Meet the team which is policing the Farnborough beat.

The Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) started its preparations for Farnborough ‘96 a full year in advance and during airshow week its officers will be dealing with everything from the security of halls and chalets to emergency contingency plans.

The MDP is the civil police force of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and has officers stationed at defence establishments throughout the UK.

Its responsibilities include the security of the Defence Estate and the safety of the Defence Community.

MDP officers have the same powers as your everyday ‘beat bobby' but they also have to achieve a firearms qualification during training.

This qualification is a prerequisite for any individual who wants to join the force.

The present day MDP can trace its origins back to the days of Samuel Pepys and has developed over three centuries into a versatile and professional force.



This year marks the 25th anniversary of the birth of the force in its present form.

In 1971, the three Service Constabularies were merged to form a single cohesive unit.

As well as a full range of police duties, the MDP also has several specialist units to tackle tasks such as policing Her Majesty's Dockyards, protecting the nation's nuclear deterrent and overseeing large MoD exhibitions and displays. The force has been responsible for policing at Farnborough International Airshow since 1948, when it was known as the Air Force Constabulary.

Planning is a key issue and Chief Inspector Denzil John, the MDP officer in charge, is involved right from the start.

He works closely with the organisers in the build-up and other members of the team join him about two months before the start of the show.

"It is helpful for me to be involved with all the meetings - traffic, emergency contingency, barriers and so on because it means I am fully aware of everything that is happening," he says.

The first MDP officers to arrive at Farnborough are the search teams and dog handlers who keep chalets and halls secure from the moment construction work begins.

These officers are on site for the entire two-month build-up and during show week itself.




Source: Flight Daily News