In a recent parliamentary written question, startling figures have been revealed that illustrate a decade of contrasting trends in budget allocation and staffing levels in the Ministry of Defence Police.

The data, disclosed by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Andrew Murrison, reveals a significant decrease in staff numbers since 2010 alongside a notable rise in the budget over the same period.

Here is a detailed breakdown of the annual budgets since 2010:

YearBudget (£million)
2010-11£154.8
2011-12£140.8
2012-13£138.8
2013-14£135.3
2014-15£136.2
2015-16£133.1
2016-17£129.5
2017-18£130.4
2018-19£139.1
2019-20£152.5
2020-21£156.5
2021-22£167.2
2022-23£161.3

In stark contrast to the budgetary trends, staffing levels within the Ministry of Defence Police have experienced a consistent decline over the past decade. Here is an overview of the Ministry of Defence Police officer (MDP) and non-uniformed Civil Servant (NUCS) staffing numbers for each year since 2010:

YearMDP OfficersNUCS
20103,464433
20113,302480
20122,949351
20132,660253
20142,497254
20152,503235
20162,536197
20172,570196
20182,533214
20192,515227
20202,643235
20212,768230
20222,701221
20232,593259

These staffing figures indicate a consistent and significant reduction in the number of Ministry of Defence Police officers (MDP) from 3,464 in 2010 to 2,593 in 2023, marking a total decrease of 871 officers.

This represents a 25% reduction in staffing levels over the past decade. In contrast, the number of non-uniformed Civil Servants (NUCS) has displayed fluctuations over the years, reaching its lowest point in 2016 with 197 staff members and peaking at 259 in 2023.

Furthermore, during this same period, the budget has risen from £154.8 million in 2010-11 to £161.3 million in 2022-23. This represents a 4.25% increase in the budget over the past decade.

Eamon Keating, National Chairman of the Defence Police Federation (the staff association for the Ministry of Defence Police), told the UK Defence Journal:

“It would be wrong to look at these figures and think the Ministry of Defence Police is properly resourced. The opposite is true – the MDP’s budget has not increased to reflect inflation, overheads have risen significantly, and senior officers have been instructed year after year to find savings.

The MDP is being asked to do more but with far less – and the reduction in size of the workforce is a consequence of headcount being the only place left to find efficiencies.”

The Role of the Ministry of Defence Police

The Ministry of Defence Police plays a critical role in safeguarding the security of the United Kingdom’s defence infrastructure.

Their responsibilities encompass tasks including providing armed policing and security services at defence sites, protecting military personnel and assets, conducting investigations into security breaches, collaborating with other agencies, other Government Departments and US Visiting Forces.

In their own words:

“The Departmental Mandate and Statement of Requirement for the MDP defines our purpose within Defence and the tasks and policing capabilities that we maintain and deliver.

We PROTECT and REASSURE to ACHIEVE the MOD requirement by:

  • delivering unique specialist policing to PROTECT sites, people and assets essential to Defence and national infrastructure
  • providing a highly visible and proactive policing presence to REASSURE our customers and local communities
  • deploying our people and resources in an effective and efficient way to ACHIEVE what we are required to deliver, to the highest operational standards

Counter terrorism policing is a major part of our role. We can, and have been, called upon to support the national policing response to major terrorist incidents, as part of the national Strategic Armed Policing Reserve and the MOD’s commitment to Operation Temperer.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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monkey spanker
monkey spanker (@guest_768755)
6 months ago

So are the MP soldiers as well? It seems a lot for 3000 of the armies 72,000 to be police.
Is it like a duel role job that are trained to do other roles?
The role the MP do is important and required. Bases and locations have to be secure.

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_768767)
6 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

The MOD Police, hmmm.

Well, best not look at some of their investigations and subsequent trials ‘too’ closely…

Certain rather high profile investigations, the L98A1 public confiscations are a great example, an absolute feasco that cost the tax payer millions…

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_768774)
6 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

ModPlod have national powers – similar to CNC police. They did deploy to Afghanistan not as MilPol – they are civil police. Radical idea, but, you read it hear first – combine BTP, ModPlod and CNC to create an armed national police force with investigative powers – ModPlod do fraud etc for the MoD. An armed national police would be the way to go to create a Gendamerie that takes a lot of power away from the Country constabularies and allows the headsheds to be streamlined to save money. However, as has been written, much like MilPol there detective side… Read more »

MT1
MT1 (@guest_768775)
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Sorry David, the SDSR 2015 got there first with the merger idea. It was to be known as the National Infrastructure Police. It was put on hold due to Brexit as the legal team were redeployed, it never went further possibly due to the roundabout of Tory leadership. As ex MDP I would have welcomed the move and feel it is something the country needs, free up county armed Police to deal with crime and a national force for protective security.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_768780)
6 months ago
Reply to  MT1

Hi. Thxs for the heads up, I was out the Country for some time so that escaped me.

How do you feel about the figures? I’m not sure I’m steamrollered by the budget given the longevity but do wonder if MPGS have taken on some roles, your thoughts?

MT1
MT1 (@guest_768850)
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Certainly MPGS did take on some of the MDP sites but not recently. Indeed a couple of years ago there was talk of a reduction in MPGS. Head count reductions more recently have just been to remove or reduce capability, a number of sites have also closed (Fort Blockhouse for example). In my opinion the force hasn’t recovered from the major cuts and changes implemented in 2013 ( there was a recruitment freeze and VERS for several years running up to 2013). Although the budget may have had a small increase in recent years this isn’t going to reverse the… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_768864)
6 months ago
Reply to  MT1

Would the budget increase be partially accounted for the the move of MDP HQ and schools from Wethersfield to Wyton and Southwick?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_768862)
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

They have.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_768861)
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Yep, I recall you’d suggested this idea before.👍

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_768855)
6 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

This article is about the MoD Police – MDP – not about the Corps of Royal Military Policy (RMP). RMPs are of course soldiers – they do not guard bases and locations.

MDP “provide armed security and counter terrorism services to designated high-risk areas, as well as uniformed policing and limited investigative services to MoD property, personnel, and installations”.

Security for Bases and locations can be by one or several of the following: MoD Guard Service (MGS); MDP; trained PFI contractors; soldiers from the base. It’s complicated!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_768865)
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Add the RAF Police and MPGS.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_768882)
6 months ago

Naval Regulators need a mention Daniele.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_769166)
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

I know very little regards them other than they exist.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_769082)
6 months ago

Good point – one of the many roles of the RAF Police is protective security of personnel and aircraft.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_769226)
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

They actually do a great deal more now including Close Protection work as do Naval Regulators.

And even AR RMP also have CP bods; I wish I was 18 again!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_769261)
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Interesting, thanks.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_769270)
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Yes, RMP CPU Longmoor.
And RMP SIB now amalgamated with other RMP specialists at Southwick in a “Special Operations Regiment” oo err.

Still all under the Provost Marshal.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_769225)
6 months ago

And not forgetting RMP… Royal Marine Police.

(Sorry Daniele 🙂 )

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_769271)
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

😉 just a Troop I think….with 30 Cdo?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_768860)
6 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

These are MDP, not RMP. The RMP are soldiers, who guard rear areas, comms routes, and other roles on deployment.
In peace time their MP Coys are garrisoned with large garrisons such as Colchester and Tidworth.
The MDP are a different animal entirely They guard various MoD installations. Though most RAF and Army locations are actually guarded by the MPGS, not the MDP.
They are all armed, and have specialist units to protect the nuclear deterrent.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker (@guest_768866)
6 months ago

Amazing how misreading one word can change how I read the article. For some reason I saw military police instead of MOD police.
Makes a lot more sense now 😂😂😂😂👍🏻

Andrew Munro
Andrew Munro (@guest_768876)
6 months ago

No body mentioned the MGS.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_768880)
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Munro

Yes, I did.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_768884)
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Munro

No, because as I understand it they are security guards on the gate, unarmed.
I was concentrating on armed policing or guarding, such as MPGS.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_768879)
6 months ago

We didn’t and do not guard the RCZ on deployment, we police(d) the Army; their are multiple MP who gave their lives in defence of freedom and Airborne will know the background.

By our very role, we were and are on the front line. This lesson ends.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_769042)
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Hi David. Ok, of course. My comment regards rear area convoy control and so forth came direct from the book the Modern British Army, 1986 edition by Paul Beaver, where he indicated that was one of the roles that the RMP would carry out in BAOR, along with POW stuff and so on.

He was obviously wrong then!

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_769056)
6 months ago

I was in then, we policed the RCZ and created Traffic Posts (TP) upto the FEBA. In both the Falklands through to Afghanistan, MP were in the battle both as, 1st, Infantry, 2nd our role And MP paid a price for that duty. Obviously, there… may have been… numpties back at Bastion who were perhaps not blooded but, several I met had served in PARA, ROYAL, SAS, and… Army Catering Corps…??? Lumping a gimpy around and living in a pit with the snow falling all around AND on top of you… I’d thought they would have had a chill pill… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_769070)
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Don’t set A off!

Ian
Ian (@guest_769099)
6 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

I think you’re confusing Royal Military Police with Ministry of Defence Police. The former are uniformed soldiers and the latter are (armed) police officers.

Russ
Russ (@guest_768776)
6 months ago

The MOD police have powers only within their remit which is broadly speaking to police military bases and families on those bases. Large investigations i.e. murders are the remit of the local forces. The MOD plods do cover the entire country in this way (as well as assist in the escorts of nuclear convoys) and alongside the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and the PSNI are one of the few british police forces in which every officer can be armed. BTP have specialist firearms officers and do not routinely carry arms.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_768782)
6 months ago
Reply to  Russ

They did have powers to investigate financial crime – and one or three blunders were made…

MP can not take loaded weapons onto the streets of Eng. Scot. and Wales, ModPlod can, did and do.

My thoughts are on back office costs and headship count whilst creating a career path for serving MP.

What are your thoughts?

russ
russ (@guest_770181)
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

There will undoubtedly be some benefit to Civil Service/MP’s . My feeling is (based on my own policing experience) that Careers will be the first priority🤔

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_768796)
6 months ago

I have a lifetime friend who spent thirty years in MOMPLOD and he would tell you that it is a wonderful opportunity to do next to nothing for, with overtime, out of hours and posting payments, a damn good salary. Add in expenses and a two thirds pension and he retired at fifty seven.

MT1
MT1 (@guest_768846)
6 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

That was that case and MDP uniform will never be running around from job to job like their home office counter parts. The days of paid moves and early retirement have gone. MDP also have to follow COP training and medical/fitness standards that are far more rigorous than in the past. Unfortunately for MDP officers they have no where to go in the force if they can no longer meet the medical/fitness levels.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_768856)
6 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

I hear that firemen also get a 2/3 pension – pity the armed forces don’t get that much!

Simon
Simon (@guest_769294)
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Isn’t the armed force one, non-contributory by the employee?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_769300)
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon

Technically, yes – but this non-contributory status is factored in by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body, when they recommend pay rates for the year ahead.

Simon
Simon (@guest_769368)
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

if you are in the fire service you are looking at employee contributions of between 11% to 14.5% ( dependent on your pay grade) of your pensionable salary which is quite a fair chunk, I don’t think you can take it at 50 any more ether.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_769418)
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon

Wow, that is high. I wonder if any other employees in different sectors pay that much into their scheme.

Simon
Simon (@guest_769469)
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Anything from 5.1% to 13.5% for the NHS, Again depends on pensionable salary. you are getting a defined pension at least. pretty sure they are now all career averaging ( as is the army pension)

Gfor
Gfor (@guest_769194)
6 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Your friend has not been serving in the last ten to fifteen years where the force went through an upskill in countr terrorist operations.
He’s also a b*llsh*tter about the pension too. Maximum after 40 years service would be half pay.

JJ Smallpiece
JJ Smallpiece (@guest_768901)
6 months ago

Increased budget, less officers. Does that mean the one’s that are left get a mega pay rise?

I’ll get my coat…

Pacman27
Pacman27 (@guest_768934)
6 months ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

I have friends in ModPlod and they all tell me the same thing, they are all being squeezed and their pay and benefits are being reduced.

not a happy place to work from what I am told

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_769301)
6 months ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

Mega pay rise in any branch of the MoD?

Have you got your coat yet?

taffybadger
taffybadger (@guest_768903)
6 months ago

There is little incentive for serving or ex military to join, they make no exceptions for military as far as I can see, only for people transferring from other police forces (non military), I may be wrong, but as my service comes to an end after 23 years, MOD plod doesn’t seem very enticing as I’d have to join as a basic recruit and start all over again

Scout
Scout (@guest_768921)
6 months ago

Is have to dispute the claim that this shows a ‘consistent decline in numbers’, an overall trend down though yes.  I think this article is missing a fair bit of context and analysis though, first some questions I don’t have the answers to:  How has the MDP role changed over the last 13 years? (Has it necessitated a greater investment away from people into things like technology perhaps?) How many MOD sites have closed/opened? (No doubt more the former than latter, offering a reduced need for personnel) What does the staffing budget look like when compared to the total make… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_768956)
6 months ago
Reply to  Scout

Quite a few sites that were covered by MDP now have a MPGS presence, mainly RAF and Army sites.
The key locations guarded by the MDP, AWE/nuclear premises, MoD munitions, storage and R&D sites, and the varied MoD locations used by USVF, are unchanged.

Gfor
Gfor (@guest_769195)
6 months ago
Reply to  Scout

There has been an enormous up skill in counterterrorism training. More time away training and higher end kit equals more cost.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_768949)
6 months ago

Why is this a surprise ? From 2010 to 2023 number of staff went down by 25% and budget went up by 4.25% in the same period and if you look at it year on year it actually went down. Meanwhile in the real world £151 million equates to £245 million in 2023. Anyone would think that during this period we may have cut defence expenditure in real terms, closed numerous military bases, defence industry establishments and discarded our Tactical Nuclear weapons hence the requirements for MDP. And I am actually a firm believer in the work they do. Nothing… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_768955)
6 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I agree, I too appreciate them and their role.

I asked in an earlier post, since vanished, whether some of that extra budget is due costs of the relocation of MDP HQ, Schools, and Central Control room from the old HQ site at Wethersfield, that I assume will now be chock full of economic migrants and asylum seekers, to their new HQ at Wyton. The School has gone to a couple of other sites, including Southwick.

Toby J
Toby J (@guest_768960)
6 months ago

Why are all of these comments vanishing? I read your comment earlier, says 22 comments at top, but none of them are here?
Does deleting trolls get rid of the whole thread or something?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_768965)
6 months ago
Reply to  Toby J

I believe if a comment is red flagged the connecting posts also go?

John
John (@guest_768972)
6 months ago

Interesting if the “Guard Service” is a reason for declining numbers. I remember well Modplod undertaking some fairly mundane tasks. Then to be replaced by what are effectively security guards at a far lower salary.

Tom
Tom (@guest_768978)
6 months ago

On this occasion, we have facts, figures and details of governmental hacking and slashing of Military Personnel positions.

Very disturbing and extremely sad reading. After all that has been done to our armed forces, it’s a wonder that anyone would want to join any more.

Oh on the upside… I see a penpusher somewhere, after reading the shocking statistics on retention and recruitment within the Army, decided that a ‘bung’ of £7,500, could/should/will fix the large shortage of numbers, in the Parachute Regiment.

Hmm…

Rob
Rob (@guest_769234)
6 months ago

Liberals and their media (BBC, CNN) have demonized the Police as evil monsters worldwide. Every single one of them bad ‘uns. That’s why we can’t keep them, they don’t need the hassle, and if the country doesn’t want them or appreciate the dangerous and arduous nature of the job, we can help them realize that dream… Police should simply resign. Absolutely. Let society see what it is like. POLICE are humans too.

Last edited 6 months ago by Rob
Sid Islam
Sid Islam (@guest_776320)
5 months ago
Reply to  Rob

The MOD Police wanted to focus on recruiting a younger demographic – which meant implementing a tougher annual fitness test (same as Home Office police forces, 7.6 bleep test. This has been changed to a run and drop of weighted package wearing body armour). The force has a younger head count, but is not attracting massive influxes of youngsters to replace older/experienced officers who have left over the years. With a number of locations closing and a budget from MOD for policing and security reducing, I can see the figure remaining around 2,500 (similar to BTP). Unfortunately, I cannot see… Read more »