• August 3, 2013


The Chief Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) has responded to a query from the Celtic League about inspections of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC).

See link here for our original query:


The League contacted the HMIC after allegations of drunkenness and firearms misuse were published concerning the CNC

“Dear Mr Moffatt,

Thank you for your letter of 8 July addressed to HMCIC Mr Tom Winsor regarding the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC). I am the HMI with responsibility for the inspection of CNC, and as such will reply on Mr Winsor’s behalf.

I will respond to the questions that you have raised in the order that they appear in your letter.

a) When was the last inspection of CNC undertaken by HMIC?

The last inspection of CNC took place in 2009 when civil contingencies, critical incidents and public order capacity and capability were reviewed as part of the national HMIC inspection programme. The reports were completed in early 2010.

b) Is the report available (online or in hard copy)?

The above reports are all protectively marked under the Government Protective Marking Scheme and are therefore not available either online or in hard copy.

c) Were any facets of the misconduct identified in the report and if so what recommendations did HMIC make.

HMIC did not find facets of misconduct during the inspection, although misconduct was not part of the terms of reference. Therefore, the inspection report made no recommendations associated with misconduct.

d) If there has been no recent inspection of CNC and no previous identification by HMIC of the problems identified do you intend to carry out an inspection of CNC in the near future?

There is no inspection of CNC in the current HMIC programme although we are in regular contact with CNC senior officers. We will inspect the force in the future, but the terms of reference of any inspection as well as a proposed date have yet to be determined.

e) Given the unique and critical nature of the work of the CNC what benchmark/standard has HMIC set for the force?

HMIC is an independent inspectorate. We do not set benchmarks or standards for police forces, but inspect against an agreed set of criteria. This could be codes of practice, approved professional practice or legislation.

f) Finally, am I correct in my belief that the HMIC role in relation to CNC also applies to the facilities which CNC secure in Scotland?

HMIC does inspect facilities that are secured by the CNC in Scotland. Under Section 62 of the Energy Act 2004, HMIC must inspect the Constabulary from time to time, or if requested to do so by the Secretary of State either generally or in respect of a particular matter. HMIC’s remit extends to any place where the CNC operates, including Scotland.

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

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Otter
HM Inspector of Constabulary”

Clearly in an age of openness and transparency it is not satisfactory that reports on an agency as vital to nuclear security as the CNC are not published.

It is also of concern that Mr Otter studiously avoids comment on the allegations which led to our original query – indeed it could be said `his silence speaks volumes’.

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information


For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:

General Secretary, Celtic League:


The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.

(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

Internet site at:



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