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MoD Police personnel working excessive overtime, report warned

Officers protecting sites including Trident nuclear missile sub base did 'huge amounts of overtime working' to ensure security
Published - 05/02/2016 By - Josh Loeb - Police Oracle

Armed police protecting sites including the Trident nuclear missile submarine base are so overstretched that security could be imperilled if personnel numbers are not increased, an official Ministry of Defence Committee report warned.

The report, which covered 2014-15 but has not been released until now, says there are plans to increase manpower within the specialist force.

But it called this goal “ambitious”, adding: “Until it is achieved the force will continue to be stretched and will be dependent on excessive overtime working.”

And the report’s author’s concluds: “We remain convinced that this is not sustainable without risks to employees and security.”

Recruitment activity in 2014-15 resulted in a net increase of just five officers in post “due to retirements and other departures.”

The report also stated that maintaining acceptable levels of security had only been achieved thanks to “huge amounts of overtime working” on the part of officers.

The bleak assessment chimes with warnings Defence Police Federation national chairman Eamon Keating has issued in the past.

A year ago Mr Keating told army personnel and their families were being put at risk because of cuts to the MoD Police. Shortly after he warned the force, which also guards spy agency GCHQ’s Cheltenham headquarters, was reaching its “absolute limit”.

Labour has reportedly suggested a rise in the number of security breaches recorded by the MoD coincided with the period covered by the report.

A MoD spokesman said: “As the chair of the committee has confirmed, the Ministry of Defence Police is fulfilling its duties during a period of change.

"The force is currently around 95 per cent manned and has recruited 450 officers in the past two years, with plans in place to recruit a further 200 in the next financial year.

"The committee did identify some matters of concern which are already being addressed by the chief constable.”

The Trident nuclear missile submarine base is in the Firth of Clyde. 

Picture credit: Ministry of Defence. Creative Commons

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