Ministry of Defence Police - Notable Incidents and Investigations

Notable Incidents and Investigations

  • 1997: Milos Stankovic: British Army officer Major Milos Stankovic MBE, whose father was a Serbian, was arrested and interviewed by MDP in 1997 under the Official Secrets Act acting on information that alleged that he, while serving as a Serbo-Croat interpreter for senior British Army officers in Sarajevo passed sensitive information to the Bosnian Serbs. During the investigations, MDP officers interviewed more than 100 witnesses in Britain and abroad. But the investigation, which cost more than £250,000 in total, found no evidence of espionage. The case did not proceed to trial. Stankovic went to the press, and sued the MDP for £1Million compensation. In 2007 Mr Justice Saunders threw out the majority of his case and awarded just £5000 for MDP "seizing and removing items outside the terms of a search warrant" but making Stankovic liable for all costs (circa £500,000) "
  • 1998, Tony Geraghty: British–Irish author and journalist Tony Geraghty was arrested and his house searched by MDP Special Branch, investigating offences against the Official Secrets Act involving his contact with a former Northern Ireland bomb disposal officer Lt Col Nigel Wylde. Wylde was subsequently charged with passing secrets to Geraghty, but the case collapsed during trial. It caused much concern in the media that the MDP was effectively beyond public accountability and had the power to impede the freedom of the press.
  • 2003–2004, Pitcairn Island Child Abuse investigations (Operation Unique): MDP officers were deployed to Pitcairn as part of the international investigation team into communal child sexual abuse on the island.
  • July 7th 2005, Response to London suicide bombings (Operation Toga): This operation saw the MDP's largest deployment of firearms officers on a non Ministry of Defence tasking, to assist the Metropolitan Police to counter the threat of further suicide attacks in Central London.
  • 2001–2005, Deepcut Barracks suspicious deaths of 4 soldiers: MDP CID Involvement in investigations, which later led to a complaint to the The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) by deceased's families, who refused to believe police conclusions that each of the deaths by shooting, of the 4 soldiers, was suicide. Families alleged that MDP involvement was MoD "collusion" with Surrey Police which "enabled the MoD to cover up events" An independent review by Mr Nicholas Blake QC in 2007 absolved Surrey Police and MDP of any wrongdoing, but was highly critical of the Army. The events of the deaths are the subject of the stage play "Deep Cut" by Philip Ralph.
  • 2006, Ipswich Prostitute Murders: MDP Provided an OSU and 100 additional officers for searches and enquiries at the request of Suffolk Constabulary following the murder of 5 prostitutes by Steve Wright
  • 2008, Helmand Province (Afghanistan): A counter heroin operation by Afghan National Police and MDP seizes 17.5 Tonnes of Opium poppy seeds (enough for 30 tonnes of pure heroin)
  • 26 January 2009, Death of Krzysztof Lubkiewicz: The IPCC investigated the MDP after the death of a Polish national immediately after contact with MDP Officers. The Officers themselves were later exonerated, however the IPCC criticised the MDP's divisional control room's procedures, and their communication with other forces. This was the first investigation of the MDP by the IPCC after its jurisdiction was extended to include the MDP in 2008.
  • 29 September 2010: The leak of Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox's letter to Prime Minister David Cameron: MDP CID London and OSU South were tasked to search MoD Headquarters in Whitehall, and carry out an investigation to uncover the person(s) responsible for leaking a highly damaging letter from Defence Secretary Liam Fox to Prime Minister David Cameron, to the press. In the letter Fox expressed grave concerns about forthcoming defence cuts. No one was ever charged.
  • 8 August 2011: The 2011 England riots. Two days after the riots began, as a result of a direct tasking from the Home Office, the Chief Constable MDP, deployed all available MDP public order officers to the Metropolitan Police Area to assist with restoration and the maintenance of public order in London. MDP General Police Duties officers were also sent to reinforce Essex police, to backfill for Essex officers who had been sent into London.

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