New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: The specialised Ministry of Defence police protect our bases and other sensitive installations against disruption and even terrorist attack. Given that, as part of the defence economies, they are facing the loss of several hundred officers over the next three years, may we have a statement from a Defence Minister confirming that the alternative proposals put forward by the highly experienced Defence Police Federation, which would result in fewer losses and less degradation of the level of security provided and also in savings equivalent to those proposed, will be properly evaluated by the security department of the MOD?

[The Leader of the House of Commons (Sir George Young): My hon. Friend raises an important issue. Like him, I have received correspondence from the Defence Police Federation. Those counter-proposals are now being considered by the chief constable of the MOD police. A helpful meeting has taken place between the Under-Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Leicestershire (Andrew Robathan) and the chair of the DPF. We are now taking this forward with a view to ensuring that the best possible use will be made of MOD police at those defence sites where there is a clear requirement for constabulary powers as part of the overall protective security arrangements.]