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Ministry Police

Volume 124: debated on Wednesday 9 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list his precise responsibilities in relation to the Ministry of Defence police.

As set out in the Ministry of Defence Police Act 1987, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has overall responsibility for the force and, therefore, has to determine policy for its roles, management and administration — including provision of the money, manpower and equipment necessary for it to operate efficiently.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the procedure for lodging complaints against the Ministry of Defence police.

The Ministry of Defence police are required to follow the same complaints procedures as other United Kingdom civilian police forces. A leaflet explaining the complaints procedure entitled "Complaints against the Police" is available from any police station. A complainant may either write to the chief constable MOD police, or a local police force chief constable, or visit any police station where details will be taken. Alternatively an aggrieved person may authorise someone else to complain on his behalf.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will call for a report from the chief constable of the Ministry of Defence police as to the circumstances in which a young woman outside Greenham Common air base had her fingers deliberately trapped and crushed by an American service man; why no charges were brought against the service man; and if he will make a statement.

No. I assume that the hon. Member is referring to an incident that occurred in the early hours of 13 November 1987. The individual concerned has lodged a complaint against the police in accordance with the usual procedure. The matter was immediately referred by the chief constable of the MOD police to the Police Complaints Authority in accordance with section 87 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, as the nature of the injuries fall within the category for mandatory supervision.An investigating officer, approved by the Police Complaints Authority, has been appointed and when the results of his investigation are known appropriate action will be taken. This may include further investigation in conjunction with the USAF authorities.