Richmondshire police inspector defends checkpoints and military co-work following criticism

A motorist is stopped on Leyburn Road, Catterick Garrison. Photo: Photo: Glen Minikin.

Police have explained why they have operating checkpoints in Richmondshire following criticism that the move is unnecessary and the military should not be helping.

Motorists haven been stopped across the district in recent days by police who are hoping to discourage the public from making unnecessary journeys.

Members of the Royal Military Police have been helping staff the checkpoints.

However, this has prompted criticism on-line with some commentators pointing out that the RMP have no jurisdiction over civilians.

The below tweet prompted numerous comments from social media users who were concerned about the stops and the link up with the military.

One social media user said: “Military police have no jurisdiction with the public, only military.

“He is committing a criminal offence by stopping a member of the public.”

There was also criticism of the fact that local police were stopping motorists.

“One man said: “I know the coronavirus came from China but we don’t have to act like them. If he’s not leaving his car then what’s the issue?”

But Inspector Mark Gee, who oversees the Richmondshire area including Catterick Garrison, said that working with the military was “part and parcel of our every day life in the Catterick Garrison area”.

He said: “The military are a key partner of North Yorkshire Police and it is normal practice for us to work very closely with them in and around Catterick Garrison.

“It is the largest Army base in the country, we share a police station and a front counter, and it is nothing out of the ordinary to see us working alongside them – whether it’s a proactive policing operation such as Project Servator or routine patrols.

“Our interaction with members of the public and Garrison residents was welcomed by the people we spoke to and by having our military colleagues on hand, they were able to engage with  Garrison personnel and be a familiar face.

“From the feedback we received, our policing style was appreciated, supported and welcomed by the local community – both soldiers, their families, and civilians alike.

“We remain focused on engagement, explanation and encouragement of the social distancing rules and will only use enforcement as a last resort.”



    • the message is KEEP SAFE and ALL work together we can do without people being negative, and as for China they are now coming out of the Coronavirus, we can not test as promised

  1. I was stopped by military police on my way home from Tesco. I don’t have a problem with this. I have been unable to order online for three weeks now despite my husband and I being on the at risk list. My store cupboards were almost empty so I took extreme care when going to shop. I won’t be going again for at least 2 weeks as still impossible to order online, I have tried all supermarkets. Well done to Premier Meats for arranging a meat delivery for me. Jx

  2. They are doing a great job. If I’m stopped I will tell them what I am doing which will be going for my shopping. If your journey is necessary you won’t have anything to be concerned about. Keep up the great work and many thanks

  3. Seems to be great way of testing out various ideas if major lockdown needed across UK so we are helping services to establish good practise. No problem for us and has highlighted need for consistancy

  4. Cant believe lidl at catterick have lifted resrictions on the amount in store.people not 2 metres apart except at till.No limit on buying what you want

  5. Very grateful that at such a difficult time, the police (military or not) are out there looking out for our welfare.

  6. What people don’t understand is if they had an accident whilst on an unnecessary trip out, it takes crucial staff away from saving lives for people with this awful virus. Show some common sense and stay at home!

  7. I’m an ex military police ,I’m all for helping the civilian police they r all doing a fantastic job

  8. The people who complain that the RMP have no jurisdiction and stopping you is a criminal offence all I can say is get over yourself and see it for what it is. In this crisis it’s all hands on deck to ensure people are safe and and keeping within the guidelines to ensure everyone remains safe. If this is all you have to worry about that’s it’s a criminal offence to be stopped then maybe take a detour around the Garrison. Well done to the RMP and N.Yorks Police doing what they’ve been doing for years….working together.

  9. If you are within designated Garrison boundaries or land Military Police have bylaw powers over civilian personnel.

  10. Cannot believe that some have made negative remarks on various links. In the crisis we are in, I am only too thankful for the help of the RMP. They, like the police, are there to stop unnecesary journeys. Anyone who can’t see that is in themselves an idiot. It is also helping police resources by freeing up other officers to deal with any other incidents. They are true to their motto Exemplo Ducemus (By example shall we lead)

  11. Can’t believe people have time to whinge about being stopped because it’s RMP and not simply civpol. Get a life people! Clearly civilians and military personnel are SO easy to differentiate when driving a car near a garrison. You really need to get a life or rather do something useful with the one you have!!

  12. The Military (including RMP) have always assisted the civilian authorities in times of crisis.
    Well done RMP and North York’s Police in these trying times.

  13. Given the current situation I would have no issues with being stopped and checked by a joint police and military police checkpoint. Police numbers will be dwindling due to infections / self isolating so using whatever resources are available is correct course of action without people getting ‘precious’ about it

  14. Well done NYP & RMP helping to save lives by educating the foolhardy. Legitimate journey, not a problem, unnecessary travel, pay the fine and stay at home. Gets my full support. Thank you for your service.

  15. Many moons ago when I RMP based in Colchester, there were Garrison By-Laws that have us jurisdiction on roads that passed through the garrison area. Perhaps these exist in Catterick too. Todays service police, in these different times should also carry the office of Special Constable in the UK. All hands to the pump and all that. Exemplo Ducemus redcaps!

  16. Both NYP and the RMP should be applauded and praised for their joint efforts. Living in Wensleydale there are still people driving over to go for a walk or walk their dogs, some of whom live within Richmondshire. If such action by the respective police forces can stop this it can only be good for us all. Well done Inspector Gee for this sensible initiative.

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