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Operational Support Unit

Volume 130: debated on Monday 28 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the role and function of the operational support unit of the Ministry of Defence police; of which section of the Ministry of Defence police it is a part when it was first set up in its current role; what is its annual budget and whether it is autonomous from local Ministry of Defence police units in the areas in which it is deployed.

the operational support unit (OSU) was set up on 1 April 1984, and comprises 50 MDP officers commanded by a chief inspector. Their primary role, which has remained unchanged, is explained in paragraph 9 of Cmnd. 9422, but they are also available to reinforce any MOD police detachment under pressure for any policing task, or to police MOD locations normally without MOD police should a need arise.The OSU is an independent unit reporting direct to MOD police headquarters, but when deployed comes under the operational command of the senior MOD police officer at the location.The OSU does not have a separate budget; its basic staffing costs are of the order of £775,000.