Ministry of Defence inspections
Section 4 of the Armed Forces Act 2011, which came into force on 4 June 2014, places a statutory duty on HMIC to inspect and report to the Secretary of State (Defence) on the independence and effectiveness of investigations carried out by each service police force (the Royal Navy Police, the Royal Military Police (RMP) and the Royal Air Force Police).
We began inspecting the service police forces in November 2014. We completed our first set of inspections in April 2016. Previously, HMIC was invited by the MoD to inspect the service police.
Please note: In July 2017 HMIC took on responsibility for fire & rescue service inspections and was renamed HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). Inspections carried out before July 2017 may continue to refer to HMIC.
The first set of inspections
Our first set of inspections examined the effectiveness of the overall strategic leadership in each service police force, including the effectiveness of the oversight and governance arrangements, which are necessary to ensure that investigations are kept free from improper interference. The inspections focused on governance arrangements rather than the day to day work of personnel in the armed service police forces.
The second set of inspections
Building on our earlier work, the second set of inspections includes detailed examinations of the day-to-day work of armed service police personnel. The first of these inspections was of the Royal Military Police (RMP). In particular, how the RMP investigates the deaths of service personnel who die while overseas.
Royal Air Force Police
This inspection investigated the effectiveness of the Royal Air Force Police’s overall strategic leadership and governance arrangements. It also looked at how well the Royal Air Force Police assess the effectiveness of investigations and how it uses the National Intelligence Model to identify strategic policing priorities.
Royal Navy Police
The role of the Royal Navy Police (RNP) is to enforce the law within the service community, and assist with the maintenance of service discipline. The primary duties of RNP are therefore to:
- Uphold the Rule of Law.
- Protect and assist the citizens within our communities.
- Contribute towards the prevention and detection of crime.
- Assist in the maintenance of a peaceful community free from crime and disorder.
This inspection focused on the strategic leadership and direction of the Royal Navy Police, oversight to ensure investigations are kept free from improper interference, and how well the RNP uses the National Intelligence Model.
Royal Military Police
As the Army’s police, the RMP is there to provide an independent investigatory and policing service so that investigations are effective and lawful, discipline is maintained and individuals are provided with the protections and safeguards afforded to them by law.
RMP leadership inspection
This inspection focused on the strategic leadership, governance and performance management of investigations. It was not an inspection or inquiry into the independence of the RMP or an examination of individual cases. In this inspection, HMIC examined and assessed how well the strategic leadership and direction of investigations worked, how well oversight ensured the independence of investigations, how well the RMP monitors the effectiveness of investigations and how well the National Intelligence Model is used to identify priorities that influence plans and resources.
This inspection examined how well the RMP investigated the deaths of service personnel who died overseas. As part of this inspection, HMIC examined the support provided to bereaved families.
Royal Navy Police Special Investigations Branch
Following the inspection of the Royal Military Police and Royal Air Force Police Special Investigations Branches, HMIC was commissioned by the MOD to conduct an inspection of the Royal Navy Police Special Investigations Branch.
This inspection focused on assessing the processes and procedures of serious investigations dealing with major crime or serious and organised crime. However, it did not make judgements concerning the appropriateness of specific lines of enquiry (as it is not a review of individual operations or investigations).
Royal Military Police Special Investigations Branch
HMIC was commissioned by the MOD to conduct an inspection of the Royal Military Police Special Investigations Branch. This inspection focused on assessing processes and procedures of investigations dealing with major crime or serious and organised crime.
The report was commissioned by the MOD Director General (Security and Safety), Robert Rooks, and published in August 2006.
A re-inspection took place 11 months after the original inspection and considered progress against the recommendations.
Royal Air Force Police Special Investigations Branch
HMIC was commissioned to inspect the Royal Air Force Police (RAFP) Special Investigations Branch (SIB). The inspection focused on the capability and capacity of the RAFP SIB to investigate major and serious crime and to be proactive in intelligence gathering to prevent such criminality.
The report looks at relevant areas of business that impact on this function, but it is not a full inspection of the RAFP.