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Ministry of Defence Police

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Ministry of Defence Police

The Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) is a civilian police force which is part of the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence.

The MDP are not Military Police and should not be confused with the Royal Military Police or any other Service Police organisation. The MDP has an established strength of 3,440 police officers, based at 86 locations across the United Kingdom. The force was originally formed in 1971 by the merger of three separate service constabularies: the Air Force Department Constabulary, the Army Department Constabulary, and the Admiralty Constabulary. The force, which consists of five divisions, is headquartered at MDPGA Wethersfield, Essex. 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 75% 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 the active policing of conflict areas overseas and training of resident police forces in these areas. These overseas missions are carried out under the mandates of the United Nations, NATO, or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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