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The Force

The Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) is MOD’s own dedicated civil Police Force of around 3,500 officers, all of them having full constabulary powers. They operate throughout the UK wherever their services are required at MOD establishments and units; they are the UK’s only truly national police force. In addition, each officer is weapons trained and at any one time 70% of MDP officers on duty carry arms, either pistols or rifles. They are deployed at some 110 MOD sites which require officers with constabulary powers and an armed guarding capability.

In addition to being a national police force, the Marine Units, which are stationed at various RN locations around the UK, have the largest number of craft of all police forces in the UK. Some MDP officers hold depositions from HM Customs & Excise which enable them to stop and search seagoing vessels for contra­band and drugs. The Force also handles over 300 dogs, one of the largest in the UK.

The CID and Fraud Squad are rightfully respected throughout the UK and in recent years have had some notable successes, the most noteworthy of which was the arrest and con­viction of a former MOD Director of Ammunition Procurement, Gordon Foxley, in what is thought to be the largest corruption case in British legal history.

The Operational Support Unit (OSU) of 50 personnel is the MDP’s own multi-capability response unit who are deployed anywhere in the UK at short notice whenever there is a requirement for their specialist skills which include public order duties, search and specialised firearms roles.

The Special Escort Group provides protec­tion for the passage of nuclear material throughout the country.

Qualifications for entry

If you want to join the Force you will have to mea­sure up to the following requirements. You must be:

  • at least 18 years old
  • of British nationality
  • of good health with unimpaired hearing and good eyesight.
  • currently resident in the UK and have been for the last 5 years (this condition does not apply to members of HM Forces currently serving or have served abroad)


In order to join the MOD Police you must take the Police Initial Recruitment Test (PIRT) followed later by a physical fitness test, medical examination, firearms assessment and extended assessments.

Physical fitness

Important – if you have any doubts about your ability to take part in these tests you should seek medical advice before attending for the selection procedure.


The Chief Constable reserves the right to reject your application at any stage of the selection procedure and it is not Force policy to give any explanation of why an applica­tion was unsuccessful. However it should be borne in mind that an unsuccessful attempt to join one police force does not mean an applicant will be unacceptable to another force.

Interested in Joining?

To start your MDP journey, please apply via the MDP website.

If you have a question about joining the MDP, please contact:
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