Following media reports regarding Ministry of Defence police officers to begin patrolling civilian areas of Argyll, published last month in the Herald newspaper and Dunoon Observer, Val Kennedy, Ardentinny Community Council’s representative on the Clyde Local Liaison Committee contacted the MOD for clarification.
At last week’s Community Council meeting Val reported that some members of the Ardentinny community were concerned by the press reports. “I asked Coulport if we could have a statement which explains to us what their side of the story is because there was some suggestion by the people who came to me that there was information about increasing armed patrols and they were disturbed about this.” The MOD statement received by the Community Council is as follows:
“Ministry of Defence (MOD) police officers have historically routinely undertaken external patrols in the vicinity of HM Naval Base Clyde, which includes the Royal Naval Arms Depot at Coulport. The extent of MOD police patrol activities is covered by an agreement with Police Scotland. Responsibility for the maintenance and enforcement of the law in Scotland rests with the Chief Constable of Police Scotland. There has been no increase to routine MOD police patrols outside the two establishments during the last 24 months, although the MOD keeps security at all of its establishments under review and there are no current plans to expand these external patrols. Any proposals to increase external MOD police patrols would be agreed with Police Scotland.”
Aiden Doherty, Head of Outdoor Education at Ardentinny Outdoor Centre told the Community Council that, at a meeting with the MOD late last year, the MOD had asked for permission to use the Centre’s slipway, to which they had agreed.
On Monday 13 February two MOD police officers who had earlier disembarked from an MOD Police ‘RIB’ were seen on foot on the main Ardentinny road near Ardentinny Church.
Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara on 12 January, 2017 tabled a total of 21 questions at Westminster on the increased role of the Ministry of Defence Police within local civilian areas in and around Helensburgh and Lomond.