Military police

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Image:SAFPU NDP'00 01.jpg
The SAFMPU providing security coverage at the Padang in Singapore during the National Day Parade in 2000.

Military police (MPs) are the police of a military organization.

Military police are concerned with law enforcement (including criminal investigation) on military property and concerning military personnel, installation security, close personal protection of senior military officers, management of prisoners of war, management of military prisons, hunting down deserters, traffic control, route signing and resupply route management. Not all military police organizations are concerned with all of these areas, however.

These personnel are generally not front-line combatants, but are sometimes used in a defensive role as a primary defense force in rear area operations.

In some countries, a military police force, generically known as a gendarmerie, although there are a variety of other names, also serves as a national police force, often acting as heavy backup for the civil police and/or policing rural districts. For these duties, such forces are under civilian control and function in the same manner as civilian police forces. This gendarmerie may or may not also function as a military police force within the armed forces. In most countries, military police who are not members of gendarmerie forces do not have police powers over civilians except while on military property.

The head of the military police is commonly referred to as the Provost Marshal. This ancient title was originally given to an officer whose duty it was to ensure that the army of the king did no harm to the citizenry.

In many countries, military forces have separate prisons and judicial systems, different from civilian entities. The military possibly also has its own interpretation of criminal justice.

The status of military police is usually prominently displayed on the helmet and/or on an armband, brassard, or arm or shoulder flash. In the Second World War, the military police of the German Army still used a metal gorget as an emblem.

Naval police are sometimes called masters-at-arms.

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[edit] Military police in different countries

[edit] Australia

In the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Corps of Military Police also performs the role of a secondary communications network in the front battle zone.

[edit] Austria

The military police of the Austrian Bundesheer is called the Militärstreife ("Military Patrol").

[edit] Belgium

The Belgian Army's Military Police Group (Groupe Police Militaire in French, Groep Militaire Politie in Dutch) performs military police duties on behalf of all four components of the Belgian military. The group is headed by a lieutenant-colonel, and numbers 188 members in five MP companies.

Military police duties in Belgium have always included enforcement of military discipline, managing road traffic and wartime handling of prisoners of war. In 2003, duties relating to refugees and deserters in wartime were transfered from the then disbanded Gendarmerie Nationale to the MPs. Members of the former 4 and 6 MP Companies were folded into the new MP Group, along with some Gendarmes previously assigned MP-related duties.

Belgian MPs are identified by black armbands with the letters MP in white block letters, worn on the left arm.

[edit] Brazil

Brazil has two types of military police.

Each state in Brazil has a Polícia Militar (PM). These are uniformed gendarmerie forces in charge of patrolling and preventing crime and consist in the principal police forces of the state. They are structured in the same way as the military forces and, up to the early 1960s, some states' military police were even equipped with tanks and artillery. The civil police (polícia civil) is in charge of criminal investigation.

Each of the Brazilian Armed Forces also has its own military police force: Polícia do Exército (PE) in the Army, Polícia da Marinha (SP) in the Navy, and Polícia da Aeronaútica (PA) in the Air Force.

[edit] Canada

Canadian Forces military police functions are currently carried out by the Military Police Branch. The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service handles investigations.

Canadian Forces Provost Marshal is the head of the military police in Canada.

Prior to the amalgamation of Canada's Army, Navy and Air Force into the Canadian Armed Forces in 1968, separate service branches had performed military police functions independently: the Canadian Provost Corps and the Royal Canadian Air Force Police.

The tasks of the military police in Canada are separated in two main groups. The first group is the Garrison Operations suchs as investigations and patrols. The second group is the operationnal support in combat operations such as POW's convy escorts, VIP's close protection, route reconnaissances.The main tasks for the reserve companies are the Operationnal tasks while the regular force is concentrating their training on the "Garrison" tasks.

The Canadian Military Policemen and women are all wearing the red beret regardless of their attachment to the land, sea or air command. They are wearing the brassard on the left arms with bilingual writings: MILITARY POLICE MILITAIRE

[edit] Finland

The Sotilaspoliisi ("Soldier Police") are the military police of the Finnish Defence Forces. They are nicknamed "Koirat" ("The Dogs") within the FDF. Their emblem is a black armband on the left shoulder with the letters 'SP' in white. SPs have no power over civilians except inside military zones and installations.

[edit] France

The Gendarmerie Nationale acts as both the military police and one of the two national police forces of France. The Gendarmerie Navale (also called the Gendarmerie Maritime) polices the Navy (and also acts as a coast guard and water police force) and the Gendarmerie de l'Air polices the Air Force; both are branches of the Gendarmerie Nationale.

Image:Military mp guatemala.JPG
A Military Police NCO from Guatemala.

[edit] Germany

During World War Two, Germany had numerous military police units. The primary units were the Feldgendarmerie, which comprised members of the Gendarmerie. Other units included the Army Patrol Service (Heerestreifendienst), the Train Station Guards (Bahnhofwache), and the Feldjagerkorps.

The Feldjäger are the current military police of the German Bundeswehr. The term Feldjäger ("field rifleman" or "field hunter") has a long tradition and dates back to the mid-17th century. They are especially notorious for hunting down deserting conscripts. Their motto is Suum Cuique ("To each his own", derived from Cicero, De Finibus, Bonorum et Malorum, liber V, 67: "(...) ut fortitudo in laboribus periculisque cernatur, (...), iustitia in suo cuique tribuendo.").

[edit] Greece

The military police of the Hellenic Army is called the Stratonomia .

[edit] India

The Corps of Military Police (CMP) is the military police of the Indian Army. In addition, the CMP is trained to handle prisoners of war and to regulate traffic, as well as to handle basic telecommunication equipment such as telephone exchanges. They can be identified by their red berets, white lanyards and belts, and they also wear a black brassard with the letters "MP" imprinted in red.

Internal policing duties in a regiment (or a station) are handled by the Regimental Police, who are soldiers of the unit who are assigned to policing tasks for a short period of time. They are essentially used to regulate traffic, and can be identified by a black brassard with the letters "RP" embossed in gold or white.

The Indian Air Force is policed by the Indian Air Force Police. They can be identified by their white peaked caps, white lanyards and belts (with a pistol holster). They also wear a black brassard with the letters "IAFP" imprinted in red.

The Indian Navy has the Navy Police, and they can be identified by a black brassard with the letters "NP" in gold, with the state emblem placed in between the N and the P.

[edit] Israel

The Heyl HaMishtara HaTzva'it ("Military Police Force") is the military police of the Israel Defense Forces. It also helps monitor prisons, both those containing Israeli soldiers and Palestinian detainees.

[edit] Italy

The Carabinieri is a gendarmerie force which acts as both the military police and one of the three national police forces in Italy. The Guardia di Finanza also has some military police duties.

[edit] Japan

During World War II, the Kempeitai were the military police of the Imperial Japanese Army and the Tokeitai were the military police of the Imperial Japanese Navy. They also performed intelligence and secret police functions and were active in Japan and its occupied territories.

The Japan Self-Defense Forces maintain military police units.

[edit] Malaysia

The Kor Polis Tentera DiRaja (Royal Military Police Corps) performs military police duties in the Malaysian Army. Apart from enforcing discipline and conduct of members of the Army, the Corps oversees security of designated Army installations, performs escort and ceremonial duties, and assists civil law enforcement authorities. The Kor Polis Tentera is also tasked with crime prevention and investigating criminal activities on Army property or by military personnel.

With its roots in the British Royal Military Police, members of the Kor Polis Tentera DiRaja also wear the distinctive red peaked cap, white lanyard and belt, as well as a black brassard with the letters "PT" imprinted.

[edit] Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the function of military police is performed by the Koninklijke Marechaussee ("Royal Constabulary"), a separate branch of the military independent of the Army, Navy and Air Force. Besides performing military duties, the Marechaussee is also a gendarmerie force.

The word Marechaussee seems to derive from the old French name Marecheaux given to an ancient court of justice in Paris called the "Tribunal of Constables and Marshals of France". These constables and marshals were to become members of the Gendarmerie which served as a model for the police forces of both Belgium and the Netherlands. The term Marechaussee was also used for the US Army's military police during the American Revolution.

[edit] New Zealand

Image:NZ MPs.jpg
New Zealand military police in 2006

In the New Zealand Army, the Corps of Royal New Zealand Military Police only recruits internally, with applications only being accepted from personnel who have served for at least two years. MPs may be either career soldiers or from the Territorial Army (part-time soldiers).

The Royal New Zealand Air Force recruits directly for Air Security Guards, who carry out military police functions and are responsible for providing security as well as ground defence training and drill/ceremonial training for other RNZAF Staff.

The Royal New Zealand Navy, like the Army, does not recruit directly into their "police" branch. Instead, personnel of a certain rank and time-in-service may apply for the Master-At-Arms trade. Security of shore bases is the responsibility of New Zealand Defence Force civilian security personnel.

At all NZDF facilities, civilian staff are used to augment military police manpower, particularly for relatively simple tasks like ID checking and security patrols. This allows the MPs to concentrate on the more complex and specialised tasks within their areas of responsibility, such as criminal investigation. Many former servicemen and women find employment as Civil Security Guards at NZDF establishments and this helps keep their expertise in-house.

[edit] Norway

In Norway, military police are service members of the Norwegian Army, Royal Norwegian Navy or Royal Norwegian Air Force. Since about 2002, all are trained at Sessvollmoen Camp. MPs in the Army are assigned to the Military Police Battalion, located at Bardufoss, Troms county. The current battalion commander is Lieutenant Colonel Vidar Gade. The battalion consists of approximately 50 officers and NCOs, and 150 privates and corporals. Norwegian MPs first go through a six-month selection/educational period, before being assigned to the battalion or to regimental duties with other units for the remainder of their twelve-month service. Norwegian MPs do not have authority over civilians, except on military installations or under martial law. They do have authority over military personnel anywhere, including when such personnel are off duty.

The Heimevernet ("Home Guard") also has MPs in its ranks. Usually each District (regiment) has one or two platoons, consisting exclusively of former regular or conscript military police personnel.

Norwegian MPs wear a red beret and a red lanyard around the left shoulder extending to the left front pocket. Only personnel currently serving as MPs are allowed to wear this. When on official duty, they also wear the MP armband, which is black with "MP" in red letters. It was previously worn on the right shoulder, but is now worn on the left shoulder, following NATO practice. They can also wear white webbing, or a number of items for special duties, like high visibility vests for traffic duty etc.

Army canine units are also assigned to the MP battalion, but the personnel in such units are not necessarily MPs. Such personnel do not hold military police authority, and do not wear the MP insignia.

MPs have no power over civilians except inside military installations. More serious cases, like narcotics, are handed over to civilian police for investigation.

[edit] Portugal

In Portugal, each branch of the armed forces has its own military police force. The Portuguese Navy has the Polícia Naval (Naval Police), the Portuguese Army has the Polícia do Exército (Army Police), and the Portuguese Air Force has the Polícia Aérea (Air Police). The Air Police is an Arm of its own inside the Air Force, but the Army Police is only a speciality of the Cavalry Arm and the Naval Police is a speciality of the Marines Arm. The Navy also has a civil police force, the Polícia dos Estabelecimentos da Marinha (Navy Facilities Police), with the responsibility of guarding the Lisbon Naval Base and some other naval facilities.

[edit] Singapore

In Singapore, the Singapore Armed Forces Military Police Command serves as the military police unit of the Singapore Armed Forces, and supports the Singapore Police Force by way of collaborations, such as in the co-location of dog-training facilities for policing duties. The Unit is sub-divided into the Active Provost Company (including the ceremonial and drill squad), the Zone Provost Company (responsible for apprehending AWOL personnel) , the Detention Barracks, The Special Investigations Branch, the Security Branch, the Military Security Department, and the Dog Wing.

[edit] Thailand

In Thailand, each branch of the armed forces has its own military police force. The Royal Thai Navy has the สารวัตรทหารเรือ (Naval Militay Police) , the Royal Thai Army has the สารวัตรทหาร (Army Military Police), and the Royal Thai Air force has the สารวัตรทหารอากาศ (Air Force Military Police).

[edit] United Kingdom

Each of the British Armed Forces has its own military police branch. The British Army is policed by the Royal Military Police (RMP) (often known as "Redcaps") and by Regimental Police, who belong to each individual regiments or corps. The Royal Air Force is policed by the Royal Air Force Police (RAFP). The Royal Navy is policed by the Regulating Branch, the members of which are known as Regulators (or Master-at-Arms if a Chief Petty Officer or Warrant Officer). The Royal Marines also have a platoon-sized Police Troop, the Royal Marines Police.

Each of the four agencies has its own Special Investigation Branch (SIB) to undertake investigation of more serious crime and plain-clothes investigations. All British military police are classed as Service Police and conform to the Service Police Codes of Practice. The British military prison at Colchester is operated by the Military Provost Staff Corps, an all-senior NCO corps which only recruits from serving personnel.

The Ministry of Defence Police is a civilian police force which also operates on Ministry of Defence property and has full police powers over civilians as well as service personnel.

[edit] United States

The Military Police Corps maintains discipline and enforces the law in the United States Army and Marine Corps. Personnel assigned to the Master-at-Arms branch fill the same role in the United States Navy, aided by temporary members of the Shore Patrol. The United States Air Force is policed by the Air Force Security Forces, formerly called the Security Police.

Each service also maintains uniformed civilian police departments. They are referred to as either Department of Defense (DOD) Force Protection (formerly known as Pentagon Police), Department of Defense Police, Department of Defense Guard, Department of the Army (DA) Police, or Department of the Army Guard. The police officers' peacetime duties are the same as those of civilian police officers, namely to enforce the laws of the U.S. Military in the form of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and the regulations of their particular installation. The civilian guards' duties are normally restricted to protection of priority resources.

Criminal investigation in the United States Armed Forces is carried out by separate agencies: The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) (a civilian agency), the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI), the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of the Army, the Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS), and the Marine Corps Military Police Investigations (MPI). The Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) is a civilian agency that answers directly to the DOD.

The United States Constabulary was a gendarmerie force used to secure and patrol the American Zone of West Germany immediately after World War II.

[edit] See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

de:Militärpolizei fr:Police militaire ja:憲兵 no:Militærpoliti pl:Żandarmeria Wojskowa pt:Polícia do Exército fi:Sotilaspoliisi sv:Militärpolis

Military police

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