MOD Police Notebook

The Ministry of Defence police (known to most as ‘MOD Plod’) is a special civilian police force used to provide armed security and counter terrorism at high risk areas and Ministry of Defence properties. They are not military police but are often seen on military bases along with military housing, dockyards and any other areas thought to be at risk from terrorism. They have six core areas they are responsible for: 

  1. Armed nuclear security 
  2. Territorial policing and security 
  3. Intelligence gathering and analysis to support the efficient and effective deployment of MDP resources 
  4. The prevention, investigation and detection of fraud and corruption, and the theft of or criminal damage to key defence equipment and assets. 
  5. To provide specialist civil policing support to defence and other international policing commitments, in support of UK government policy. 
  6. To maintain specialist policing capabilities that can be deployed at short notice as part of the response to unforeseen requirements at defence establishments in the UK. 


Like other police forces, members of the MOD Police are issued with notebooks to record incidents and statements in and it is one of these from the 1980s we are looking at today: 

As there are serious legal implications involved with a policeman’s notebook, there are detailed instructions on how to use it printed on the front: 

The back of the front cover gives details of how to issue a caution and some further guidance on arresting suspects: 

The book itself has ruled leaves and each is numbered so it would be obvious if any page were ripped out: 

One comment

  1. Very similar to the ones we had available for issue that virtually nobody carried, or made any entries in if they did. Most still had the one they were issued on graduation from their basic course in a pocket somewhere, if they had been, and if they hadn’t tossed it to make room for something else.
    It was much simpler and more accurate to fill out a much longer and more detailed ‘Officer’s Statement and Observation Report’ in the same amount of time it would take since they were almost always available within arm’s length and if you had time to make notes in a pocket book without interfering in the response to the incident, you had time to fill out an OSOR.
    These pocket books are great for keeping personal notes, but unless the issuance of each is recorded by booklet serial number to the individual Officer, there’s nothing stopping you from keeping two or more and submitting whichever one you think fits best to an investigator. ‘I immediately filled out an OSOR so personal notes weren’t required” was the common response.
    That and as soon as any entries were made referring to an individual, such a book would become classified as ‘Protected’ information under the Privacy Act and would need to be stored as such, you’d get in more trouble for that than leaving ‘Secret’ documents laying around.
    It might be handy for field work but we didn’t do that very often and if you misplaced it and it was found then there’d be hell to pay.

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