Force Support Group (FSG) is a highly-trained specialist police unit which provide the specialist capability needed for public order, firearms, search and diving operations, amongst others.
Officers can apply to join the Force Support Group after they have completed at least three years’ service. Services offered by FSG include:
- Rapid entry
Rapid entry allows a police team to enter a building before those inside can dispose of incriminating material or set up barricades. It is used in a range of situations, such in a drugs raid. A high degree of planning is necessary to ensure the operation is both safe and effective. Officers are trained to enter the building as safely as possible and they wear protective clothing when necessary.
FSG teams play an important search role in many murder enquiries or other major incidents. They search the area once scenes of crime officers have completed their examination, using either systematic group line searching across an area that cover several miles, or fingertip searches looking for very small items. In addition, FSG carries out house-to-house enquiries, DNA screening and other specialist services. Searches are also undertaken in advance of high-profile occasions such as royal visits and in the event of bomb threats.
- Public order
FSG teams are trained to keep order at certain football matches, public gatherings and any other events where intelligence suggests there is a greater chance of serious disorder.
In addition to the services provided by the Constabulary’s Firearms Unit, FSG’s specialist firearms teams can provide extra armed support in counter-terrorist operations or major incidents.
- Marine counter-terrorism and underwater search
The underwater search and marine patrol unit take the Force’s capability beyond dry land. Diving tasks include recovering cars, murder weapons and stolen property, and searching for missing people. Police divers can also search confined spaces such as sewers and holes underground. Marine patrols operate up to 12 miles offshore to prevent marine crime, working alongside HM Customs and Excise and the Immigration Service.