Source: United Kingdom – Executive Government & Departments
The arrival of the MDP on the south east Training Estate is part of an ongoing programme to reduce the number of illegal incursions taking place on the Aldershot, Pirbright, Longmoor and Barrossa training areas.
Their presence also ensures the areas remain a safe place for the military to train and for those wanting to use the land for legal leisure and recreational activities.
Public safety is a priority for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), which manages the Defence Training Estate, and has recently launched its Respect the Range Public safety campaign in Aldershot.
The campaign aims to educate users about the inherent dangers of visiting military training areas and urges the public to only access MOD land where and when it is safe to do so.
In the last 12 months, the MDP team has handed out 54 warning off notices and seized over 30 vehicles including over 25 illegal motorcycles, a JCB and a caravan found on the Defence Training Estate in the south east.
Mark Ludlow, Training Safety Officer, Security and Access for the south east Training Estate said:
We take our responsibility for the safety of both the military and public very seriously. The training estate is a beautiful area and we respect that the local public want to access it, but it must be done where and when it is safe to do. We ask the public to respect the range and respect the military’s requirement for safe training.
The impact that illegal incursions have on the training estate is huge. It’s dangerous and can disrupt military training activity which can impact on the MOD’s operational capability and readiness.
The impact of MDP’s presence has been a game-changer for the MOD as they’ve acted as a deterrent, which has helped us in our attempt to monitor activity and educate people on what they can and can’t do on the training estate.
Sgt Martin Saunders, MDP Senior Police Officer at Longmoor, said:
We are pleased to be working with the DIO team here at Longmoor and delivering a service that is helping them with their continuing efforts to keep the area safe for both the military and public alike.
My team’s presence in the area is hopefully making people think twice about taking part in illegal activities or carrying out criminal acts.
The MDP monitors the south east defence Training Estate 7 days a week.
Visit the Accessing the training estate safely page for information about firing times and how to safely access the MOD estate.