• April 16, 2015


Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary have eventually responded to a query we raised with them last year in relation to Britain’s most secretive police force the Civil Nuclear Police. They apologised for the delay saying an earlier response was ‘not sent’.

Our query had sought information on allegations of misconduct in the force and firearms misuse (the CNC is the only armed police force in Britain) which had been reported in the media. It followed an earlier unsatisfactory reply from HMIC when we first raised the issue in 2013 (see links covering 2013 and most recent 2014 query):


Although HM Inspector of Constabulary Stephen Otter says the current inspection may not be released by the Minister for Climate Change.

The HMIC do say however that they found no evidence to back up the allegations which were published in several newspapers relating to the Force.

In respect of the recent HMIC report, with the exception of issues which are security sensitive, we cannot see any justification why CNC should be treated any differently than other police forces. Indeed one could argue given its ‘special status’ as an armed force it should come under greater scrutiny. The Celtic League will therefore be pressing DECC for publication in full or in part.

The reply HMIC Otter is set out below and although belated we thank him (and those in HMIC who chased up this issue on our behalf) for same:

“Dear Mr Moffatt,

Thank you for your letter of 31 December addressed to HMCIC Sir Tom Winsor,
regarding the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC). I am sorry for the lateness of my reply. I had written a response soon after receiving you letter, but I have just found out that it was not sent to you.

HMIC recently inspected aspects of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary following a commission from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. I anticipate the inspection report will be sent to the Minister by the end of April 2015. It is the Ministers decision whether to publish the report either in full or in part but previous reports have not been published.

In relation to the points you raise, our inspection did not specifically examine misconduct. However, we found no evidence that would corroborate the media allegations you cite in your letters. We examined some aspects of the CNCs use of firearms and found no evidence of misuse.

I hope this letter answers your questions and clarifies the HMIC’s position with regard to the matters you have raised.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Otter
HM Inspector of Constabulary”

Due to the belated nature of the HMIC response (despite several follow-ups) we have since also approached the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture which has a responsibility to examine prisons, police stations and other places of detention and asked them to include the CNC as part of their periodic inspections in the United Kingdom. We will of course update them on the latest information from HMIC. (See related link):


J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur)


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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