Royal Military Police

Royal Military Police
Royal Military Police
Royal Military Police logo
Active 28 November 1946-
Country UK
Branch Army
Role Military Police
Size 4 regiments
RHQ RMP Defence College of Policing and Guarding
Nickname Redcaps
Motto Exemplo Ducemus
By example, shall we lead
Beret Red
March The Watchtower (Hoch Heidecksburg)
Colonel-in-Chief HM The Queen
Deputy Colonel Commandant Major General Gerald Berragan
Shoulder badge MP
British Army Arms and Services
Flag of the British Army.svg
Combat Arms
Royal Armoured Corps
Army Air Corps
Combat Support Arms
Royal Artillery
Royal Engineers
Royal Corps of Signals
Intelligence Corps
Combat Services
Royal Army Chaplains Department
Royal Logistic Corps
Army Medical Services
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
Adjutant General's Corps
Small Arms School Corps
Royal Army Physical Training Corps
General Service Corps
Corps of Army Music

The Royal Military Police (RMP) is the corps of the British Army responsible for the policing of service personnel, and for providing a military police presence both in the UK, and whilst service personnel are deployed overseas on operations and exercises.[1]

Members of the RMP are generally known as Redcaps because they wear red-topped peaked caps or red berets. They normally wear the working uniform of the British Army and carry standard items of police 'belt kit'.

The RMP's origins can be traced back to the 13th Century but it was not until 1877 that a regular corps of military police was formed, with the creation of the Military Mounted Police (MMP). This was followed by the Military Foot Police (MFP) in 1885. The Military Mounted Police first engaged in combat in 1882 at the Battle of Tel el-Kebir. Although technically two independent corps, the two effectively functioned as a single organisation. In 1926 they were fully amalgamated to form the Corps of Military Police (CMP). In recognition of their service in the Second World War, they became the Corps of Royal Military Police (RMP) on 28 November 1946 under Army Order 167.

The RMP and their forbears have been deployed to most significant conflicts of the 20th Century, and more recently have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the British commitment in those countries.

Non-commissioned members of the RMP receive their basic training as soldiers, at the Army Training Centre at Pirbright in Surrey. They then receive further training at the Defence College of Policing and Guarding. RMP commissioned officers are trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, as are all other British Army officers.

The regimental march of the RMP is "The Watchtower" or "Hoch Heidecksburg" originally a German Army marching tune from 1912 by Rudolf Herzer. The RMP motto is Exemplo Ducemus, Latin for "By example, shall we lead".



As well as policing service personnel whilst at home in the UK, the Royal Military Police are required to provide a capable military police presence in support of military operations overseas.

In the UK and overseas UK garrisons

Some Royal Military Police NCOs are allocated roles working on Service Family Accommodation (SFA) estates, such as Community Liaison Officer and Crime Reduction Officer. Part of this role involves visiting schools in the SFA catchment area, where the school's children come from service families. In the UK this work is often done in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence Police.

In garrison towns, the RMP often patrol local town centres on Friday and Saturday nights at venues where service personnel are likely to frequent.[2] Some of the roles the RMP fulfill include:[3]

  • Assistance to civilian police forces in garrison towns.
  • Law enforcement and crime prevention, within the service community.
  • Provide Close Protection operatives from within the RMP for senior military personnel on operations.[4]

When deployed on operations

RMP Para Provost DZ Flash (16 Air Assault Brigade)

The Royal Military Police are required to provide tactical military police support to the Army in all phases of military operations. When deployed, some of the roles the RMP fulfill include:[3]

  • Controlling of mass incidents
  • War crime investigations
  • Handling criminal evidence
  • Reconnaissance patrols
  • Detainee handling
  • Search operations
  • General policing duties within operational bases
  • Winning the hearts and minds of local people
  • Foreign police and army training


In the UK

Royal Military Police officers are not sworn in as constables and only have police powers whilst dealing with military personnel. They do not have to be on Ministry of Defence land to exercise their authority over service personnel.[3] They also have police powers over personnel of the other two branches of the Armed Forces: the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. The Royal Navy Police and RAF Police also have reciprocal police powers over British Army personnel.[5]

A Military Police Officer can, however, arrest any individual in the UK who he has reasonable grounds to believe to be a member of HM Armed Forces. Military Police Officers can, and do, utilise powers under Sect 24 (A) Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 which allows them to arrest ANY individual they have reasonable grounds to suspect is commiting, has commited or is about to commit an indictable offence. They are allowed to use reasonable force, including the application of handcuffs, to achieve this.[6]

Postings overseas

Where service personnel are deployed overseas the Royal Military Police are often called upon to provide a complete policing service. In these situations Royal Military Police Officers can often exercise police powers in respect of civilians subject to service discipline. This includes, not exclusively, service dependents and overseas contractors sponsored by the British Army.[5]

In Germany, under the Status of forces agreement, the RMP has jurisdiction and primacy[7] over British Forces personnel, their families, MoD contractors, and NAAFI staff. The German civil police only normally become involved where the interests of a German national are involved.[7] The RMP also maintains a detachment (part of 101 Provost Company) in Belgium for working with convoys to and from the North Sea ports, through Belgium and the Netherlands to the German border. This detachment works closely with both the Koninklijke Marechaussee (Royal Dutch Military Police) and the Belgian Military Police Group.


The post of Provost Marshal has existed since William of Cassingham was appointed by Henry III on 28 May 1241 (the original title was Sergeant of the Peace).

During the Peninsula War from 1809-14, Duke of Wellington asked for a Provost Marshal to be appointed to hang looters; by the end of the Peninsular War the Provost Marshal controlled 24 Assistant Provost Marshals. Members of this Staff Corps of Cavalry were identified by a red scarf tied around the right shoulder; whilst some consider this to have been the origin of the famous 'Red Cap' of the Royal Military Police and its forebears, it was more likely a precursor of the 'MP' armband (and now the Tactical Recognition Flash), which identifies the modern Military Policeman or Policewoman.

Although disbanded in 1814 at the end of the Peninsular War, the Duke of Wellington re-formed the Staff Corps of Cavalry to police the occupying British Army in France following Napoleon's defeat at the battle of Waterloo. Later, in the Crimean War, a Mounted Staff Corps of almost 100 troopers from the Police Constabulary of Ireland, with some recruited from the Metropolitan Police, was established to prevent the theft of supplies, and to maintain discipline in camps. This 'Corps' was disbanded with the cessation of hostilities.

The Provost Marshal has always had men detached to assist him, an arrangement formalised by the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsular War; but only since 1877 has there actually existed a regular corps of military police. In that year, the Military Mounted Police (MMP) was formed, followed by the Military Foot Police (MFP) in 1885. The Military Mounted Police first engaged in combat in 1882 at the Battle of Tel el-Kebir.[8] Although technically two independent corps, the two effectively functioned as a single organisation. In 1926 they were fully amalgamated to form the Corps of Military Police (CMP). In recognition of their service in the Second World War, they became the Corps of Royal Military Police (RMP) on 28 November 1946 under Army Order 167.

On 6 April 1992 the RMP lost its status as an independent corps, and together with the Military Provost Staff Corps, became the Provost Branch of the Adjutant General's Corps. It was, however, permitted to retain the name "Royal Military Police", together with its cap badge and other distinctive insignia including the red cap.

Significant dates

1511 First Provost Marshal of whom a personal record is known

1813-14 Staff Corps of Cavalry raised by Wellington for Peninsular War

1815-18 Staff Corps of Cavalry reformed for Waterloo Campaign

1854-55 Mounted Staff Corps formed for service in the Crimea

1855 Military Mounted Police (MMP) formed to police the new military cantonment at Aldershot

1877 MMP established as a Permanent Corps

1882 Military Foot Police (MFP) formed for campaign service in Egypt

1885 MFP established as a Permanent Corps

1918 Royal Air Force Police and Royal Air Force Police Special Investigations Branch formed

1926 Corps of Military Police (CMP) formed with amalgamation of MMP and MFP

1937 Field Security Police (FSP) Wing formed

1940 Army Special Investigation Branch formed - FSP joins new Intelligence Corps

1946 Royal Prefix granted to CMP

1953 First RMP Direct Entry Officers accepted

1977 HM The Queen becomes Colonel in Chief

1992 Formation of Adjutant Generals Corps of which RMP forms a part of the Provost Branch

First World War

In 1914 the Corps of Military Mounted Police and the Corps of Military Foot Police had a total establishment of nearly 5000 men. When the British Expeditionary Force was sent to France in that year, each division had one Assistant Provost Marshal in the rank of Major and several NCOs. The Provost Marshal was a Colonel until 1915, and a Brigadier-General thenceforward.

During the retreat from Mons the MPs were busy dealing with soldiers who, through exhaustion or the general confusion of battle, had either lost or became detached from their units. By operating stragglers posts, the MPs were able to return soldiers to their units. These posts were also well placed to pick out deserters and those Absent With Out Leave (AWOL).

The First World War was the conflict where traffic control became an important function. This was identified particularly after the Battle of Loos, when there was a lot of confusion involving two British divisions. As well as traffic control, the BEF provost units dealt with the maintenance of law and order (i.e. the detection of crime and the arrest of offenders), custody of prisoners of war until handed over to detention facilities, surveillance, control and protection of civilians.

The work undertaken by MPs was not all carried out behind the lines, and sometimes they came under heavy fire. During this conflict, the Military Police suffered 375 casualties. Sixty-five received the Distinguished Conduct Medal and 260 received the Military Medal.

Second World War

CMP & RMP shoulder badges

At the beginning of the Second World War, the CMP had several branches:

  • Special Investigation Branch (SIB); Red Caps, who were responsible for general policing;
  • Blue Caps (Vulnerable Points), responsible for security of static locations and establishments;
  • White Caps (Traffic Control); and
  • Field Security Wing (Green Caps), which was separated from the CMP in 1940 to form the Intelligence Corps, and who wore the CMP cap badge, but without the scroll.

By the end of the war the Red Caps had replaced the Blue and White Caps. The RMP provided support to the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France and these units were also involved in Operation Dynamo.

Operation Overlord

On 6 June 1944, the Allies launched Operation Overlord, the invasion of the European mainland. CMP units taking part included:

  • 101st Provost Company, CMP (On 18 July 1944 this company landed, under enemy attack, at Courseilles-Sur-Mer)
  • 150th Provost Company, CMP

"The Battle of Normandy and subsequent battles would never have been won but for the work and co-operation of the Provost on the traffic routes." (Field Marshal Montgomery, 1945)

Operation Market Garden

In 1944, the Allies launched Operation Market Garden, the airborne assault to capture bridges over the Lower Rhine in the Netherlands. The 1st (Airborne) Divisional Provost Company, CMP captured the police station in Arnhem, but then suffered heavy losses when the II SS Panzer Corps counter attacked.

Operation Varsity

On 24 March 1945, the British 6th Airborne Division successfully launched Operation Varsity at Wesel, Western Germany. This airborne operation was part of the bigger Operation Plunder, the crossing of the Rhine.

CMP units taking part in Operation Varsity were:

  • 6th (Airborne) Divisional Provost Company, CMP
  • HQ, 245th Provost Company, CMP

CMP units taking part in Operation Plunder included:

  • 101 Provost Company, CMP, 15th (Scottish) Division

CMP units also served with British units of the 14th Army in the Burma campaign 1944-1945 (e.g. 2nd Division)

At war's end, General Sir Miles Dempsey paid the following tribute: "The Military Policeman became such a well known figure on every road to the battlefield that his presence became taken for granted. Few soldiers as they hurried over a bridge which was a regular target for the enemy, gave much thought to the man who's duty it was to stand there for hours on end, directing the traffic and ensuring its rapid passage".

Cold War

In 1946 King George VI granted the 'Royal' prefix to the Corps of Royal Military Police (RMP) in recognition of its outstanding wartime record. (CRMP was chosen to avoid confusion with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or RCMP)

In 1946, the Robertson-Malinin agreement introduced Military Missions into the post-war Control Zones of Germany. The Soviet Union maintained missions (SOXMIS) in the U.S., French and British zones. In the British sector the Soviet Mission was based in Bünde near Herford. British Forces maintained a mission (BRIXMIS) in the Soviet Zone (East Germany).

The RMP had the task of policing the Soviet mission in Bünde, and this was tasked to 19 (Support) Platoon RMP, who became known as "white mice". This unit's job was to wait outside the Soviet mission until a SOXMIS vehicle appeared and then follow it.

In restricted areas, Soviet vehicles were not permitted to leave the autobahns (not even in parking areas) unless accompanied by U.S., British or French military police.

The agreements remained in force until 2 October 1990, when all three missions were deactivated on the eve of Germany's reunification.

In Berlin, within 2 Regiment RMP, 247 Provost Company RMP was responsible for manning the British Sector checkpoints and Border Patrols. As part of 2 Regiment, an armed unit of German nationals, 248 German Security Unit, was maintained; its commander was a German national in the rank of Major and an RSM from a British infantry regiment acted as liaison officer. This was disbanded in 1994, when the British Garrison in Berlin was closed. A third company within the 2 Regiment was 246 Provost Company in Helmstedt.

Korean War

The Korean War was fought between 1950 and 1953. As part of British and Commonwealth Forces the RMP deployed:

  • 27 Brigade Provost Section RMP
  • 28 Brigade Provost Section RMP

The Corps had one fatality during this conflict:

  • Sergeant D. R. Kinnear

Malayan Emergency and the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation

The Malayan Emergency lasted from 1948 to 1960. The UK committed British forces (including the RMP) to combat communist guerilla forces. The Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation lasted from 1962 to 1966.

Between 1948 and 1956, thirteen members of the RMP lost their lives in this conflict. Britain still maintains military forces in Brunei, including an RMP unit.

The Suez Canal Zone Emergency and Suez Crisis

Between 1951 and 1955, British forces stationed in the Suez canal zone were engaged in operations against terrorists. The RMP lost eight members during this emergency. The RMP were also involved in Operation Musketeer, the Suez Crisis in 1956.

Cyprus Emergency

On 1 April 1955 a terrorist campaign was started by the Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston (EOKA) in Cyprus. It lasted until 1959.

Units of the RMP involved which were involved during the emergency were:

  • 1st Guards Brigade HQ RMP. Waynes Keep, Nicosia
  • 1 Independent Infantry Division Provost Company (Detachment) RMP. HQ Nicosia
  • 3 Infantry Division Provost Company RMP. Famagusta
  • No 6 Army Guard Unit RMP. Lakatamia, Larnaca, Dhekelia
  • 227 GHQ Provost Company RMP. Nicosia, with detachments at Famagusta, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos, Kyrenia
  • 51 Brigade Independent Provost Company RMP
  • Cyprus District Provost Company

The following RMP casualties are buried at the Waynes Keep Cemetery, which is located in the United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus.

  • Lance-Corporal W. R. Bell, 227 GHQ Provost Company RMP
  • Lance-Corporal W. N. Cameron, 51 Independent Infantry Brigade Provost Company RMP
  • Lance-Corporal R. J. Downing, 3 Infantry Division Provost Company RMP
  • Lance-Corporal R. B. Leitch, 227 Provost Company RMP
  • Lance-Corporal D. W. Perry, HQ 3 Brigade RMP
  • Lance-Corporal A. R. Shaw, 3 Independent Infantry Division Provost Company RMP
  • Lance-Corporal G. A. Todd
  • Lance-Corporal B. F. Turvey
  • Lance-Corporal B. D. Welsh

In 1955, Major Greenaway, who was the Officer Commanding 1 Division Provost Company (Detachment), was paralysed after being shot in the back; he was repatriated to the UK.

United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus

The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) was established in 1964 to prevent a recurrence of fighting between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and to contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order and a return to normal conditions. After the 1974 Greek coup-d'etat and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the UN Security Council extended and expanded the mission to prevent that Cyprus dispute turning into war. RMP have served with the Force Military Police Unit(FMPU), from the outset.

The FMPU is 1 of only 2 multi-national sub units within UNFICYP, the other being the Mobile Force Reserve. The FMPU is commanded by a RMP major who is both OC FMPU and Provost Marshal. 7 other members of the RMP form the spine of the 25 strong unit. Other contributing nationalities are Argentina, Hungary and Slovakia. The British contribution to FMPU is now the longest enduring operational commitment for RMP.

Kenya, 1952–1960

During this period the British Army was conducting operations during the Mau Mau Uprising. An RMP unit was based in Nairobi.


The following RMP units were involved in the Aden Emergency (1964–1967):

  • 24 Brigade Provost Unit RMP (Falaise Barracks, Little Aden)
  • Port Security Force RMP (based at HMS Sheba until 1967)
  • Joint Services Police (Army Navy and Airforce) based at HQ P&SS Steamer Point until 1967

Northern Ireland: Operation Banner

During the troubles which started in 1969, four members of the RMP have lost their lives.

In 1977, in her Silver Jubilee Year, Her Majesty the Queen became Colonel-in-Chief of the Corp of the Royal Military Police.

Falklands Conflict: Operation Corporate

160 Provost Company RMP, located in Aldershot sent a detachment with the task force for the Falklands conflict. Fortunately all returned home safe and sound.

After the Argentine forces surrendered, 5 Infantry Brigade Provost Unit RMP remained on the islands, sworn in as Special Constables until the Falkland Islands Police Force were able to become operational again. After the re-capture of South Georgia (Operation Paraquat), the Argentine commander Lieutenant-Commander Alfredo Astiz was taken to the UK and questioned by the RMP and Sussex Police at the Keep, Roussillon Barracks, Chichester about the murder of Swedish and French nationals several years before. As there was no jurisdiction for extradition to Sweden or France, he was repatriated to Argentina by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Post Cold War

Middle East: Operation Granby

In 1991, British forces as part of US-led coalition forces invaded Kuwait and Southern Iraq as part of Operation Desert Storm. The British name for this operation was Operation Granby.

RMP units involved were:

  • 203 Provost Company RMP - 7th and 4th Armoured Brigades (1 (British) Armoured Division). This unit was a composite of various RMP units in United Kingdom Land Forces and British Forces Germany
  • 174 Provost Company RMP - Force Maintenance Area, One section attached to 203 Pro.

The RMP suffered one fatality:

  • Staff Sergeant David Tite

Bosnia and Herzegovina

During 1994 the British Army deployed units to Bosnia as part of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), which was later superseded by IFOR and then SFOR. These included:

  • 111 Provost Company Coy RMP - Force Military Police Unit (FMPU) support. The company was based in Vitez, Gornji Vakuf, Kiseljak, Maglaj and Split
  • Elements of 24 Airmobile Brigade Provost Unit (156 Provost Company, based in Colchester, England) provided the British Force Military Police Unit (FMPU) for UNPROFOR (UK Operation Grapple 5) between Oct 1994 and April 1995 based as above and then re-deployed as the Brigade Provost Unit when 24 Airmobile brigade deployed to Ploce in May/Jun 1995.
  • 115 Provost Company RMP (based in Osnabruck, Germany) provided the British Force Military Police Unit (FMPU) for UNPROFOR (UK Operation Grapple 7) between August and December 1995 and then reverted to its unit designation of 4th (UK) Armoured Brigade Provost Unit RMP as part of IFOR until April 1996.

RMP personnel have also been involved in the European Union Force (EUFOR), which took over in 2004.

Kosovo (Operation AGRICOLA)

On 12 June 1999, the UK sent 19,000 troops into Kosovo as part of KFOR. Lead units of the 5 Airborne Brigade, which included the Royal Engineers and RMP, had to deal with booby traps in road tunnels before the Force could advance into Kosovo and seize the Kačanik defile.

Uniform & equipment


Shoulder badge

Royal Military Police officers generally wear the working dress of the British Army. In addition they wear black stab vests which display the RMP cap badge, and are labelled 'Military Police' on the front and rear. They also wear similar duty belt equipment to UK territorial police forces. All RMP officers are issued with a reversible high visibility saffron yellow jacket and/or a high visibility vest to be worn over their stab vests. Unlike other military police around the world, the RMP no longer wear white webbing, or white gaiters with barrack dress.

As well as their red caps and red berets, the RMP also wear a red stable belt. Their stable belt was originally red until 1992, when they were federated into the Adjutant General's Corps and started wearing the blue and red belt adopted by the AGC. Since then the RMP has reverted to the wearing of a new version of the original red stable belt as approved by the Army Dress Committee.


RMP Opel Vectra Patrol Car in Germany

The Royal Military Police officers are equipped with standard British Army weapons. Unlike most other soldiers, they are issued with pistols as standard. They are also issued with extendable batons, Kwikcuffs and personal radios, (linking direct to local civilian police forces).

Most RMP patrol cars have standard police Battenburg markings. Airwave police radios are fitted to those in the UK. In Germany RMP currently use Opel Vivaro's as their primary patrol vehicles.

The RMP also uses the Home Office Large Major Enquiry System known as HOLMES, as well as having limited access to the Police National Computer database.


The RMP is headed by the Provost Marshal, now a Brigadier. Every formation has a Deputy Provost Marshal (DPM), or Assistant Provost Marshal (APM). As well as being responsible for the Military Provost Staff Corps, the Provost Marshal (A) is also responsible for the Military Provost Guard Service, who provides a guard force of armed soldiers for military establishments and units of all three services.

The RMP is divided into units called Provost Companies, subdivided into platoons, and sometimes grouped into regiments. Platoons are commanded by a Second Lieutenant, or Lieutenant with a Staff Sergeant as the Platoons Second-in-Command (2ic). They are further divided into sections under the command of Sergeants. All non-commissioned RMP personnel are promoted to Lance Corporal as soon as they complete training in order to give them authority over other soldiers. Commissioned officers were once attached from other branches of the army, but can now be commissioned directly into the RMP.

Redcap with civilian police in Exeter town centre in 2006

The RMP is divided into three branches. Most personnel belong to the General Police Duties Branch, which performs uniformed policing and security duties. The Special Investigation Branch is dedicated to investigating more serious crime. The Close Protection Unit provides bodyguards for senior military officers and other key personnel (nominated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) in danger zones. The RMP also trains military personnel in defensive driving techniques. There is also a Covert Operations Team that conducts surveillance operations in accordance with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) and Test Purchase operations.

The RMP sometimes shares its police stations with other police forces. At Catterick Garrison, the RMP station is shared with North Yorkshire Police (who man it during daylight hours). Another police station in Wiltshire is shared with the Ministry of Defence Police and Wiltshire Constabulary. The RMP works closely with the Ministry of Defence Police on aspects of Garrison Policing and Security.

The HQ of the RMP is located at Trenchard lines in Upavon, Wiltshire. The regimental headquarters of the RMP moved to MOD Southwick Park, near Portsmouth in February 2007. It is co-located with the tri-service Defence College of Policing and Guarding.[9] The RMP training centre moved there on 27 September 2005 from the RMP's long-standing RHQ at Roussillon Barracks in Chichester, West Sussex. The Service Police Crime Bureau is also located at MOD Southwick Park and is staffed by personnel from the Royal Military Police, Royal Air Force Police and Royal Navy Police.

The RMP museum has also moved to MOD Southwick Park.[10]

Colonel Commandants


RMP commissioned officers attend the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, as do all other British Army officers. Other Ranks recruits undertake their phase 1, Common Military Syllabus (Recruits) training at Army Training Centre Pirbright. They then move onto Phase 2 which is undertaken at the Defence College of Policing and Guarding.

The training syllabus includes:

Recruits are expected to maintain a high level of fitness, this is assessed, and improved upon in two ways:

  • Personal Fitness Test (PFT): An 800 metre warm up as a squad. This is followed by a 2400 metre (1.5 miles) run, to be completed in under ten and a half minutes. For those over 30 the time limit increases at intervals dependent on actual age. After training the PFT is conducted on a twice yearly basis; it is a requirement of service personnel to pass.
  • Combat Fitness Test (CFT): Normally undertaken in a squad wearing combat gear. This is to get the recruit used to "tabbing", a cross between a shuffle and a jog. It is especially useful for airborne troops, who may have been dropped several miles from their objective. This allows troops to get to the objective fast, but not in a way which depletes their fitness to fight and stamina whilst carrying a full kit load.

Professional training and qualifications

All the Service Police organisations use the Defence College of Policing and Guarding for a variety of advanced qualification courses such as level 3 and 4 of the Investigators course, Crime Scene Management, IT (HOLMES, CRIMES, COPPERS and REDCAP systems). Fraud Investigation training is provided and accredited by the Ministry of Defence Police Fraud Squad.

Senior officers

As of October 2010

  • Provost Marshal (PM(A)): Brigadier E. O. Forster-Knight OBE
  • Deputy Provost Marshal (Investigations): Colonel D C N Giles
  • Deputy Provost Marshal (Operations): Colonel I E Prosser
  • Deputy Provost Marshal (Historical Inquiries): Colonel J T Green OBE

Current RMP units

Great Britain

  • Allied Rapid Reaction Corps MP Battalion (Worthy Down)
  • Special Investigation Branch (UK) (SIB (UK) RMP)
    • Northern Region
    • Eastern Region
    • Western Region
    • 83 Section SIB (Volunteers) (Worthy Down)


  • 1 Regiment RMP
    • 110 Provost Company (Paderborn) (20 Armoured Brigade)
    • 111 Provost Company (Bergen Hohne) (7 Armoured Brigade)
  • 5 Regiment RMP
    • RHQ (Gütersloh, Germany) (102 Logistic Brigade)
    • 101 Provost Company (Monchengladbach, Germany) (52 Infantry Brigade)
      • Munster Detachment, Munster
    • 114 Provost Company (Gütersloh, Germany) (102 Logistic Brigade)
      • Herford Detachment, Herford
    • 243 Provost Company (Volunteers) (Livingston) (102 Logistic Brigade))
      • 2 Platoon, Lisburn, Northern Ireland
    • 252 Provost Company (Stockton-On-Tees) (102 Logistic Brigade))

Each individual regular RMP company will have smaller Police stations and Police posts at other locations in their area where there is a sizeable Army presence.

  • Special Investigation Branch (G) (SIB (G) RMP)
    • HQ SIB (G)
    • Specialist Support Unit (Crime Scene Management and Technical Support)
    • 70 Section SIB (G)
    • 72 Section SIB (G) (Gütersloh)
    • 74 Section SIB (G) (Bielefeld)
    • 76 Section SIB (G)
    • 87 Section SIB (G) (Monchengladbach, co-located with 101 Provost Company)

Northern Ireland

      • 173 (Operations) Platoon
      • HQ NI Region Provost Branch

Other units

The RMP are also currently deployed (22.5% of manpower) around the world in Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.[9]

83 Section SIB (V) RMP is maintained at Worthy Down at the Central Volunteer Headquarters. They formerly maintained four specialist general police duty companies, in addition to 83 Sec. These were 152, 251, 165 and 164 Provost Companies. These companies were disbanded in 1999 as part of the Strategic Defence Review. The CVHQ is now responsible for providing a specialist RMP territorial Army component known as the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.

Operation Telic casualties

British operations in Iraq, including the 2003 invasion, were carried out under the name Operation Telic, which claimed the lives of several members of the RMP.

  • 24 June 2003, Al Majar Al Kabir, Iraq:

All personnel shown below were from 156 Provost Company RMP (16 Air Assault Brigade). This incident represented the largest loss of life, on a single day, in RMP history.[11]

    • Sergeant Simon Hamilton-Jewell
    • Corporal Russell Aston
    • Corporal Paul Long
    • Corporal Simon Miller
    • Lance Corporal Benjamin Hyde
    • Lance Corporal Thomas Keys
  • 23 August 2003, Basra, Iraq
    • Major Matthew Titchener, 150 Provost Company
    • Company Sergeant Major Colin Wall, 150 Provost Company
    • Corporal Dewi Pritchard, 116 Provost Company (V)
  • 31 October 2004, Basra, Iraq
    • Staff Sergeant Denise Rose, SIB
  • 15 October 2005, Waterloo Lines, Basra, Iraq
    • Captain Ken Masters, Officer Commanding 61 Section SIB[12]
  • 8 July 2007, Basra City, Iraq
    • Corporal Christopher Read, 158 Provost Company, 3rd Regiment RMP[13]

Operation Herrick casualties

  • 30 May 2007, Kajaki, Helmand Province
    • Cpl Mike Gilyeat, Royal Military Police,[14]
  • 7 May 2009,Gereshk, Helmand Province
    • Sgt Benjamin Ross, 173 Pro Coy, Royal Military Police.
  • 22 October 2009, Gereshk, Helmand Province
  • 3 November 2009, Nad-e'Ali, Helmand Province
    • Acting Cpl Steven Boote, 116 Provost Company (V), Royal Military Police
    • Cpl Nicholas Webster-Smith, 160 Provost Company, Royal Military Police[18][19]
  • 18 November 2009, (Operation Herrick 11) Helmand Province
    • Sgt Robert David Loughran-Dickson, 160 Provost Company, 4th Regiment Royal Military Police[20]
  • 20 December 2009, Sangin, Helmand Province
    • L/Cpl Michael David Pritchard, 160 Provost Company, 4th Regiment Royal Military Police[21]

The RMP in popular culture

Redcap, an ABC television drama series which aired from 1964 to 1966, starred John Thaw as SIB investigator Sergeant (later Staff Sergeant) John Mann[22].

Red Cap, another television drama series, which aired in 2003 and 2004, starred Tamzin Outhwaite as Sergeant Jo McDonagh, also an SIB investigator [23][24].

Soldier Soldier, a television drama series about an infantry company which aired from 1991 to 1997, featured Holly Aird as Corporal (later Sergeant) Nancy Thorpe RMP[25][26].

The Investigator (aired 1998) stars Helen Baxendale as a RMP Sgt. It is about life in the British forces at a time when being homosexual was banned and had serious repercussions, and is based on a true story[27].

The Real Redcaps was a television documentary series about the Royal Military Police which aired from 2003 to 2005.[28]

7 Seconds was a Hollywood feature film (released August 2005) starring Wesley Snipes, that follows the actions of female Royal Military Police Sgt Kelly Anders (Tamzin Outhwaite). When an experienced thief accidentally makes off with a Van Gogh, his partner is kidnapped by gangsters in pursuit of the painting, forcing the thief to hatch a rescue plan, in which he joins forces with RMP Sgt Anders along the way[29].

See also


  1. ^ Ministry of Defence, Royal Military Police website, (accessed 4 June 2010)
  2. ^ "Operation Dissuade"
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ Regiments That Served With The 7th Armoured Division, Military Mounted Police and Military Foot Police [1]
  9. ^ a b RMP Journal
  10. ^ Welcome to the new British Army Website - British Army Website
  11. ^ MOD Oracle news, Tragedy Of Errors In RMP Deaths, Guardian Unlimited (accessed 16 Nov 06)
  12. ^ "Suicide in Basra: The unravelling of a military man". London: The Independent. 31 July 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2010. "After a flawless military career that had seen him rise to the rank of captain in just 15 years, the task of leading the British Military Police's investigative unit in Basra should have been the crowning achievement for Ken Masters, a soldier for whom, on missions from Afghanistan to Bosnia, the glass was always half full." 
  13. ^ Oracle News
  14. ^ "MoD names soldier killed in crash". BBC News. 1 June 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  15. ^ BBC NEWS
  16. ^ ITN
  17. ^ Ministry of Defence
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Five gun attack dead named by MoD". BBC News. 5 November 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ The Times (London). [dead link]
  22. ^ Redcap at the Internet Movie Database
  23. ^ http// BBC Red Cap Show page
  24. ^ Red Cap (TV Series 2003–2004)at IMoB database
  25. ^ Soldier Soldier at the Internet Movie Database
  26. ^ Soldier Soldier
  27. ^ [2] Channel 4
  28. ^ The Real Redcaps, Produced by Anglia Television/Channel Television/Meridian Broadcasting for ITV 2005
  29. ^ 7 Seconds at the Internet Movie Database

External links

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