to become an MoD police officer, you will have to undergo the highest level of security clearance in the UK, known as Developed Vetting (DV) security clearance. This clearance process can take up to eight weeks to complete.
You don’t need a degree to become an MoD police officer. In fact, the minimum entry requirement is GCSE-level education, including grades A-C in English, mathematics and science subjects. Standard public sector nationality requirements need to be fulfilled and aspiring candidates must also hold a full, valid UK driving licence.
Training & progression
New recruits undergo an initial period of intensive training, covering theoretical and practical work experience, which is conducted over a period of two years. Opportunities for career progression are dependent upon performance, skill levels and overall experience.
After basic training, many people choose to specialise in a specific area of MoD policing. For instance, you could choose to work in the dog squad, the marine unit or the special escort group. You could even opt for international deployment and provide law enforcement abroad on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.