The Real Redcaps (2003): S01E07


A 2003 documentary about the British Army’s military police force.


The first week of June 2003 and the war in Iraq is officially over.

The Royal Military Police has the massive task of trying to reconstruct a trustworthy police force, a workable legal system, fair courts and humane prisons.

Covering the area of south-east Iraq centred on the city of Basra, the RMP set about rebuilding police stations and recruiting policemen, some of whom were members of the previous regime.

The new senior police officer in Um Qasar says “In the past we would slap and kick prisoners to make them confess. We now learn from the British and have to be brainy enough to make him confess – not like the old ways.” Under Saddam Hussein’s repressive regime, arrest and imprisonment usually meant torture and often death.

The temporary chief of police in Basra is Major Nadine Heron, the ultimate diplomat, she deals with hundreds of requests from unemployed men each day but always keeps command and gives reassurance if not re-employment. Volunteer Territorial Army Captain John Allwood makes it his personal business to give the Iraqi people dignity and security when helping them run their own affairs.

In Az Bayur, once the most lawless town in the British Sector described as a “nest of vipers”, Major Simon Miller introduces joint foot patrols with Redcaps walking the streets with the new Iraq police force. A house search of former Ba’ath party members reveals a personal armoury of weapons. The suspects are taken away for questioning, but released soon after – their guns meanwhile are destroyed.

The official re-opening of the prison in Al-Maqal is a big day. Refurbished by the RMP, the prison at Al-Maqal is run by the Military Provost Staff from the “Glasshouse” or Military Corrective Training Centre in Colchester. They make friends with the new staff by learning to speak a little Arabic.
The overall opinion of all the RMP interviewed in southern Iraq is optimistic and positive. “The local people have come to see the Redcap as an emblem of trust”

The Real Redcaps Series

You can find a full index and overview of The Real Redcaps here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Presenter(s): Robson Green.
  • Release Date: 04 September 2003.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.