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Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) Specialist Policing. Who We Are & What We Do

Category: Recruitment

Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) Specialist Policing. Who We Are & What We Do Join our Force with a difference…

We deliver unique specialist policing, to protect UK Defence capability and national infrastructure: sites, people, assets and local communities.

With specialist police firearms training from the outset of your career with us, and lots of opportunities to further develop in specialist roles, the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) could offer you far more than you might first think.

You may also be interested in working for the MDP in a civilian role: with posts in IT, Finance, Procurement and HR. If so, please see the Civil Service website for advertised vacancies

People join us from all walks of life and we always welcome Service leavers, with their wealth of relevant skills, abilities and experiences. A career in the MDP could be the perfect next step for you, offering the opportunity to continue working in a role that supports UK national security. You’ll learn new skills and liaise with a range of policing and security partners, professional bodies and teams, in and outside the wire.

About Ministry of Defence Police

Who we are

The Ministry of Defence Police, more commonly known as the MOD Police or the MDP, are a national civilian police force, serving Defence and other UK government departments and US Visiting Forces. We’re a specialist police Force, with the majority of our officers deployed as Authorised Firearms Officers (AFOs).

Did you know?

  • We’re not a Home Office Police Force, but we do work closely with colleagues in local police services to protect the wider communities that we serve together. We can also be called upon to provide mutual aid and specialist policing support.
  • We are not ‘military police’ – unlike our service police colleagues, with whom we work closely, our officers’ jurisdiction extends outside the Defence estate, and we have full powers and privileges of constables, identical to other civil police officers in the UK.
  • Although our work is primarily focused on armed security and guarding of sensitive sites and assets, there is much more that we do. This includes a range of specialisms: from dog handling to marine policing, Crime Command to Public Order, Defence community policing to protester removal.
  • All MDP officers must be prepared to carry a firearm and as part of your training, you’ll need to successfully complete the MDP firearms training course.
  • The majority of MDP posts are armed policing roles, but our specialisms also include unarmed duties: in Crime Command, on Project Servator deployments and in various community policing scenarios.
  • Counter terrorism policing is a major part of our role and we can, and have been, called upon as part of the national armed policing response to major incidents.
  • Our policing mission is supported by around 260 civilian staff, in a range of roles: from Finance to HR, Procurement to Control Room Operators, Fleet Management to Station Administrators, Kennel Assistants to Business Managers.


From the Scottish Highlands to the South West coast, our officers and civilian staff are based at defence and national infrastructure sites of critical importance, across the UK. These include Faslane and Coulport on the Clyde, the Atomic Weapons Establishment sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield, Portsmouth and Devonport naval bases, US visiting Forces bases, Defence munition establishments and various other Defence sites, including Defence HQ in Whitehall.

Diversity and inclusion

We support, recognise and nurture the talents and skills of all staff from all backgrounds, and we’re committed to continue building an organisation that is representative of the diverse communities that we serve.
To find out more about a career with the MDP, visit

Case Study

Name Ian
Role PC, Armed Mobile Patrol officer
Station RAF Alconbury

Military service

“As a child growing up in the Medway Towns, I originally had career aspirations to join the Police. However, after joining the Marine Cadets, my attention soon focused on a career in the Armed Forces. As a member of the Cadet Band I originally wanted to join the Royal Marines as a Bugler. But, after attending a musical event in France I was offered a place in an Army Band that was also performing there. This turned out to be the beginning of a 30-year career.

"Not long after joining the Army I spent a year at the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall Twickenham. And that’s where I first became aware of the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP). As the establishment didn’t have armed security on site and, given that there was still a significant threat from the IRA, the MDP regularly carried out armed patrols around the location. Having spoken to the officers on several occasions about what they did and the role of the MDP, I remember thinking that working with the Force could be a possible option for me after I left the Army.”

Time for a change

“Fast-forward 28 years and I was beginning to think that it might be time for a change. As it happened, the MDP had just started a recruitment campaign on Facebook, and so I took a chance. At this point I was still serving in the Army. So, out of courtesy, I made my Commanding Officer aware that I was looking into options for a change of career.

"Once I had passed the initial paper sift, the next step was to take part in the assessment centre process. This included several talks from serving PCs and a Q&A with the HR department on the application process. By the time the assessment centre process was over, I’d already decided that being a police officer with the MDP was something that I’d like to do.”

Why the MDP appealed to me

“There were several reasons that made the MDP an attractive prospect to me. One of which was the work/downtime ratio. Having spent 30 years in the Army, without any set working routine at the time, the thought of working a set shift pattern really appealed to me, as did being able to book my own holidays and make personal plans in advance.

"Another selling point for me was that, like the Army, the MDP offers a team environment. I always enjoyed working as part of a team and could see that the duties with the MDP all required strong teamwork. The chance to explore different specialisms within the MDP, following probation and sometimes sooner, was also of interest to me. And at the time, I was particularly interested in joining one of the Marine Units or becoming a dog handler.

"But what really made a career with the MDP particularly attractive to me, was its similarity to the Armed Forces. At various times, all Service personnel (yes, even the bands) will have had to perform armed protective guarding duties. That is a primary part of the MDP’s role in providing specialist armed policing at Defence establishments and sites of national importance - protecting personnel and assets, whether it be on site or patrolling in a vehicle.

"That is of course not all we do in the MDP, as when called upon, responsibilities can vary massively. I myself have had to deal with road traffic collisions and incidents of domestic violence, to name a couple.”

Should I stay or should I go… decision time

“Well, as it happened, I passed the MDP assessment process and so it became crunch time – do I push the magic button or not. I'm not going to lie to you, it wasn't an easy decision. I’d spent virtually all my adult life in the Army. I had a guaranteed income; I knew the job inside out and I was living in Service Family Accommodation for well below market rate. I also had my wife's career to think about too, because although the MDP gives you the option to provide location preferences, nothing can be guaranteed. Luckily, my wife was very supportive.

"A wise man once told me that it doesn't matter how long you’re allowed to serve, you'll know when it's time to leave: for me, that time had come. I called the Recruitment Team to confirm that I would need to give a whole year’s notice to the Army. They said that was not a problem and a note was placed on my file for me to be allocated a course place to begin after my expected discharge date. About two months before my final day with the Army, I received my job offer from MDP as well as a start date for my initial training. The whole process of joining the MDP took me about 18 months, so bear that in mind if you ever consider joining us!”

Life in the MDP

“I've now spent just over two years with the MDP and at no point have I regretted my decision to leave the Army to do this. I was initially stationed at Regents Park Barracks in London, before moving closer to home and working at RAF Alconbury. During this time, I've worked with people from all walks of life and made some good friends. I’ve got a great work-life balance and it’s good to have the choice of doing extra work (if available and required) and getting paid extra for it too.

"As for the future? I intend to carry on working at RAF Alconbury and exploring the possibility of becoming a dog handler further down the line, or maybe a move to the Operational Support Unit.

"If you’re considering joining the MDP from the services, I hope my story might help to answer a few questions, and I wish you all the best in whatever you choose to do after service life.”

To find out more and speak with PC Ian & other ex-military staff now with the MDP, please join us for the online forum from 11:00am on 13th July 2021, where we’ll be delivering a short presentation around how the MDP operate followed by a Q&A session.

Great news! The MDP are opening up recruitment this Autumn.

To receive notifications of our employment opportunities, please visit our website.

All our vacancies will also be on CTP’s online job portal RightJob, as we continue to work with Career Transition Partnership to provide Service leavers with access to our opportunities.