Examination of Witnesses (Questions 280
WEDNESDAY 30 JANUARY 2002
280. Fair point. Who is the adviser to CINC
(Mr Cochrane) We take the point, but he is not here
Mr Hancock: Can we have a paper on why
you do not have more active presence on the sea?
Chairman: Point taken. We have another
few questions to go.
281. I wanted to draw in a supplementary which
is based on the evolving of an establishment going from military
management to civilian management in the public session, respectfully
of DARA, which is the Defence Aviation Repair Agency, they used
to have military presence, they used to have MDP police, etc,
it evolved down to civilian management, dropped out the MoD police
and relied upon guard service, with one policeman on the establishment
with a gun. It worried me somewhat that the protection is only
made for military personnel yet when it comes to the assets involved
in establishmentssuch as where I used to work in Fleetlands
is Gosport £500 billion worth of aircraft, which needs to
back up the service if we are in a war situationthey are
very vulnerable. There is no apparent security of any of the assets
if they are not weapons or nuclear or military personnel, there
is no protection at all. Since 11 September, and we are all very
clever after the event, and I am not least amongst everyone else,
the asymmetric type of warfare we are looking at is the unexpected
and the economic, and the damage and disruption and knocking out
assets worth half a billion pounds to the military could be a
very successful coup, but it is nothing that we protect against.
We have no guards at all there, we have no protection. Somebody
should be looking at these isolated areas, not least St Athan's
in Wales, which is even greater.
(Ms Craig) If the assets were attractive to criminals
or terrorists there would have to be a quick armed response available
to look after them. If they are not then that requirement does
not apply. We do have mandatory physical measures other than people
that are laid down and there are guard forces in all of our establishments,
of one kind or another, they may not necessarily be armed. I do
not know the DARA case you mentioned.
282. It is very worrying that those assets are
easily accessible by determined terrorists and there is nothing
done to protect them because there is no military personnel on
(Ms Craig) One has to look at what sort of physical
measures they have in terms of locking up
(Ms Craig)CCTV, and so on.
Chairman: Can you let us know? I think
you will have adduced so far that our discussions should result
in at least a 20 per cent increase in your budget, at least, certainly
an increase in the MoD police.
284. We are watching in lot of cases the move
from public service to private service and there is a political
argument about that. We are seeing in MoD establishments a move
from publicly run government establishments to private agencies
and trading fund systems and there is a security change that is
going on that none of us were aware of, a reduction in the protection
of the MoD police and a change over to cheaper and less efficient
guards servicing, and that is something that has come up in this
(Ms Craig) The move to agencies is not a move out
of the MoD, trading funds are still part of the MoD and still
abide by the rules that we lay down. It is always up to the local
management to assess the guarding and physical security that they
have and reach a risk judgment on what they need. I am sure that
the Committee would expect the most cost effective measures to
be taken. There are strict controls on money.
Rachel Squire: I think I look forward
to pursuing further the very good points that Mr Hancock made,
especially as it just so happened that I was on the HMS Cumberland
in the Iranian Gulf very shortly after the USS Cole bombing
incident and thinking back I think, why did we not take more notice
of that incident, given the subsequent tragedies. We are going
to pursue that later on.
Chairman: You were our deterrent I suspect!
285. Related to that, and this relates to a
few things that have been said this morning about assessing risk,
and what Mr Hancock said is right and your response to it is that
it is on the "at risk" and you used the word "intelligence".
Was not the most single failure of September 11 that intelligence
did not tell us what was going to happen? In terms of what Mr
Hancock described, quite rightly, it could happen, could it not,
if we did not have any intelligence?
(Ms Craig) Yes. When you are making your risk assessment
you will judge the intelligence and you will also use your common
sense and intuition, if you like, because the intelligence is
always going to be patchy.
286. It is smoke and mirrors and chicken bones,
(Ms Craig) It is based on long experience as well.
287. When the MDP are deployed on US bases who
has operational control, the Chief Constable or the US Commander?
(Mr Clarke) Operational control of MDP officers always
remains through a chain of MDP. Quite clearly there is very clear
discussions and open discussions between MDP officers and the
military establishment, the point in case would be Menwith Hill.
In terms of the security plans on the base they are well worked
through, and whose responsibility is what in respect of the deployment
of MDP officers. To my knowledge it has worked exceptionally well
and there have not been any difficulties.
Chairman: Could you let us know what
the rules of engagement for the United States military personnel
operating within the United Kingdom? Do not answer now, if you
could get that information for us, please. I am sure they are
288. I wonder if I can bring you back to the
Quinquennial Review. The last time we spoke, which seems an awful
long time ago, you spoke about the reserve that was going to be
established. As I understand it further work is going to be done
on that in Stage 2. Can you give us a time-frame?
(Ms Craig) We hope it will be done by the summer.
It is going to be quite an extensive piece of work and quite difficult
to do, but we hope that is when it will be finished by.
289. Who is on the QQR Team?
(Ms Craig) That is an independent team which works
for the owner of the agency, the second PUS and it is a very small
group of people. They have an MDP policeman on the team.
290. Just pursuing that a bit further, when
it says "How large is this going to be?" I then go to
the sub-note and it says, "We propose to address this upon
the basis of a baseline planning scenario, eg assume, sustain
and protest activity at X sites for Y weeks against terrorists
alerted Z". Talk me through that?
(Ms Craig) I did not understand that either. What
they will be trying to do is to specify the most stretching set
of circumstances that the MDP might have to deal with, in a nutshell.
291. That is hardly scientific enough?
(Ms Craig) It is not going to be scientific, but it
will be a question of judgment.
292. What about the man at the sharp end?
(Mr Clarke) Interestingly enough the formula, and
I understand when you look at it, what does it mean, came from
the QQR team. You have to start from somewhere in terms of determining
a reserve, a reserve to do what, a reserve against what threat?
I think when the first draft of that was documented it was prior
to 11 September. In particular what was in people's minds at that
time was the protest activity at Menwith Hill and that which we
constantly see on the Clyde. It was a case of how do we move resources
from A to B. The additional resources from MDP always come from
taking people from complemented posts and back-filling with overtime.
There has never been a strategic reserve, as it were. What the
Quinquennial Review are proposing is that there should be some
planning assumptions, that is where you get this formula, and
what might be the worse case scenario. Post 11 September almost
the sky is the limit and it is how we actually get a realistic
assumption. MoD have a role to play in that and we will play a
role in that from MDP on the basis of the kind of incidents that
we have experienced. It really is almost a blank sheet of paper
at this stage.
293. As we sit here now you as the professional
at the sharp end of this police service have not got an idea in
your mind how big this reserve should be.
(Mr Clarke) No, I have not. It is fair to say neither
have we sat on our hands because there is a reality from what
happened prior 11 September that in the North of England, and
Menwith Hill was a focus of attention, that we did not have assets
in the North of England. We have an Operational Support Unit which
is built into these kind of operations based at headquarters in
Whethersfield. That is not satisfactory. What we have done is
an adjustment of our staff, with additional money that comes on
line from 1 April we will looking into having an operational support
unit in the North of England as well as one in the South. That
is a start, a moving in the direction of this reserve capacity.
The reason why we have gone for that option at this stage, before
any other scenario work is done, is on the basis that in any event
there is a large military conurbation, if you like, in North Yorkshire.
That is our rationale for siting it there. Plus, it is en route,
as it were, to Scotland to the Clyde and it also where the nuclear
convoys move, it is the route round the country. There is some
rationale behind it.
294. The idea of reserve seems to be a very
good one, we would all support it, but at the same time the tendency
of those that control the purse strings will to be to say, let
us keep this as small as we can simply because you could have
quite a number of people doing, as you said earlier, nothing.
(Ms Craig) They will not be doing nothing. When they
are not surging they will be combatting primary crime, providing
civilian policing support to married quarters, if that requirement
is confirmed, and also countering secondary crime. They are not
going to be sitting round waiting for the call.
295. Two technical questions, we have heard
a lot of specifics about a lot of specific sites this morning,
quite justifiably, in general terms is there a formula which governs
the manning of these various sites and if there is a formula could
you tell us?
(Mr Clarke) Yes, there is a formula. We heard about
complements and MDP complements, in the first instance a complement
is arrived at with discussions with those who have the responsibility
for the risk. Using the QQR we know what the outputs are that
MDP should be doing.
296. The QQR?
(Mr Clarke) The Quinquennial Review. We know what
the outputs should be. There are discussions between MDP and whoever
the customer is to be. There is then a formula, we are getting
into the weeds, one officer is required 24 hours a day, 365 days
a year, the formula is that that needs *** officersdo not
ask now me how we got the ***for each post 24 hours a day.
That is how it is arrived at, the total complement for an establishment.
297. We must go away and think about that. One
last question, have the events of 11 September in any way prompted
reconsideration of the functions between your officers, the MDP
officers and the MoD guard service officers?
(Mr Clarke) No, it has not prompted anything specifically
new in that regard. Again, there is a relationship on every establishment,
that is the responsibility of the head of establishment, to ensure
that the actual practical working arrangements between MDP and
MGS is correct at each establishment. Does that answer your question?
Mr Cran: Yes.
298. Over the years there have been furtive
attempts at considering arming the Guard Servicethat was
tantamount to arming cleaners, in the early days before they came
very professional, I would like to addis there any secret
(Ms Craig) No, I can assure you, neither furtive nor
open, there are no plans for that.
299. Since the introduction in the 2001 Anti-terrorism
Act, which extended MDP powers, particularly outside of the MoD
site, beyond the wire powers that we were effectively proceeding
with in the Armed Forces Bill, how have MDP operations changed
since then? Have these new powers made a real difference to security?
(Mr Clarke) Yes, they have. In particular there are
four specific circumstances after 14th December when legislation
was enacted, then one of those circumstances drops out to the
use of powers under the Act. Specifically it has been in response
to Section two, which was mutual aid, I know that was of particular
concern to the select committee, whereby the chief constable of
a force has asked the MoD to provide support. The first instance
is in North Yorkshire and comes as a result of joint armed patrols
of an MDP officer and a North Yorkshire officer. Significantly,
and I know this was of concern, who had operational command and
control. I have spoken to the Chief Constable, Mr Kenworthy in
North Yorkshire, and have done that in a written protocol. A second
use, officers have used their powers to stop and search under
the terrorist legislation, that has been joint patrols. There
has been about 20 stops and searches under terrorist legislation.
The second, I think it is more in the spirit rather than the reality
of the legislation, is the deployment of armed officers round
the old War Office. Technically speaking the officers are still
on MoD land and still have jurisdiction because they are on the
steps. The reality is they are in public view and, therefore,
in the spirit of the legislation I have entered into a written
protocol with the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police
so that they know specifically where armed officers are. I referred
to the deployment of MDP officers with the MV Nisha incident,
again that was using Section 2 of the new legislation which was
in respect of mutual aid. Last, but by no means least, and it
was touched on a little earlier, is in respect of a new power
for MDP, MDP officers having jurisdiction to protect defence personnel
within civilian establishments.
Interesting, of course, is the officers have
not had to exercise the power because it is only if an incident
happens that you then use the powers. It is quite right that MDP
officers know that they have the support of legislation, and that
it is as and when needed.
13 See Appendix 1 p 63. Back