The capability of Ministry of Defence police to protect bases and other sensitive sites from attack is being put at risk by staff cutbacks, their representative, Eamon Keating, is set to warn on Thursday.
According to an advance copy of his speech, Keating, chairman of the Defence Police Federation (DPF), will say that the body had been cut from 3,500 in 2010 to 2,600. “We have lost approximately a third of our workforce, and any reduction of that scale will stretch any organisation's remaining resources to the limit,” he will say, adding that further cuts were being planned.
“The assets and estates which we secure and protect remain a target for extremists and require constant, robust and diligent security. That security must be decided upon by what is needed to meet the worst possible threat,” he is planning to say.
Keating is scheduled to address the DPF's annual conference in Renfrew, near Glasgow. Defence minister Anna Soubry is expected to be in the audience.
The MoD police is a civilian force that provides armed and unarmed security at sites around the country such as the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston, housing estates for military personnel and training areas.
“The MDP has already borne substantial and, indeed, excessive reductions in both budget and personnel,” he will say, adding that further reductions in the 2015 defence review “would severely compromise the security of the MoD estate”. He called for the the appointment of at least 200 more officers as a matter of urgency.
He will criticise the 2010 review that led to the earlier cuts as having being insufficiently planned, with decisions “taken in order to meet financial targets rather than on what was needed to protect sites and assets from the worst possible threats”.
Article published Thursday 12th June 2014