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Army Town MP criticises Ministry of Defence over cuts to MoD Police within the Garrison Estates

January 15, 2013 2:30 PM

Army families in Colchester feel betrayed because despite the Armed Forces Covenant all the Ministry of Defence Police within the Garrison housing areas will have been axed by the end of April.

That was the critical observation made in the House of Commons this afternoon by the Garrison Town's MP Sir Bob Russell during Defence Questions.

Liberal Democrat Sir Bob pointed out that in 1997 there were 33 MOD Police Officers based at the Colchester Garrison, but during the years of the last Labour Government this was cut to three - and now only one MOD Police Officer remains. And he is being made redundant in April.

Sir Bob said that Army families, and the Army Schools, had in the past had security from the presence of MOD Police Officers. He called on the Ministry of Defence to restore sufficient MOD Police Officers to the Garrison Estates.

Responding, Defence Minister Mr Mark Francois MP acknowledged that Sir Bob always spoke up for the Colchester Garrison. The Minister added that he had recently had talks with both the Chief Constable of the Ministry of Defence Police and the Chairman of the MOD Police Federation to discuss the very issues which Sir Bob had raised.