The Ministry of Defence Police, a force with a difference

Have you left, or are you getting ready to leave, the Armed Forces and thinking about what career path to take next? Have you considered joining the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP)?

The MDP provides specialist armed policing services to key Defence and national infrastructure sites around the UK. The majority of MDP officers are deployed as Authorised Firearms Officers. 

Let’s take a look at who the MDP are and what they do. 

The Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) is a national civilian police force of circa 2900 police officers and 260 police staff, established by the Ministry of Defence Police Act 1987. The Force serves the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and delivers specialist policing at a range of locations across the UK, including support to US Visiting Forces and other UK Government Departments. 

The MDP is based at various locations across the UK including:
• Royal Naval Armaments Depot, Coulport
• Atomic Weapons Establishment sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire
• GCHQ Headquarters in Cheltenham
• Defence Munition Sites
• HM Naval Bases at Portsmouth, Devonport and Clyde
• Various other key Defence sites, including central London and sites in North Yorkshire, Derby, Hereford, Thurso and Barrow-in-Furness

The MDP is equipped to respond to a range of crime and security related threats and risks that require specialist and dedicated civilian policing capabilities. These include:
• Terrorist attack and the threat of such attacks across the UK
• Disruption and disorder caused by protesters
• Unauthorised intrusion onto the Defence Estate
• Theft or compromise of, and damage to, key assets that would have a significant impact upon Defence capability
• Major financial fraud and corruption that would have a significant impact upon Defence capability

To achieve this, the MDP provides the following operational services:
• Nuclear Policing: Providing specialist armed policing services that contribute to the protection of the UK’s strategic nuclear deterrent.
• Territorial Policing: Providing specialist policing services that help to protect key Defence and UK national infrastructure sites, people and assets.
• National Counter Terrorist Response: Contributing to the UK’s national armed policing response to major incidents.
• Crime Command: Preventing, detecting, disrupting and investigating crime against Defence interests. Investigating and detecting fraud, corruption, theft and criminal damage to Defence equipment and assets. Collating and disseminating criminal and security intelligence to support MDP operations and wider Defence and Law Enforcement partners and stakeholders. 

The MDP delivers its operational policing services using a range of specialist policing capabilities that include:
• Armed policing that meets national policing standards
• Various specialist armed policing units including the Tactical Firearms Unit, Special Escort Group, Operational Support Unit, and Central Support Group
• Public Order and Protester Removal Teams
• Specialist police dogs and handlers
• The largest Marine Policing capability in the UK
• A Crime Command that is focused on combatting the threat and risk of major fraud, theft, bribery and corruption to Defence interests
• Project Servator officers deployed in uniform and plain clothes who are specially trained to spot the tell-tale signs of terrorist and other criminal activity 

The MDP run recruitment campaigns for vacancies throughout the UK. For details on current or upcoming vacancies visit 

Why join the MDP?

All Authorised Firearms Officers are trained to National Police Standards and there is a wide range of training and development opportunities available throughout an MDP officer’s career, whether on promotion or by specialising in a specific role. 

• The minimum starting pay for a newly recruited MDP Constable is £22,968
• Increases in pay are reviewed annually and linked to performance
• Within six years you could be earning over £38,122

• New recruits are entitled to 22 days’ annual leave at entry, rising to 30 days after 20 years’ service
• Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme that compares well with much of the private sector
• Locational allowances, payable at specific sites
• Paid overtime at enhanced rates

Diversity and Inclusion
• Committed to recruiting, developing, retaining and promoting the best people, with different skills, backgrounds and experiences, who are representative of the communities served
• Staff support and networks including an LGBT+ Network, Gender Network, Race Network and Mental Health First Aiders
• Diversity Champion memberships of Stonewall and Business in the Community (BITC)
• Membership and representation on the British Association of Women in Policing (BAWP), the National Black Police Association (NBPA), the National LGBT+ Police Network and the Scottish LGBTI Police Association
• Access to the MOD’s broad range of staff networks which include the MOD LGBT+ Network and the MOD Disability Network 

Application Process
• Once your application has been submitted, your eligibility for the role will be reviewed – this includes an initial Police Vetting check.Full details on eligibility are available at
• If you are successful at the sift stage you will be invited to attend a 1-day assessment process consisting of a briefing, interview, fitness test and a written assessment.
• Successful applicants will then be guided through the rest of the recruitment process which includes a medical (with drug and alcohol test) and Police and National Security Vetting processes.
• References will also be requested from your current and/or previous employer.
• The process can take, in total, between 6-9 months. 

I am currently serving in the Armed Forces. How does this affect my application in terms of the notice period I must give?
Members of the armed forces can still apply to join the MDP when in service. You would not be expected to resign or give notice until an offer of employment is ready. Most applicants from the armed forces get their notice period waived, so you are advised to speak to your Personnel Department to see if this could apply to you. The MDP will take into account any notice period when planning start dates. 

Further information
Interested? Find out more: 

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