Examination of Witnesses (Questions 660
TUESDAY 30 JANUARY 2001
660. Do you have a migration from the MoD Police
to other police forces or the other way around?
(Mr Cullen) Yes, and to emphasise the point on training
we have had officers in recent years go straight from the MDP
into Home Office forces, taking up their duties straight away
without any further training.
661. Would you say that you are more likely
if you are in MDP to go to one of the local forces or is it a
two way thing?
(Mr Cullen) It is a two way thing.
662. If you have your powers extended, it might
make the MDP more attractive, might it not?
(Mr Trickey) It is a feasibility, yes.
663. They might not feel that they were regarded
in some quarters as slightly infantry, not the cavalry?
(Mr Trickey) I think that perception has gone now.
With all due credit to our former Chief Constable, Mr Boreham,
he brought this force up from the depths to a very high pinnacle
of professionalism. For that, we are grateful to him. That has
been recognised now because we have sitting members on ACPO which
we never had before. The MoD plod is dead. We are a professional
force that acts in a professional manner and we are very proud
664. Do your trainees come from generally across
the board or do you have a preponderance of military personnel?
(Mr Trickey) When I was a trainer in 1984-85, we used
to get a cross section. Now you find that you can put an advert
in three or four papers and you will get 2,000 applicants from
right across the board, from Scotland as well as England and Wales.
665. All ages?
(Mr Trickey) Yes.
666. Coming back on the training issue, is there
a secondment arrangement between the Home Office Police and MoD
(Mr Trickey) Yes.
667. You can both spend time with the other
(Mr Trickey) Yes. That is in practice at the present
(Mr Cullen) That will ease the problem under new legislation
because you will go from one force to the other and you will be
acting legally; whereas now, if you get seconded to another force,
you have to get sworn in to act with that force.
668. On the issue of firearms, I know we have
had clear evidence that normally the MoD Police, when they are
outwith MoD premises, would not be armed and if guns and ammunition
were being transported they would be kept separate and so on.
However, there are circumstances which are considered highly sensitive.
For instance, moving some missiles or nuclear material from one
part of the country to the other. Firstly, am I right that in
those circumstances MoD policemen would be armed? Secondly, if
during that armed convoy process an incident occurred that your
officers felt they had to stop and deal with, and they used their
firearms, what could the consequences be?
(Mr Trickey) They would not be allowed to use their
firearms unless the convoy came under direct attack. They would
carry them in the vehicles and they would be discreetly detached.
There are occasions, as we have said before, when you carry firearms
but not out with the general public. Any patrol does not generally
carry firearms. The only time that they would be transported is
if you are going to the ranges to shoot, if you have to go off
base. You are quite correct in the assumption that rifles and
pistols would be carried in one vehicle and all the ammunition
would be carried in another one. As for the escorts, they would
be armed routinely because that is part and parcel of the remit,
but they are trained to respond to an attack, not to deal with
anything else. They would not necessarily stop if they saw a bank
raid. Their primary task is to go from A to B in the quickest
669. Even an armed bank raid?
(Mr Trickey) Even an armed bank raid. I would doubt
it very much if they would stop because of the sensitivity of
what they are carrying.
670. In that circumstance, they would call on
the local police force?
(Mr Trickey) They have a local police force in attendance
with them as well. There is usually a car with them.
671. Is there anything further you would like
(Mr Trickey) Thank you very much for inviting us to
give evidence. It is appreciated. It is not very often we get
the chance. Just to clear up a small ambiguity, there was one
thing that we read in the paper where people were querying who
we were responsible to. I know it is a very big issue. Any one
of the officers in the force is responsible directly in law and
also to the Chief Constable so if they do anything wrong there
are disciplinary measures in place to deal with them in house.
If they commit a crime, they will be dealt with by the courts.
We are not above the law; we are not seeking to be above the law.
All we are looking for is protection by the law for my officers
in the force by this extension. Thank you.
Chairman: Thank you very much indeed
for a very full evidence session. I now adjourn the Committee
and we will meet again next Tuesday, 6 February. I look forward
to seeing Committee Members on Thursday as we travel to Colchester.