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Police Reform Act 2002

Part 5: The Ministry of Defence Police

26.The Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) is a civilian police force exercising full constabulary powers within its jurisdiction. This jurisdiction is defined in the Ministry of Defence Police Act 1987, which is the principal legislation governing the force, its powers and procedures. In July 2000, the Home Office issued a consultation document, Ministry of Defence Police: Proposals for Extension of Jurisdiction and Amendments to Powers. The Armed Forces Bill 2001 contained various MDP provisions, including extending its jurisdiction, but these clauses were dropped before the Bill obtained Royal Assent. Changes to the jurisdiction of the MDP were subsequently enacted in section 98 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. Part 5 of this Act makes a number of other alterations to the legislation applying to the MDP that were originally included in the Armed Forces Bill. The first main change is to provide for MDP officers seconded to other police forces to be under the direction and control of the chief officer of the receiving force and to have the full powers of constables of that force. The other main changes are to enable the MDP’s disciplinary procedures to be aligned with those of the Home Office police forces, and to make the MDP subject to statutory inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulary.

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