College of Policing suspends MDP firearms training licence
The Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) has temporarily lost its endorsement from the College of Policing over its provision of firearms training.
The Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) has temporarily lost its endorsement from the College of Policing over its provision of firearms training. Following a summer inspection, concerns were raised and the college has now refused to approve its licence. The MDP says it has completed the necessary steps to address the issues identified in the inspection report. Although this has no effect on the force being able to train and deploy firearms officers, it could potentially have an impact on the forces ability to defend itself in an investigation into an incident. The college sets standards for the content, quality and recording of the training that firearms officers receive. Every four years, Home Office forces firearms training must be inspected, and are endorsed with a licence if they pass. As the MDP is not a Home Office territorial force, it volunteers to be subject to college standards. Richard Bennett from the college said: The college has suspended its endorsement of the MDP firearms training arrangements until MDP is in a position to demonstrate that it is again delivering training to the very high standards set by the college. We are now working hard with the MDP to support them so that we can endorse their training arrangements again as soon as possible. The suspension does not mean that the MDP must stop training its staff or that its staff cannot carry and use firearms to protect important sites and the public. A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: The Ministry of Defence Police has completed corrective action to address the issues identified in the College of Policing inspection report. The force is now working closely with the college on the reinstatement of its Firearms Training Licence at the earliest opportunity. This does not impact on security arrangements or the ability of MDP officers to carry firearms while on duty.