“There will be very real concerns about the impact on protecting munitions stores but most importantly our nuclear bases. We must be told the full implications of this decision.
“The Army are being cut by 20,000 by this Government, morale is falling and now Ministers want soldiers to fill in for the MoD Police they’re sacking.
“This is a pretty shabby way to sack 1,800 people. Sneaking out a statement on the eve of Easter recess is no way to end the MoD careers of so may brave men and women.
“The defence community and the country will want to know at which sites cuts are being made, what the impact will be on security, how many soldiers will be asked to change duties and what further cuts are set to be made.”
The Government’s announcement under the spotlight:
A Written Ministerial Statement on the Defence Policing and Guarding Agency released today announces 700 officers are going to be cut from the MoD Police and 1,100 are to be cut from the MoD Guard Service:
“On the current assumptions, the likely effect would be to reduce the MOD Police from its complement in 2009 of some 3600 officers to a complement of around 2400 by 1 April 2016 compared to a current strength of just under 3100); and to reduce the MOD Guard Service from its complement in 2009 of some 4000 to a complement a little under 2200 by 1 April 2015 (compared to a current strength of just under 3300).”
The statement says Regular Service personnel will take a greater role in security:
“Making increased use of Regular Service personnel to carry out unarmed access control duties at (or near) sites where they are stationed”
The statement says more cuts are to come:
“While consultation on, and implementation of, these measures continues, my Department will continue to seek further efficiencies in guarding and civil policing expenditure.”
The statement recognises the uncertainty this will cause:
“I do not expect staff affected by these changes to welcome them, and I recognise – and very much regret – the uncertainty and anxiety caused to the personnel involved, who have made a vital contribution to Defence security over many years.”
Read the full statement here.