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Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to dispose of the underground facilities at Basil Hill Barracks at Corsham. 
Dr. Moonie: There are no current plans to dispose of the underground facilities at Basil Hill Barracks Corsham. However, the Ministry of Defence has commissioned an option study in connection with the landholdings, as part of the intention to rationalise site operations at Corsham.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if cadets at the RMA Sandhurst are to receive the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal. 
Dr. Moonie: In accordance with the published qualifying criteria for the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, if cadets at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst had completed at least five years qualifying service on 6 February 2002, the date of the 50th anniversary of the Queen's accession, they will receive the medal. While those cadets who have entered the Academy direct from full-time education will not qualify, those who have had previous non-commissioned military service, either as a regular or as a member of the Volunteer Reserve Forces, prior to entering Sandhurst may have completed sufficient qualifying service to receive the medal.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what projects have been undertaken by management consultants on behalf of his Department since 1997, stating in each case (a) the title of the project, (b) the contractor, (c) the value of the contract, (d) when the project started, (e) when the project was completed and (f) the outputs received by his Department. 
Dr. Moonie: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many payments he has made in the past three years to members and former members of
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HM armed forces in compensation for ill-treatment, bullying or harassment experienced while serving; and what the total cost was in each year. 
Dr. Moonie: The number of claims settled and the total amounts paid in the past three years to members and former members of HM armed forces in compensation for ill-treatment, bullying or harassment experienced while serving are set out in the table:
|Bullying/ill treatment||Sexual harassment||Racial harassment|
|Claims settled||Paid (£)||Claims settled||Paid (£)||Claims settled||Paid (£)|
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Special Investigation Branch investigations into bullying and harassment are in progress; and what regiments are involved. 
Mr. Ingram: A total of six investigations, where bullying or harassment has been alleged, are in progress with the Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch worldwide.
The units that are involved are:
23 Pioneer Regiment
Queens Royal Lancers
28 Engineer Regiment
26 Engineer Regiment.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what conclusions he has reached following the RMP investigation into the theft of an automatic pistol from Grosvenor Barracks in February; what weapons have been reported missing from the Royal Irish Regiment in the past two years; how many disciplinary actions have been taken following (a) theft and (b) loss of firearms; and what the outcome was in each case. 
Mr. Ingram: The investigation into the loss of a pistol from Grosvenor Barracks, Enniskillen on 8 March 2002 is still going on. There are no other reports of any weapons missing from the Royal Irish Regiment armouries in Northern Ireland over the last two years. I am withholding details of the result of internal investigations or any resultant disciplinary action in accordance with Exemption 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress he has made in halting degrading and demeaning initiation rites and ceremonies in HM armed forces; and in what regiments these practices are known to persist. 
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Mr. Ingram: If any degrading or demeaning initiation ceremonies were found to exist they would be dealt with swiftly. It is made routinely clear to all armed forces personnel that forcing compliance with initiation rites is classed as bullying and is quite unacceptable. The new armed forces diversity policy goal will aim to achieve an environment free from harassment, intimidation and unlawful discrimination, in which all have equal opportunity and encouragement to realise their full potential. This position is reinforced through single service values and standards and equal opportunities policies, and was reflected in the Armed Forces Code of Social Conduct issued to all personnel in January 2000, where clear guidance was given on what is considered inappropriate personal behaviour within the armed forces. All of these measures are, of course, regularly reviewed and reinforced as necessary.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what proportion of members of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers have applied to leave the regiment in the past two years. 
Mr. Ingram: It is not possible to provide figures for 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers only as they are not recorded separately to the 1st Battalion. The figures shown in the table, therefore, represent both the 1st and 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints have been received concerning the conduct of off duty RIR soldiers from the Howe Barracks in Kent; how many soldiers have been arrested and charged with drug-related offences; how many disciplinary actions have been taken in the barracks in the past two years; and what the outcome was in each case. 
Mr. Ingram: There have been three cases of complaint involving off duty soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment (1 R Irish) at Howe Barracks in the last two years. Within the same time frame, one soldier has been charged under the military system for possession of drugs and one soldier was arrested by the civil police, also for possession of drugs. There have been a total of 35 case of disciplinary action taken in the barracks in the past two years. The particulars of the cases are detailed as follows.
|Offence||Total return||Action taken|
|Absence without leave (AWOL)(3)||21||One reduced in ranks|
|One fined £350|
|19 given military detention from 0750 days|
|Disobedience to standing order||1||Reprimand|
|Abusive behaviour||1||Fined £250|
|Threatening superior officer||1||Fined £200|
|Loss of ID card||1||Dismissed|
|Violent disorder||1||Referred to higher authority|
|Assault||1||Referred to higher authority|
|Drunkenness||1||Compensation to offended party|
|Theft||1||Military fine £280.41|
|Using threatening language||1||14 days detention|
|Conduct prejudice to good conduct and military discipline||2||Dismissed|
|Possession of controlled drug||1||42 days detention|
(3) Personnel who have been absent for over 24 hours
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This does not include minor offences, such as poor turnout or inadequate fitness, which are dealt with at company level.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (a) how many and (b) what proportion of soldiers in each regiment of HM forces went absent without leave in (i) 1999, (ii) 2000 and (iii) 2001; and what measures he plans to take in response. 
Mr. Ingram: The total number of soldiers who went absent without leave (AWOL) over the last three years is as follows:
These figures represent those AWOL cases which were reported to the Royal Military Police (RMP) and are recorded on the database. The actual number of cases may differ to those recorded as some will have been dealt with at unit level where the absence was for a short period only.
It has not been possible to break the figures down by regiment as this information is not held centrally. The central database held by the RMP records total numbers only, therefore, a further breakdown by regiment could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
In an attempt to address the AWOL issue, the Army commenced a pilot scheme in September last year in London called "Reclaim Your Life". The aim of the scheme was to provide a bridge between the absentee and the Army by using a volunteer member of a service charity as an initial point of contact. It was thought that many absentees would be more prepared to return to their unit if they were better informed of the likely disciplinary consequences. This scheme is to be relaunched with greater publicity this year.
10 Jun 2002 : Column 746W
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (a) how many and (b) what proportion of soldiers going absent without leave in the last 12 months for which figures are available have alleged that they were victims of bullying or harassment; how many of these allegations led to disciplinary action against the perpetrators; and what the penalties were in each case. 
Mr. Ingram: In the last 12 months, taken as January to December 2001, the figures for those personnel going absent without leave (AWOL) are shown in the table:
|Total returned to unit||(4)675|
|Total charged with AWOL-related offences||(5)129|
|Total alleging bullying as contributory factor||(5)9|
|Total alleging bullying as contributory factor||1.3 per cent.|
|Disciplinary action taken and penalties||(6)Nil return|
(4) Figures provided by Central Criminal Records and Intelligence Office (CCRIO) at Chichester.
(5) Figures provided by Personal Services 2 (Army) Post Trials Section. Of these there are two recorded investigations by Royal Military Police but neither allegation was substantiated following investigation and therefore no prosecutions resulted.
(6) Bullying per se is not a recorded crime and any such offence would be recorded as Assault within CCRIO. It is difficult to filter the data to determine whether a service man who had returned from AWOL had alleged harassment since these issues would be recorded separately.
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