Memorandum submitted by Lindis Percy
I strongly oppose any extension of the jurisdiction
of the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP). I have been arrested,
detained and sometimes charged many times over 20 years for offences
mainly to do with invalid military land byelaws. I have personally
challenged invalid byelaws through the courts. I have become increasingly
concerned at the professionalism and competency of the MDP (over
20 years of experience of the MDP). I am deeply concerned that
there is a possibility that the powers of the MDP are being considered.
I am concerned at the proposal to extend their
jurisdiction on the following grounds:
(1) even though the MDP purport to have "all
the power and privileges of a constable" and their role is
to "uphold the law and protect life and property" (precise)
in practice there is a lamentable lack of professionalism, competency
and lack of knowledge of the law, in my experience.
(2) The MDP deal with a few confined areas
of the lawnamely theft, domestic violence, fraud, military
land byelaws etc. They are therefore not subjected to the routines
and experiences of the civil police. In my experience the small
area of law that the MDP are required to deal with they are often
lacking in knowledge.
(3) It would be imperative that all of the
MDP would be required to go through a rigorous training to be
brought up to the level of the civil police. I have grave doubts
that for some of them this would not be achieved. I would not
trust many of the MDP to have the ability to deal with an extension
of their jurisdiction and their powers.
(4) For over 20 years there has been serious
institutionalised manipulation of the law (namely military land
byelaws) by the Ministry of Defence Police;
(5) MDP on American bases are "paid
for and under the operational control" of the Americans (Affidavit
of Colonel M MadridStaff Judge Advocatein a civil
case in the High Court involving myself). This means there are
serious questions concerning the authority of the MDP being given
away to a visiting forcethis already has serious implications
for the British citizen. The MDP are already compromised, any
extension of their jurisdiction would mean a questioning of their
(6) By considering an extension of the jurisdiction
of the MDP into areas not naturally within their stated role the
citizen is exposed to a police force that would be outside the
terms and meaning of the reason why they were created in the first
place (MDP Act 1987).
These are some of my concerns. I strongly urge
the Select Committee to resist any extension of the jurisdiction
of the MDP. What is needed is a credible police force with the
necessary skills, professionalism and standards of behaviour expected,
to be recruited from a civil police force.
I support the stance taken by Robert Key MP.