|Royal Military Police|
Royal Military Police cap badge
|Active||28 November 1946-present|
|RHQ RMP||Southwick Park, Hampshire|
By example, shall we lead
|March||The Watchtower (Hoch Heidecksburg)|
|Colonel-in-Chief||HM The Queen|
|Deputy Colonel Commandant||General Sir Nick Carter|
|Provost Marshal (Army) and Commander 1 Military Police Brigade||Brigadier Vivienne Buck|
|Tactical Recognition Flash|
The Royal Military Police (RMP) is the corps of the British Army responsible for the policing of army service personnel, and for providing a military police presence both in the UK and while service personnel are deployed overseas on operations and exercises. Members of the RMP are often known as 'Redcaps' because of the scarlet covers on their peaked caps and scarlet coloured berets.
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, which was followed by the Military Foot Police in 1885. Although technically two independent corps, they 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 on 28 November 1946. In 1992, the RMP amalgamated into the Adjutant General's Corps (AGC), where they form part of the AGC's Provost Branch.
Non-commissioned members of the RMP receive their basic training as soldiers at the Army Training Centre in Pirbright. They then receive further training at the Defence School of Policing and Guarding (DSPG), previously known as the Defence College of Policing and Guarding (DCPG). 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".
The Provost Marshal is a post which goes back to the 13th century and was originally an under-officer of the Earl Marshal. In 1685 the role of Provost Marshal General became a permanent post. The Cavalry Staff Corps of 1813-14 and 1815-18 is regarded as Britain's first standing military police force and a forerunner of the Royal Military Police. The Military Mounted Police was formed in 1877 and the Military Foot Police was formed in 1885.
During the First World War the Military Police grew from 508 all ranks to over 25,000 all ranks by the end of the War. During the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in March 1915 the Military Police served the Army as a whole, rather than individual units.
On 27 February 1926 the Corps of Military Police was formed by merging the Military Mounted Police and the Military Foot Police.
In November 1946, King George VI granted the 'Royal' prefix to the Corps of Military Police in recognition of its outstanding record in two World Wars and the Corps became known as The Corps of Royal Military Police, though abbreviated to Royal Military Police (RMP). From 1969 the Corps made an important contribution during The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
A horse detachment of the Royal Military Police remained in service after World War II, being recreated in 1950. Based at Aldershot, its purpose was mainly to undertake patrol and other policing duties in areas not suitable for vehicles, but also to act as a ceremonial unit preserving mounted RMP traditions dating back to the nineteenth century. The Mounted Troop was gradually reduced to about 20 personnel and finally disbanded in 1995.
On 6 April 1992 the RMP amalgamated into the Adjutant General's Corps (AGC), under whose overall command they form part of the AGC's Provost Branch alongside the also pre-existent Military Provost Staff Corps and the later-formed Military Provost Guard Service. Although they lost status as an independent corps, they were permitted to retain the Royal Military Police title and cap badge.
In July 2019, the forty-third appointment to the post of Provost Marshal (Army), head of the corps, was made. Brigadier Vivienne Buck became Provost Marshal (Army) and Commander 1 Military Police Brigade. She succeeded Brigadier David Neal.
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.
Broadly speaking, within the United Kingdom and its overseas garrisons, the Royal Military Police are responsible for policing service personnel. In garrison towns, the RMP often assist the local territorial police force in town centres at venues where service personnel are likely to frequent. Some Royal Military Police NCOs are allocated roles working on Service Family Accommodation (SFA) estates, such as Community Liaison Officers and Crime Reduction Officers. 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.
Some of the specific roles the RMP fulfill include:
The Royal Military Police are required to provide tactical military police support to the British Army in military operations. When deployed, some of the roles the RMP fulfill include:
Royal Military Police personnel are not constables under UK law and do not have any specific police powers over the general public, only whilst dealing with service personnel. The RMP are subject to inspection by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, in the same way as UK civilian police forces.
RMP personnel sometimes have powers, conferred by Military lands byelaws, to give lawful directions to civilians who are on Ministry of Defence land affected by such byelaws. This may include the power to regulate vehicular and pedestrian traffic, close or restrict access, or to direct civilians to leave Military land to which the byelaws apply. The particulars of these powers are highly changeable and are determined by each individual Statutory Instrument.
A member of the Royal Military Police can arrest any individual in the UK whom he or she has reasonable grounds to believe to be a serving member of HM Armed Forces and to have committed a relevant civil or military law offence. RMP personnel do not have to be on Ministry of Defence land to exercise their authority over service personnel. The RMP 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.
Where service personnel are deployed overseas, the Royal Military Police are often called upon to provide a complete policing service. In these situations, members of the Royal Military Police 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.
In Germany, under the Status of forces agreement, the RMP has jurisdiction and primacy over British service personnel, their families, MoD contractors, and NAAFI staff. The German civil police only normally become involved where the interests of a German national are concerned.
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 the Army Training Regiment in Winchester. They then move onto Phase 2 which is undertaken at the Defence School of Policing and Guarding.
The training syllabus includes:
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 School of Policing and Guarding.. The RMP training centre moved there on 27 September, 2005, from the RMP's long-standing RHQ (with effect from February, 1964) 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.
General Leaders include:
1st Military Police Brigade (under Regional Command), Andover
The Investigator (aired 1997) starred Helen Baxendale as an RMP Staff Sergeant. It is about life in the British forces at a time when being homosexual was banned and had serious repercussions. It is based on a true story.
The Real Redcaps was a television documentary series about the Royal Military Police which aired from 2003 to 2005. It shows the RMP in the Second Gulf War, their training in (then) Colchester, Close Protection (CP) training, SIB work in Iraq, and other duties such as policing troops in Germany. It also shows the Military Provost Staff Corps Military Provost Guard Service manning MCTC Colchester.
7 Seconds is a 2005 Hollywood feature film starring Wesley Snipes, that follows the actions of female Royal Military Police Sergeant Kelly Anders (Tamzin Outhwaite). When an experienced thief accidentally makes off with a valuable Van Gogh painting, 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.
In the 2014 film Edge of Tomorrow, acting as guards around the Army's command post in London, military personnel wearing the 'MP' arm band and scarlet berets are shown throughout the film. In one of the chase scenes, RMP troops pursued Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) where an RMP soldier in a mechanical suit stops Cage by destroying the front of his getaway car, leading to his capture.
The Missing Series 2 is a British TV Drama broadcast on the BBC which featured members of the Royal Military Police in several leading and supporting roles, including Laura Fraser as Eve Stone, a Sergeant (later Staff Sergeant) in the RMP.
Strike is a Cinemax/BBC television drama series, from the novels by Robert Galbraith. The main character, Cormoran Blue ("C.B.") Strike is a veteran SIB Sergeant who becomes a private investigator in London after being severely injured by a roadside IED in Afghanistan. The character is played by Tom Burke.