Clause 97 — Jurisdiction of MoD police
Orders of the Day — Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Bill — [2nd Allotted Day]
Dr Lewis Moonie (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence; Kirkcaldy, Labour/Co-operative)
The power is not limited to terrorism, and that is deliberate. To take a second case—an MDP officer in a street adjacent to defence property is approached by a woman who says, "Stop that man, he has taken my purse". That could happen up the road at the Ministry of Defence—our own officers patrol outside. The officer sees a man running away. Should he say, "Sorry, can't help. Although I may look like a police officer, I am in the MDP and I have no jurisdiction"? Should the officer try to establish whether the man had or had not used violence in taking the purse—by which time the man will have made off? Should the officer try to contact the local police station to seek instruction? The result would be the same. The Committee will agree that the public would expect him to do none of those, but to take action at once to apprehend the suspect.