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Some Clarity from the UK, please

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  • Some Clarity from the UK, please

    Some friends were asking about the law in the UK regarding using the military to enforce civil law. In the U.S., it is illegal. They may supply support services, but cannot make an arrest, without a declaration of Martial Law.

    Could a local Chief or Mayor request Military backup?

    Thanks.
    "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
    John Stuart Mill

  • #2
    I believe it's called Military Aid to the Civil Power, such as the deployment of troops to assist the RUC with maintaining order in Northern Ireland or the SAS being used to resolve the Iranian embassy siege in 1980.

    I'm not sure about specific arrest powers but there is a power of arrest available that any person can use for an indictable offence or to prevent a breach of the peace.

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    • #3
      It's lawful. Their system allows it.
      Now go home and get your shine box!

      Comment


      • #4
        Bit of a shame you didn't get a response from the UK or Irish Plod, we did have a fair few of them on board

        Cheers.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sleuth View Post
          Some friends were asking about the law in the UK regarding using the military to enforce civil law.
          Basically, what everyone else posting said. The military can and are called to help the civilian Police. In fact, it's happening right now under Operation Temperer, with troops deployed to strategic locations following recent terrorist incidents. As discussed, the Armed Forces were deployed to Northern Ireland to assist under Operation Banner and it is perfectly normal here to see Royal Military Police or Royal Navy Police (or Regulators as they used to be known) patrolling garrison or port towns with civilian Police. They are mainly there to keep drunk squaddies, booties or ratings (Army, Marines, Navy) in check but they can and do assist with civilians and make arrests as required. The individual who decided to do battle with a Red Cap would then simply be handed over to his civilian colleagues as soon as one came free. Can't say how that would work out for the individual in question but having seen how the RMP deal with soldiers who end up in our detention for whatever reason, can't say I'd want to be in their shoes.

          Could a local Chief or Mayor request Military backup?
          Not really. In almost all UK towns and cities, the Mayor is a largely decorative post since there isn't that much power at local authority level and such as there is controlled by the local authority's "Chief Executive" (as ever in my posts, I can only speak about England - Mayors in Scotland may have the power of life and death over their citizens for all I know). The exception to to this is the Mayor of London (we also have a Lord Mayor of London, which is completely separate - the UK is complicated). The power, such as it is, in a Police force, will be divided between the elected Police Commissioner (the turn-out for these elections is minuscule so they don't exactly have huge political power) and the Chief Constable or Commissioner, a serving officer who has worked his way up through the ranks (as we all do, or until recently, had to do). Could a Chief Constable ask the Government to call the Army in to deal with a specifically local problem, not a generic one (i.e.. terrorism)? Well, yes, he or she could; mention has been made of the Army being asked to storm the Iranian Embassy. But for a situation similar to the Ferguson unrest, it would be quite unprecedented, and the Chief might as well simply submit their resignation papers with the request as it would be a simple admission that he or she had lost control of their force area. You have to remember that we have far fewer but much, much larger forces (mine is pretty small in national terms but approximately the same size as Boston Police for comparison purposes). We are also semi-integrated with two neighbouring forces, which doubles the numbers of officers we can immediately deploy should the balloon go up. And after that, a Chief Constable can call on "Mutual Aid", a sort of "Gondor calls for aid" situation whereby other forces across the country will rush Police to them. If after all that, the local Chief still needs to call in the Army, things have gone pretty badly wrong. You also have to remember that our Armed Forces have been cut to the bone and we don't exactly have huge numbers of soldiers sitting around doing not a great deal, but that is a different argument ...
          I'm a little bit waayy, a little bit wooah, a little bit woosh, I'm a geezer.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cockney Corner. View Post
            Basically, what everyone else posting said. The military can and are called to help the civilian Police. In fact, it's happening right now under Operation Temperer, with troops deployed to strategic locations following recent terrorist incidents. As discussed, the Armed Forces were deployed to Northern Ireland to assist under Operation Banner and it is perfectly normal here to see Royal Military Police or Royal Navy Police (or Regulators as they used to be known) patrolling garrison or port towns with civilian Police. They are mainly there to keep drunk squaddies, booties or ratings (Army, Marines, Navy) in check but they can and do assist with civilians and make arrests as required. The individual who decided to do battle with a Red Cap would then simply be handed over to his civilian colleagues as soon as one came free. Can't say how that would work out for the individual in question but having seen how the RMP deal with soldiers who end up in our detention for whatever reason, can't say I'd want to be in their shoes.

            Not really. In almost all UK towns and cities, the Mayor is a largely decorative post since there isn't that much power at local authority level and such as there is controlled by the local authority's "Chief Executive" (as ever in my posts, I can only speak about England - Mayors in Scotland may have the power of life and death over their citizens for all I know). The exception to to this is the Mayor of London (we also have a Lord Mayor of London, which is completely separate - the UK is complicated). The power, such as it is, in a Police force, will be divided between the elected Police Commissioner (the turn-out for these elections is minuscule so they don't exactly have huge political power) and the Chief Constable or Commissioner, a serving officer who has worked his way up through the ranks (as we all do, or until recently, had to do). Could a Chief Constable ask the Government to call the Army in to deal with a specifically local problem, not a generic one (i.e.. terrorism)? Well, yes, he or she could; mention has been made of the Army being asked to storm the Iranian Embassy. But for a situation similar to the Ferguson unrest, it would be quite unprecedented, and the Chief might as well simply submit their resignation papers with the request as it would be a simple admission that he or she had lost control of their force area. You have to remember that we have far fewer but much, much larger forces (mine is pretty small in national terms but approximately the same size as Boston Police for comparison purposes). We are also semi-integrated with two neighbouring forces, which doubles the numbers of officers we can immediately deploy should the balloon go up. And after that, a Chief Constable can call on "Mutual Aid", a sort of "Gondor calls for aid" situation whereby other forces across the country will rush Police to them. If after all that, the local Chief still needs to call in the Army, things have gone pretty badly wrong. You also have to remember that our Armed Forces have been cut to the bone and we don't exactly have huge numbers of soldiers sitting around doing not a great deal, but that is a different argument ...
            Now that is a post with fascinating information. Thanks.
            Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
            “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

            Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
            “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

            George Washington, (1732-1799)
            "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

            Originally posted by Country_Jim
            ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you Cockney Corner.
              Our largest local disaster was a massive forest fire - police from hundreds of miles away came to help out - as did fire fighters. No military (other than perhaps a aircraft or two dropping retardant).

              When the nearest town had an officer killed, during the funeral police from other cites up to 200 miles away patrolled the town. Cops from as far away as New Jersey (the other side of the country) helped with crowd control and planing the funeral.

              In the US, the National Guard (sort of your 'Territorial Army' equivalent) can be activated by the Governor to assist in a major event like a riot, but they cannot make arrests. So you might see one cop with 8 or 10 troops - the officer makes the arrest.
              "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
              John Stuart Mill

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sleuth View Post
                Our largest local disaster was a massive forest fire - police from hundreds of miles away came to help out - as did fire fighters. No military (other than perhaps a aircraft or two dropping retardant).
                Though I didn't mention it, the Armed Forces here can and are called out to assist in natural disasters (such as flooding in 2015) though the various Fire and Rescue services (which roughly but don't exactly align with the various Police services) will likely be the main body they are working with. I also forgot to mention Explosive Ordnance Disposal, which we also rely on the Armed Forces to undertake. This consists of a great number of call-outs to suspicious objects which generally turn out not to be bombs (but very occasionally are) and to rusty old objects which frequently turn out to be WW2 bombs or mines. Also, a lot of old hand grenades. We forever seem to be getting calls from people saying they have been sorting out their late husband or grandfather's effects and have found a grenade he brought back as a souvenir (or rather, nicked) from his time in the Army. I've never figured out what these chaps ever thought they were going to do with a hand grenade; it's not exactly as though you're going to hurl them across the kitchen at a burglar and then hide behind a tea towel ...

                I'm a little bit waayy, a little bit wooah, a little bit woosh, I'm a geezer.

                Comment


                • #9
                  In disasters, the National Guard gets called out, usually for transportation or medical needs. Occasionally they are used for "security" details - but if you review the photos of the troops "on guard" in New York after 9-1-1, they did not have magazines in place - in fact most did not have any ammunition. They were "canaries" for the police - a warm fuzzy for the sheeple, and targets for the terrs to shoot first. Stupid, in my opinion.

                  Over here, EOD in most places is a police function. If they find a piece of military ordinance, they will call on the nearest base to dispose of it. During Vietnam, Customs had an EOD team from the Army at the mail facility, as so many guys were mailing Claymore mines, C4, and grenades home. They alos tried to send Heroin under poisonous snakes, so we had a herpetologist on hand as well.
                  "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                  John Stuart Mill

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