Working as a Military police officer

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Sophie is training to be a Royal Military Police officer. She joined the Army after university and hopes to specialise in special investigation and protection duties.

Why did you choose the Royal Military Police?

At school, we had a talk by the Army which got me interested. I liked the sound of the adventure training. After university I spent two years working and travelling. I spent my first year in the Army doing my officer training at Sandhurst. As part of the course at Sandhurst, all the different parts of the Army put on a display so the officer cadets could see what each sector had to offer.

I liked the sound of being a platoon commander but also having my own profession as a police officer. I am particularly interested in the specialised work of the Special Investigation Branch and close protection.

What training have you done?

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I've finished my 44 weeks of officer training at Sandhurst. All new officers do this so I was training with cadets going to all parts of the Army. I then joined my unit as a platoon commander.

After a few months I started on my specialised police training course, with other officers new to the Royal Military Police.

What did you learn?

There is a lot to learn, including military and civilian law and new terminology – and lots of tests! The first part is mainly in the classroom. After that comes the operational phase where we learn the practical side of policing – planning and signing routes, movement planning, giving orders and so on.

At the end of the training we are issued with our warrant card which allows us to arrest military personnel.

What is your job as a platoon commander?

I manage the work of the NCOs (non-commissioned officers). They go to the scene of an incident and they patrol round our area of responsibility. I am mainly officebased. I make sure that the correct procedures are followed and that investigations are carried out thoroughly, helped by our computerised tracking system.

What sort of crime do you deal with?

We deal with military incidents such as thefts from barrack rooms and assaults between Army personnel. Serious crimes are passed to the Special Investigation Branch. We work closely with the civilian police and the Ministry of Defence police.

What are your plans for the future?

As a graduate I will become a lieutenant soon. For promotion to captain I have to undertake an additional programme of study. I'd like to be able to use the languages I studied for my degree, possibly in close protection work, providing security for VIPs.

Sophie's tips

  • Take the opportunity to visit different Army units before choosing what you want to do.
  • You need to be firm and have the ability to get on with people.

Becoming a Military police officer

  • Basic training is followed by specialist police training at the Royal Military Police School.
  • The 21-week course includes further military skills, self-defence, first aid, driver training, police duties and law.
  • After a tour of duty as a Military Police officer, you may be selected for further specialist training in areas such as detective work or close protection.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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