authority for the royal military police to 'police' in mainland uk

john randall made this Freedom of Information request to The Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Dear Sir or Madam,
the royal military police (rmp) are not a statutory police agency nor do they have any jurisdiction over civilians or dependants in mainland uk.

why are they authorised to travel on public roads in marked police vehicles with blue lights, on whose authority are they purporting to be police officers?

who authorises them to carry quik-cuffs and batons in towns and cities in the uk?

why are they represented on acpo homicide working group?

why have they got access to pnc?

who actually regulates them?

with the introduction of the armed forces act in november 2009 they apparently will be able to deal with murder and rape in mainland uk, surely after there total incompetance at deepcut this decision must be reviewed?

Yours faithfully,

john randall

T Cowell left an annotation ()

John you sound bitter, ex squaddie perhaps, it would seem you do not have any faith in the RMP, please explain why you dislike them so much, would you rather have Civpol deal with the many criminal investigations that are handled on a week to week basis? Per year this goes into the thousands! CivPol would not be happy with that.
Quick cuffs and batons are authorised by the Sec of State. We are now subject to the NPIA and ACPO although not home Office force. And are regulated by PACE.
With regards to jurisdiction, WE CAN deal with and arrest civilians if needed, under Sec 24 PACE 1984 and we can also arrest WITHOUT warrant civilians in the UK for committing offences under the Military Lands Acts 1976 as amended Dec 08, or if we have reasonable grounds to believe them to be a Serviceman.

I wait with baited breath for the reply...Tony

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am still awaiting a response in relation to my FoI request with regards the jurisdiction and other matters relating to the Royal Military Police role in mainland UK and their membership to ACPO Homicide.

Who authorise them to be portrayed as Police Officers within mainland UK?

Yours faithfully,

john randall

ACPO Patsy Wills,

Thank you for your email.

Having spoken to our Freedom of Information Unit in Hampshire I have been advised that you contact the Ministry of Defence on 01371-854301 who may be of assistance to you or look at their website regarding your request.



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Dear ACPO Patsy Wills,
The Ministry of Defence Police cannot assist me with this matter.

Although the Royal Military Police are part of the MOD they are not managed nor regulated by the MOD Police.

Therefore, I submit a further request to ACPO as to what authority authorises the RMP to utilise marked police vehicles in mainland UK and the authority to carry quik cuffs and batons, when they have absolutely no jurisdiction to do so.

If ACPO does not authorise this who does? Thank yo

Yours sincerely,

john randall

ACPO Patsy Wills,

Dear Mr Randal

In response to your email dated 28th July 2009 concerning the use by the Royal Military Police (RMP) of marked vehicles, blue lights and sirens and their carriage of personal protective equipment for performance of their police duties.

In answer to your first question concerning the use of warning instruments on vehicles it is the Department of Transport who give authority to organisations to use vehicles with visible and audible warning instruments and it is this Department that have access to the detailed information you seek. A request for information should be sent to them in the first instance.

In respect of the second question, the carriage of expandable batons and rigid handcuffs (mechanical restraints) for use by Service Police duty personnel (providing that individuals have been properly trained) is a matter for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and was authorised on 1 May 1997 (MOD ministerial approval having been secured on 6 Feb 1996). Any request for further information should be made directly to the MOD.


Patsy Wills

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Kevin Jeffery left an annotation ()

Mr Randall

You might like to contact the Royal Military Police at Southwick Park, near Portsmouth.

I am sure they will be more than happy to deal with your request.

Alternatively, try the Provost Marshal (Army) at Upavon.

You will find his address by doing a simple search on the internet.

Kevin Jeffery left an annotation ()

These people will be able to help you answer the questions:

Headquarters Provost Marshal (Army)
Trenchard Lines
Upavon, Pewsey,

Scoop left an annotation ()

Just so you don't sound ignorant in future correspondance... You do not need 'authority' to carry handcuffs. Any member of the public could carry handcuffs if they wanted to. They are not an offensive weapon or prohibited article. With regards to carrying batons the defences are lawful authority or reasonable excuse. Due to the nature of police work (whether military or civilian) there would be health and safety implications not to allow officers the means to defend themselves. I'm sure the officer safety risk assesments for frontline officers explains this and authority has been granted for this very reason. As I cannot recall the last time an RMP went on a batoning rampage around the streets of England or Wales I fail to see your concerns. Where I live and work we have many forces: ports police, civil nuclear constabulary, british transport police, military police as well as usual civilian home office forces. All carry PPE, some including firearms, and noone has any concerns. I hope you axe is suitably sharp and you can be satisfied

Pier Roselle left an annotation ()

I fully understand where you are coming from and the concern that the apparently unregulated Service Police are policing our local communities. While there have been many adverse comments regarding traffic warning equipment (blue lights and sirens) as well as the carrying of PPE (batons and handcuffs), I believe the most important question you are asking is who regulates the RMP (and for that matter other service police organisations such as the RAF and RN Police)? May I suggest that the most recent publication available publicly is Home Office Circular 028/2008 A Protocol Between Police Forces and The Ministry of Defence Police. This protocol replaced previous publications (24/2002) and now includes the Service Police. This HOC quite clearly states that they do not have civil constabulary powers and exercise jurisdiction over personnel subject to the Service Discipline Act (SDA).
What may interest you most is that the HO recognise that even though there may be no jurisdiction, the service police could be first on the scene. In these circumstances it would be prudent for them to take immediate necessary action and later handing over to the HO police. Speaking as a member of the public, I would personally be quite happy for a service police officer to assist a member of my family who was a victim, regardless of who eventually investigated the offence later.
Ultimately, the chief constable is responsible for crime within his/her area, but this may be with the co-operation of other policing organisations. Service Police are not subject to the Police Discipline Regulations or to review by the IPCC, so the guidance you have already been given about contacting the PM(A) at Upavon would be a sensible course of action.

Derek B left an annotation ()

John, It might help us all if you provide the reasons for your concern, please. I am a retired member of both the RMP and the civil police and I can say quite clearly that the two organisations work closely and well in those environments/towns where service personnel are stationed and where military establishments are at risk. You will note too that RMP carry out important training tasks in conflict zones, having lost another two members today whilst training the Afghan civil police. Proportionately, the RMP lose a greater number of staff in conflict zones than most other units of the UK forces. They are professionally trained law enforcement officers who act on behalf of the people of this nation, often in very difficult circumstances. The hierarchy of the UK police and of the UK Government know where the boundaries lie between civil and military policing so, might I suggest that you take some of the advice offered earlier and write to the organisations named, please? Clearly, you need answers but this site is not going to provide fully qualified answers. Rgds Derek B

Lee Gibson left an annotation ()

As an Ex Military Policeman and now a Police officer on civvy street, I can say both jobs are identical and both carry same risks, and if im honest RMP training in law and policing is second to none and was far more in depth than my civilian police training therefore making them professional in their job and if you ask me should be a recognised police service with jurisdiction on civvy street. The person posing the question in the first place obviously had a bad career in the army and has been in the back of an RMP car far too many times.

RIP our fallen Comrades

Ian Crawford left an annotation ()

The more police on the streets, MOD, RMP or Area Constabulary the better.

Lee Welden left an annotation ()

Lee Welden (Staff Sergeant, RMP)
Mr Randall, if you were the unfortunate individual or perhaps a member of your family to be a victim of a violent crime. would you prefer for an RMP officer who may be the first on scene not to act against the suspect or individual? i think not! would you also prefer for example for a person who is heavily under the influence of alcohol to carry on driving a vehicle potentially placing civilians in a life threatening situation? or to be stopped by a marked RMP vehicle?

Stu M left an annotation ()

As a civilian I have lived in Aldershot all my life and have nothing but respect for the RMP,like all British regiments or corps engaged in foreign conflicts, the RMP serve our country valiantly in addition to contributing to good policing in my local area. I can understand why Mr Randell has raised this question (point of law) and clearly he is chasing answers for his profession, but i think a wider issue should be raised as a consequence of the initial question. If the RMP do not possess statutory policing powers - then why not?, if our armed forces are good enough to aid policing in other countries why shouldn't they have more input and wider powers in the UK. Lets face it....UK Policing can do with as much help as possible to tackle crime!

and talking on a point of law, with regard to a minor issue raised earlier in this thread, an extendable baton can not be counted as PPE under H&S legislation. This is covered in The PPE at work regulations 1992 were regulation 4 does not apply, as this is exempt under section 1(4) of the Prevention of Crime act 1953.

Derek B left an annotation ()

Sadly, yet another soldier from RMP has died in Helmand- what an aptly named place this is becoming. This time, it appears he was hit by so-called 'friendly fire'. No matter where the rounds came from, he was in a dangerous place defending this country's interests and he has paid a high price. My condolences go to his family, his friends, his colleagues and to the RMP. He will not be the last to suffer. To question the authority by which the Redcap walks the streets of Britain surely is rather fatuous in these troubled times? We should be proud in the extreme to have him amongst us.

Mac198 left an annotation ()

Mr Randell
Policing is policing the uniform may be different but the crimes are the same and so are the victims, having served in the Royal Military Police and home and abroad for nearly 26 years I can assure you if you have been raped or assaulted you would be more than happy to see the arrival of professionally trained and disciplined Military Police Officers. I have had the privilege to serving with some fine individuals who have carried out counter terrorism operations, close protection duties, investigated some of the most despicable crimes know to man and then when their country has called on them changed uniforms and fought and died to protect your freedom speech and your entitlement to question those who choose to serve.

john randall left an annotation ()

From my initial FoI request with regards the legality of the Royal Military Police to utilise emergency equipment and various authorities in mainland UK, it would appear, as was expected, for some individuals to go off on a tangent and start explaining the professionalism of the RMP.
My FoI request was specific and I am pleased to state that I have now received the information that I required.
I do not intend to reply directly to the comments on this site, as the authors, in the main appear to be either serving or ex RMP and therefore, understandably are rather biased with their views.
However, the facts remain that the RMP are not sworn in as UK Police Constables, are unaccountable to any policing authority and are not subject to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
I am not questioning the role, or the professionalism of the RMP, outside UK jurisdiction.
What I am questioning, (and possibly the Attorney General may well request an independent review) and will continue to question, is the legality of the their role in mainland UK.
Thank you all for your replies. John RANDALL.

Derek B left an annotation ()

Dear John, Your exercise in seeking answers to your questions was itself based on bias - I note this section of your original note that started this succession of replies: 'with the introduction of the armed forces act in november 2009 they
apparently will be able to deal with murder and rape in mainland uk, surely after there (sic) total incompetance at deepcut this decision
must be reviewed?

Competence is not related directly to 'authority', if it was, then there are many doctors, nurses, lorry drivers, car drivers, pilots..... who today would be acting without authority.

M Bain left an annotation ()

M Bain

Mr Randall,

You state that at no point did you question the professionalism of the RMP yet are very quick to criticise their dealing of the Deepcut enquiry - may I just ask, what authority or knowledge gives you the right to so much as comment on that particular scenerio, have you also submitted a FOI request to Surrey Police on their handling of said job?

You appear to be very quick to criticise and be pedant on points of law such as carrying PPE. Please could you enlighten us all as to what this request is in fact assisting you with? Do you seek to have the RMP removed from our streets? 999 to HantsPol - 15 minutes for a grade one. RMP emergency call - 3 minutes. You do the maths!

I would also like to point out the the RMP (SIB) are in fact subject to HMIC Inpection, again you can gain further details on this from PM(A).

Mark left an annotation ()

Hi all

I have read all the comments with interest. I myself served for several years with the RMP in different theatres including the UK. Again even then, which was some 19 years ago it was the same argument, why blue lights, sirens etc. In fact I can recall having to put sock type covers over the blue lights. I have since joined the civil police and have dealt with numerous incidents over the years. I have to say to be honest that the training that I received with the RMP in relation to PACE, rules of evidence etc was second to none. Yes I received further training when I later joined the civil police however it wasn't covered to the same degree.

This is an argument which has dragged on for years and it is beyond me why steps haven,t been taken by government to put the legislation in place to put an end to this once and for all. At the end of the day crime is crime and the more police why have all be it military or civil police, working together to combat it the better.


Huggy left an annotation ()


Hello Boys (particularly Kev and Lee)!

Good to see the Corps men standing up for all us RMP/ex RMP.

I couldn't agree more with your replies and yes... let's have this sorted once and for all and bring RMP fully into the fold.

By the way, is there a reason Human Rights Lawyers don't use lexicons?

Jonny left an annotation ()

As you decided to go public with the question, why will you not go public with the answer, Mr R?

Martin M. left an annotation ()

Dear Mr Randall,

as a lawyer I would have thought that you would be able to spell or at least use a spell checker - you fail yourself professionally in that aspect.

To the main subject, yes, this site is for FOI requests and it is doing a good job in doing so however, I fail to see what useful relevance your request is aiming at. In my opinion you are simply clogging the system with a questionable request taking away from those requests which are a benefit to community and society.

As an ex soldier (not RMP) I have had a hate-love relationship with the RMP but could never fault their dealings in any matter I have been unfortunate enough to be involved in.

Currently I work in an NHS ambulance service and have dealings with the RMP and would actually say that they take things a little more seriously than the civilian police, are not heavy handed, are fair and have compassion.

Please find a useful direction for your time and effort Mr Randall as I am sure there are enough human rights issued which are deserving of your attention - this one, sadly, makes you look bitter.

Martin M. Ex RAOC, RLC, AGC

Jonny left an annotation ()

So Mr Randall will not go public with the answer? The concept of 'freedom of information' only goes one way then John? Is that because, as a stated human rights lawyer, there is no pay cheque in it for you?

John Smyth left an annotation ()

The simple fact is that the RMP drive their authority to police on mainland UK from, previously, the Army Act 1955, and now the Armed Forces Act 2006. This does not state any territorial limits on any of the three service police forces nor does it restrict their policing activity to any military facility.

The use of blue lights within the RMP is perfectly legal as there is a blanket exemption for "police purposes", at no point in the enabling legislation does it state that it has to be a Home Department police force.

Derek B left an annotation ()

.....................indeed, one has to consider also the MoD police, the British Transport Police..........all of whom travel freely in liveried vehicles. And, all can act as constables if called on to do so by a 'constable' (not defined). So, an assault on a person so called is equal to an assault on a 'constable' and punishable as such. Laws are written to defend the public and the 'peace' so, to look for minor discrepancies that might impede this is rather pointless or rather, it is the route for lawyers looking for loopholes to help them proceed with a not guilty plea and thereby increase their earnings from a case. Cynical? Yes, but born out of 44 years of law enforcement.

R Harrison left an annotation ()

I have only recently read this saga and as a retired member of RMP and also Northumbria Police I can only comment that Mr Randell apparently has to much free time on his hands. His queries are quite irrelevant. The RMP is s good as, and in many fields even better than the civil police. The Corps motto, 'Exemplo Ducemus' is ingrained in every member. And if Mr Randell needs a translation maybe he should research his Latin instead of asking pointless questions. Imagine the RMP without blue lights, batons, handcuffs etc. They carry them because they are required and also because they allowed by law.Get a life!

T Cowell left an annotation ()

Let me enlighten you! Military Police vehicles, cars, custody Vans a d Motorcycles all have MILITARY POLICE clearly written on them! Maybe you should do your research before spouting rubbish. And regarding the powers; they are applicable at ALL times regardless of location, and the powers are applicable to all serving men and women at any time. Further powers allow RMP to arrest civilians if they are committing an offence of ANY type contrary to civil law or suspected of committing an offence. RMP have the SAME powers in law as Civil Police with some handy additions relating purely to the Forces. Assault, Crim Dam, Sexual Offences, MDA etc need I go on.

Do your googling instead of making crap up!

Derek B left an annotation ()

I have added to this exchange a few times in the past and still I am at a loss to recognise what the problem is here! The livery of RMP is clear and beyond confusion. Plus, all RMP officers have the powers of arrest that all citizens have and these are much wider that many people realise. To generalise, the public can arrest for an 'arrestable offence' if they see it being committed. Police officers have the additional power to arrest someone suspected of having committed an 'arrestable' offence, or for someone who fails to give adequate identification and an address to which a summons can be served. All of this is quite reasonable and built on law that dates back centuries in UK. And, yes, come the day that help is required, none of us care whether it is a civil police officer, a member of Army/RAF/Marines/Naval police, a nurse, a fireman, a bus driver etc. who provides it, it is just a matter of common sense - hence the Common Law on which we depend. The anti-RMP sentiment expressed here is concerning, as is the assumption by some that all police, civil and military, are corrupt. This patently is not true, indeed it is we who catch and prosecute our own when they go off the rails. This is how it must always be.

Now, all I ask of everyone, is to be reasonable and then life for all will be much sweeter. Thank you.

Alex Skene left an annotation ()

A large number of annotations to this FOI request have been removed in line with our moderation policy.

"How do you moderate request annotations?

Annotations on WhatDoTheyKnow are to help people get the information they want, or to give them pointers to places they can go to help them act on it. We reserve the right to remove anything else.

Endless, political discussions are not allowed. Post a link to a suitable forum or campaign site elsewhere."

I understand that feelings have been running high on this request, however please refrain from posting anything further, except for *factual* information relating to the legalities (or otherwise) of the RMP's rights to carry out policing duties in the UK.

If you have any questions regarding this, or if you want to check anything with us prior to posting, please contact the team via the Help > Contact menu.

Alex - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Sometimes the truth hurts. I understand you prefer to read what pleases you and not what is factual. You selected my posts for removal weeding out your displeasure's from your pleasures and leaving what you consider to be good reading for the forum. I understand your frustration being confronted with facts, it is indeed a shame you are a people pleaser. However you run the forum and not I so it is your privilege. I care little about your thoughts of me indeed it is not my business.

John Evans left an annotation ()

My Dear RAOC EX-Person,

Under the statute's of the " Interpretation Act " (Passed into Statute Law by The House's of the Commoners & Lords, without Dissent, first reading 1971, second readings 1972), every Royal Military Policeman after inspection for Duty and briefed by a competent Section Leader, becomes A "Special Constable"
within the Constabulary they are serving, or have entered, whilst ON DUTY. This is a 'STATUTE LAW'. It has NEVER been Repealed.

The only exception to this is Northern Ireland. There ""All Military Personal"" are deemed Special Constable in the PSNI the ""instant"" they set foot on any part of Northern Ireland. This country is a part of the United Kingdom.

Please Sir do your homework, before You make any more Post's or Replies..

As for Saftey accessories, how about I take You along the full length of the M1 from 1530 Hrs., on a Friday, north bound, and return circa 1600 Hrs., Sunday, South bound and we see how you feel then? This will be in an unmarked vehicle and observing ALL present Road Traffic Laws, at all times. Then, You will see why.

With regards.

To a person who may have made a simple error of Judgement.

BTW, Are You Still Serving ?

John (Scouse) Evans. (An ex Traffic Officer with RMP,
now Retired ).

John Evans left an annotation ()

I'm waiting for a reply Mr. Randall, if you still wish to take up my offer. MY boot is full of all the required "Safety Equipment" including a Full Battle medical Pack. (Including the essential Pain Relief, syretts,Saline,Plasma & full EAR & CPR Eqpt. If you know what I mean. I'm certain you do. Your an expert on safety I believe, to be able to post with such expert opinions. I prefer just too save life, if it is humanly possible.

There have been so many times both on Duty with RMP and off duty returning to the Provost Coy, and come across some across the most horrendous scenes I have ever seen. That includes times since I left RMP. BUT, It is still MY DUTY to stop and assist.

If you like blood pumping five feet into the air from a 10 year old child, as I HAVE seen on the M1, then you will be a satisfied person. I wasn't. The Child died. Oh' HOW I would have liked to have reflective Panels and Visual warning equipment That Day. Have you ever tried to close off the inside lane of the M1 for 100 feet before an RTC whilst dressed in civilian clothes. I think not. At least the Truckers helped.

John (Scouse) Evans.

Joel left an annotation ()

I thought this information may be useful to you Mr Randall.

Any member of any of the 3 armed forces policing branches may arrest any individual they have reasonable grounds to believe is committing or has committed an indictable offence and a Constable is not available to perform the arrest.[8] They are allowed to use such force as is reasonable in the circumstance to achieve this.

They can be ordered by government to take on civil policing duties should this be necessary. They will often deploy to city centres on nights when service personnel are expected to be on leave to assist the civil police. So yes, the military police have jurisdiction over civilians and service personnel, but not over civilians for traffic offences.

James left an annotation ()

The Service Police have no independent oversight nor are they subject to any independent complaints process. They are a law onto themselves, self justifying and self governing answering to no one outside defence. They constitute the only police force in the western world with no independent oversight!

logan uva left an annotation ()

The army or rmp Have the right to bear fire arms let alone batons as long as there within working hours and they have the right of passage Between places of work with lawful excuse and are allowed to use these weapons with lawful excuse royal military police. can potentially deal with a armed soldier.and as rmp are not stationed on all barracks they need to fly around the roads. as what happend at deepcut these soldiers committed suicide cos of bullying that went on.i was there in 2002 27reg rlc

Martin M. left an annotation ()

James, how naiive are you? How can you say that 'they' are the only Police force in the western world with no overseeing committee?

What qualifcations do you have, within international policing, to be able to pass your comment off as bona fide information?

How many countries, other than the UK, have you lived in and had the chance to study that countries policing ethics and methods. I daresay you haven't. I could give you at least three examples of European police forces where you would be hard pressed to find a military police force with so few powers as the British service police.

You and I are very fortunate not to live in a country where the military police have equal powers to their civilian counter-parts.

You do know that the French Gendermarie are essentially military police......

James left an annotation ()


Thank you for your helpful and focused comments. For your information I have lived in approx 10 different countries and have a Masters Degree in international relations in which I took a close view at police forces across the world. Did you know the British Army's own complaints manual JSP831 doesn't even allow complaints against service police personnel for acts whilst they are on duty. There is zero ways of getting a complaint against the RMP independently dealt with.


Martin M. left an annotation ()

Okay James, I appreciate that you have lived in ten other countries although I dare say that anything less than a good five or so years in another country would give you very little insight into how other countries police forces really operate. A Masters also lends more credibility to your original question but it does make one think why the question?!

On a rational level - what was the reason for asking the original question and what was the trigger and why the interest? I am genuinely interested into the thought process.

When you say that the Service Police are the only Police force that have no independant complaints procedure then I am sure you will excuse me asking what the procedure is for the following three examples below

The French Gendermarie

The German Aremed Forces Feldjaeger


The Italian Guardia di Finanza

These examples all relate to non 'Home Office' style Police forces as set in your original example and I am certain that you will be able to draw conclusive comparisons between the British Service Police (RN, RM, RMP & RAFP).

Please do not mis-understand this as a personal attack, I would like to know how they compare and where their complaints process can be found and accessed by a complainant in their home country.


James left an annotation ()


Surprisingly thee is a lot of oversight of "paramilitary" police forces in Europe. In France Articles D3124-1 and D3124-6 of the Defence Code set the overarching parameters.

In Germany parliamentary oversight is massive - ultimately the BKA have the authority to investigate any police force and the complaints code in the military is under #16WBO ( The German military discipline code) latest modification Article 18, para 1g of. July 2012.

I know Italy has similar oversights but am not sure of the exact legal basis.

Whereas in the UK, the Armed Forces Act and JSP 831 either preclude investigation or restrict it to an internal Chain of Command process with No statutory or ministerial oversight - even the Service Complaints Commissioner has no powers. That is why if you examine the statistics of complaints against Service Police activity, they are very difficult to find and when you do the numbers are extremely small.

The bottom line is that Service personnel do not get the same legal protection the people they put their lives on the line to protect, is the public, get.


Exemplo Ducemus left an annotation ()

I am a serving member of the RMP.

The Armed Forces Act 2006 (AFA '06) is the Military law governing soldiers conduct and relevent civilian members of civilian personnel (including dependants overseas) which has been fully ratified through Parliment. With this we are also obviously subject to British law, as well as those belonging to any other country within which we serve. This is sometimes changed slightly to meet the needs of the Army and the country within which we serve, but if any provisions are made this is noted in the various Memorandum of Understandings between the two parties. An example of this would be that the RMP serving in Germany are lawfully allowed to carry pistols on duty, as long as our firearms qualifications are in date.

As a Force we are subject to inspections by HM Inspectorate of Constabularies as well as HM Inspectorate of Prisons for our Detention Facilities. The Provost Marshall (Army) is fully independant of any other capbadges' command structure and reports directly to the CGS. In 2015 (approximately) the 1st Brigade of the Royal Military Police should come into effect, further removing the individual RMP Companies and Regiments from any percieved influence of other capbadges, creating an further independant reporting chain.

Each Provost Marshall (Army) is given their position by the Queen and it is under her authority (ratified through Parliment) through the Warrant of the Provost Marshall Army that I execute my duties, carry my cuffs and baton and effect the arrests of members of service personnel, including some relevant civilians (the categories of which are detailed in AFA '06) should they commit an indictable offence.

In regards to using my cuffs and batons I am trained in the same Home Office approved techniques and to the same level as all civilian constables and as such for reasons of self-defence etc, I am lawfully allowed to use them in the excise of my duties.

Further, what many seem to be forgetting is that members of the Royal Military Police swear an oath to our Corps to uphold both civilian and military law, on and off duty. What this also means is that both on and off duty we may assist in the apprehension of civilians commiting indictable offences for the Civil Constabularies/Police Forces under Section 24A of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (you may know this as citizens's arrest), although this is not a day-to-day occurrance. Therefore, if a member of the RMP witnesses a civilian commiting an arrestable offence it is our DUTY to assist the Civil Constabularies/Police should they require it, this may include restraining someone to stop then fleeing the scene of an arrestable offence until they can be dealt with by the Civil Police. Hence why many towns which have a military presence heavily rely on the Service Police for extra manpower and assistance in policing.

What you fail to note is that many RMP on and off duty have sometimes been first responders to many a horrific scene in instances such as road traffic collisions, assaults, deaths and many more scenarios. Just because the people involved are sometimes civilians does not mean that we will turn a blind eye. In fact many a life has been saved by members of the RMP assisting the public.

I suggest Sirs that many of you check your facts before commenting on things of which you clearly know very little about. Of course some points I have made I'm sure could be better explained by someone of a higher rank as I am only a JNCO. But clearly through the knowledge of my responsibilities, duty and loyalty to my Corps, it is clear that my colleagues and I are not some bunch of law-unto-ourselves cowboy mercenaries some of you misinformed/foolish people are trying to portray us as.

Should you like to check some of the legislation I have mentioned then please by all means refer to: and type in the search box either 'The Armed Forces Act 2006' or 'The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984'. This will bring up either relevant piece of legislation.

James left an annotation ()

Dear Exemplo Ducemus

Thank you for your comments - your youth, loyalty and enthusiasm are not in question, neither is the reputation of the vast majority of the members of the RMP. However, you are a little naive to the point of this thread.

The RMP are NOT subject to any INDEPENDENT oversight. PM Army (who I have spoken to personally on several occasions) is a serving member of the Army and can not be independent of Army Policy and policy pressures. If CGS tells him to change the RMP Beret Colour then PM Army has to do it....

HM Inspector of Constabularies does not investigate the sorts of cases that the IPCC does on behalf of Civilian Police Forces they are not an independent oversight organisation, they are merely looking at professional standards in a general way to tick the box that the title Police can be used.

The generation of 1st Bde RMP will have no effect and will be administered via HQ Army (a HQ not independent of the Army)

Your training for cuffs and batons may meet the required standards but if you use them incorrectly then there is no INDEPENDENT investigation means.

The application of PACE is wonderful but the guidance for its application issued by ACCPO is selected by PM Army, he does not have to follow ACCPO guidance if he doesn't want to.

The RMP are subject to the AFA 2006 but JSP831 and others prevents complaints against members of the RMP whilst they are on duty...these complaints have to be investigated by PM (A) ....who is not independent.

I think my point has been made.

G Clarke left an annotation ()

The point you all miss is that the civilian police are authorised by statute, and the alleged offence is tested in a courtroom. The R.M.P. is a component of an armed force authorised by statute - yes - but tested at the end of a weapon. I will not be subject to the totally alien and offensive idea of a serving member of the Armed Forces exercising any authority over me.

Bill Graham left an annotation ()

This thread has a lot of emotion in it and a number of different quoted facts:

Is it therefore true that the legal authority for the RMP to act is the Service Act.

Their only formal powers are the same as Citizens Arrest and because they have the name police in their title they have dispensation to use marked, blue light, vehicles.

I do not understand why PM Army can chose which ACPO guidelines he follows, nor why the RMP are not subject to IPCC oversight - can anyone explain this?