Progress and develop your career with us

Upon joining the MDP, you begin your policing career in the unique position of starting out in a specialist role as an Authorised Firearms Officer (AFO).

Trained to national police firearms standards and deployed within and outside the establishments we serve and protect, our AFOs provide an overt deterrent against potential terrorist threats and can provide a rapid response in the event of an attack.

Upon completion of your training and probation, you’ll have lots of opportunities to progress your MDP career in specialist roles, at our station locations and in our operational policing groups and units.

You can tell us about your future aspirations during recruitment and training processes.

Specialist roles that may interest you…

Firearms Instructor

MDP National Firearms Instructors (NFIs) deliver tactical training, qualification shoots and classroom-based lessons. They are responsible for making sure that our new recruits and new entrants from other police forces learn all the skills required as a Police Authorised Firearms Officer. Our NFIs expertise and knowledge help shape our officers of the future and provide support for serving officers to maintain their qualification.

MDP firearms training is delivered from locations that include: MDP HQ, York, Clyde, Burghfield, Devonport and Hereford.

Sam, National Firearms Instructor

Marine Unit Officer

With more than 350 officers working in armed Marine Units, located at the Clyde, Portsmouth and Devonport Naval Bases, we have the largest marine policing capability in the UK.

Our marine policing teams deliver an integral aspect of the naval base protective security arrangements, responsible for water-borne security whilst deployed on patrols and operations in Police Launches and Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIBs). Highly visible armed patrolling of the waterfronts deters security and safety threats.

Each of our marine units operate in different conditions. Those escorting the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarines often face difficult weather conditions on the Clyde. Whilst at Portsmouth, escorting our warships and the huge Royal Navy flagship air craft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, requires MDP marine crafts to negotiate a busy water channel that carries passenger ferries and commercial shipping.

Our marine unit officers are trained to Royal Yacht Association (RYA) standards, ranging from Competent Crew to Coastal Skipper, and in marine-specific firearms tactics.

As well as serving the Royal Navy, MDP marine units escort other surface vessels, including the vessels of visiting Navies, to and from the open sea.

Watch tactical training with our Devonport Marine Unit

Police Dog Handler

We have the second largest police dog capability in the UK, with over 200 operational police dogs and handlers across the MOD.

Our dog handlers deploy with firearms, in diverse environments, working with their dogs to detect and intercept suspicious activity and criminality. This can include providing support to other policing and security teams.

Our dogs are trained to search for property (evidence), search and track persons and assist their handlers in restraining persons when necessary. Regular training and taking part in site security exercises are an important part of the dog handler role.

Dog capabilities include General Purpose Police Dogs and dogs specially trained to detect explosives, firearms and drugs during building, vehicle, marine vessel and area searches. We also use Tactical Firearms Support dogs, in support of firearms operations, and our Arms Explosive Search (AES) dogs act as a high-profile deterrent, in response to the threat of terrorism.

Meet our police dogs and puppies in training

Project Servator Officer

As part of the MDP Operational Policing Model, Project Servator is deployed as a policing tactic at the locations and in the communities that we serve and protect.

Project Servator officers deploy to disrupt a range of criminal activity, including terrorism, whilst providing a reassuring presence for the public, our customers and the Defence community. Specially trained to spot the tell-tale signs of criminal activity and with support from a range of policing and security assets, such as dogs, vehicle checkpoints, armed officers and CCTV, our Project Servator officers can pop up at anytime and anywhere.

Watch how the MDP uses Project Servator to protect HM Naval Base Devonport: Forces Net video

Find out more: Project Servator GOV.UK

Project Servator. Together we've got it covered.

Crime Command Detective

MDP Crime Command is a network of specialist intelligence gathering and operational investigation units located across the UK. We work together with policing partners to deliver the UK CONTEST strategy and combat serious crime and security threats to Defence, including organised crime, extremism and other hostile activity.

Our partners include Home Office Police Forces, Police Scotland, Police Service of Northern Ireland, the National Crime Agency, International Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) and the National Counter Terrorism Policing Network.

With the enduring threats from terrorism, domestic extremism and public disorder, added to the threat from serious and organised crime, criminal activity remains a threat to the Defence budget and frontline operations. The MDP Crime Command team works to combat those threats and risks to Defence interests, including major fraud, theft, bribery and corruption.

We lead on ACTO1 (MOD resources “attractive to terrorist or criminal organisations”) and serious organised crime investigation and intelligence operations, to identify, prevent, disrupt and apprehend those presenting a serious security threat to Defence personnel, assets or establishments. In recent years MDP Crime Command has disrupted almost £100 million in financial related crime and been responsible for over £3 million in asset recovery.

Our Detectives work closely with partners in the MOD Fraud Defence Unit, as part of the department’s counter-fraud strategy.

When I joined the MDP three years ago, the investigative skills I had gained in my previous force were recognised and I have since been provided with excellent opportunities to progress.


Find out more about our specialist operational units and groups