Diplomatic Protection Group
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|Diplomatic Protection Group (DPG)|
Uniquely in the Metropolitan Police, DPG vehicles are red.
|Active||1961 - Present|
|Role||Diplomatic Protection and Law Enforcement|
|Colours||Red, orange and blue|
The Diplomatic Protection Group (DPG) is a Specialist Operations branch of London's Metropolitan Police Service. The unit's main purpose is to provide specialist protection for diplomatic premises in London, such as embassies, high commissions, and consular sections. The group also provides protection and support to members of the Diplomatic Community, as well as members of HM Government.
History and notable incidents
When the Diplomatic Protection Group was formed, it was a branch of a division which policed Westminster, due to most diplomatic premises being within the area. The DPG was created, mainly to replace the Special Patrol Groups duties, which included the protection of premises.
During the Iranian Embassy Siege in 1980, Police Constable Trevor Lock was on protection duty. He was taken hostage, along with the embassy staff, and managed to conceal his firearm until the assault by the British Army's Special Air Service, when he then restrained the terrorist leader.
Other incidents where DPG officers have used firearms, include: when PC Peter Slimon GM visited the National Westminster Bank on Kensington High Street on 27 December 1972 to draw money out while on his lunch break, he found that a bank robbery was in progress, fatally wounded one of the robbers, and injured two other robbers. In the same incident, PS Stephen Peet responded, and shot the third robber. PC Gordon McKinnon was authorised to free a hostage in Trafalgar Square, and did so. More recently the Hackney siege and Markham Square incidents have involved SO6 Officers.
DPG officers have provided armed security for The Queen Mother as well as security for the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. In addition DPG residential protection officers have provided armed protection to many world leaders during visits to London.
Officers from SO6 are highly skilled in operations that they undertake, therefore they must complete training courses on a regular basis. These include:
- Armed Response
- Officer Safety
- Police Advanced Driving|Driving Courses
- Overt Protection
All authorised firearms officers (AFOs) receive full first aid training. This training is specifically aimed at AFOs and includes the treatment of gunshot wounds, and other ballistic injuries as well as Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
Police Search Advisor (POLSA)
The DPG uses trained searchers daily at Downing Street and has search responsibilities at prominent addresses and areas throughout Central London. They also supply POLSA officers to major events such as The State Opening of Parliament.
Tactical Firearms Refresher
The DPG is the largest firearms command in Great Britain with over 700-armed officers. Refresher training is carried out regularly, depending on the requirements of the role.[clarification needed]
- U.S. Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), the US agency providing security to foreign dignitaries under the rank of head-of-state visiting the US. The Royal family is an example of dignitaries who receive DSS protection in the United States.