Select Committee on Defence Third Report



253. The Armed Forces have acknowledged that the training regime has been under stress in the past, and that concerns remain in certain aspects of the regime.[375] In the previous chapter we set out a number of the factors which have contributed to that stress. Surrey Police, whose Final Report considered some of these issues in relation to Deepcut Barracks describe that report as illustrating "the cumulative effect of the risks facing recruits coupled with a lack of rigour in systemising, reviewing and challenging risk reduction measures between 1988-2002".[376] This section considers some of the outcomes of failing to reduce those risks.

Bullying and harassment

254. Bullying and harassment are not unique to the Armed Forces, but may be more acutely felt in a disciplined military environment, with limited opportunity to leave. We consider bullying and harassment together although they are distinct from one another. Incidents of bullying of recruits and trainees are probably the most evident form of duty of care failure; and the activity that has caused the most public concern. We have received a considerable amount of information relating to bullying, from a range of sources, including individual victims. Although the vast majority of the information we have received has related to the Army, we have received information, in confidence, that relates to incidents within the RAF and the Royal Navy.[377] We have preserved the anonymity of those who provided this information, to both protect their privacy and ensure that any future investigation or prosecution would not be prejudiced. The Catterick families provided us with information on bullying both during oral evidence and in written submissions. We have also been provided with information gathered by Surrey Police in the course of their investigations at Deepcut Barracks. The DOC appraisals contain survey information on bullying. The Single Services' Continuous Attitudes Surveys provide an insight into the situation within the Armed Forces as a whole. MoD has also provided us with statistics relating to complaints of bullying.[378] It should be noted that much of this information including the statistics relates to unsubstantiated allegations.


255. MoD and the Armed Forces have emphasised that they have a policy of 'zero tolerance' toward bullying and harassment.[379] It might seem unnecessary to ask what 'zero tolerance' means, but in the hierarchical and disciplined environment of the Services the definition of bullying, particularly in the context of a necessarily robust training regime, is not as self-evident as it would be in other environments. General Palmer told us: "The policy of zero tolerance means exactly that. The idea that you should use any form of intimidation against an individual to achieve your aims, whatever those are, is just anathema to the whole organisation".[380] In a recent Parliamentary answer the Minister stated that no form of harassment or intimidation would be tolerated and all allegations would be investigated and appropriate action taken.[381]

256. The Armed Forces overarching personnel strategy sets out MoD's policy relating to diversity and tackling bullying and harassment. The three Services implement this policy differently.[382] HQ ATRA is responsible for implementing the Army policy of zero tolerance to bullying and harassment, which is set out in the Army's Equal Opportunities Policy. The ATRA handbook explains the policy and stresses that all allegations or reports of mistreatment must be reported. The policy is set out in the Army documents 'Basically Fair—Equality and diversity in the British Army', issued to all personnel; and 'CGS' Equality and Diversity Directive for the Army' issued to commanders.[383] Recruits are also issued with documents that highlight the effect of bullying and define unfair treatment and explain how to deal with it.[384] Officer cadets, soldiers and recruits also receive annual training relating to bullying and harassment.[385]

257. Col Eccles summarised the approach:

    Right at the beginning of the training course, up front, there are lectures about the Army's values and standards. The examples which are used to illustrate those points cover bullying. The ATRA code, which I mentioned earlier, is explained and bullying is covered in that. There are posters up saying "Are you being bullied"? There is a wide dissemination and lots of mechanisms for doing that.[386]

258. And General Palmer said "I do not honestly know what more we could do officially to let people know that we have a zero tolerance or what more we could do to implement it".[387] Professor Simon Wessely summed up the difficulty the Army has in combining caring for recruits with making them tougher as individuals:

    They [soldiers] are not like middle-aged academics or Maudsley social workers. They are somewhat tough people and they are to do a difficult job of fighting, not emoting. Part of that is that they learn to repress emotions and fear. It is a subtle thing that we want to do here. We definitely do want to increase people's willingness to admit to emotional distress and come forward, but in a way which is compatible with their overall purpose and culture. It is not an easy thing to do. It is not a simple thing which putting up posters around the barracks is going to achieve. It is a difficult one.[388]

259. Mr James reminded us that the initiatives that have been introduced do not focus on prevention, he said:

    We have spent an incredible amount of time in the last couple of years talking about lessons that have been learned—it is a wonderful phrase—but in effect this is about prevention and cure. We seem to be hanging everything on the reporting ability of bullying by the recruits, as opposed to the prevention of bullying by the perpetrators. I am not aware of any new initiative for instance that helps us to understand any improvements that have been made in terms of training or mentoring for officers or for young soldiers to take away the bullying. Everything we hear about is, "when you are bullied, all you have to do is this"; you can phone these people and talk to them; you can ring this number; you can have anonymity"—but it has already happened then.[389]

Definition of bullying

260. There seems to be no agreed definition of bullying, although most people would expect to be able to recognise it. General Palmer told us that:

    what is described as bullying… covers an enormous spectrum of activity from possibly shouting at someone, to something which appals us all—not that we do shouting but there is obviously some as encouragement; the other end of the spectrum—which is gross acts of bullying which are completely unacceptable.[390]

The Minister told us that:

    The definition would be any form of harassment or intimidation. I do not think there are lines to cross on that. If it is harassment or intimidation it would fall into that general generic of bullying.[391]

The Army provided us with a definition of bullying in which the behaviour was defined by the intention of the person committing the act rather than by the effect of the behaviour on its recipient. Colonel Eccles described bullying as:

    I think that a rule of thumb perhaps might be the motivation of the person who seems to be inflicting this activity. If it is in support of robust training and a challenge and it is all pursuant to that end and there is very careful consideration of what is being done in order to achieve that training objective, if you like, in a given situation, that is fine. If it is for some less honourable motive then perhaps we would define that as bullying. That is a useful way in which we try and describe it to our people.[392]

261. The 'Conduct and Behaviour' section of the ATRA handbook describes the effect of bullying as creating an environment in which "a group or an individual may become fearful or intimidated because of the negative or hostile behaviour of another group of people or an individual which may involve a misuse of power or position".[393] The handbook gives examples of bullying such as:

  • Verbal abuse, including swearing, in public or private
  • Belittling or ridiculing a person, or their abilities.
  • Sudden rages or displays of temper against an individual or group, often for trivial reasons
  • Subjecting someone to "unnecessarily excessive or oppressive supervision"
  • Persistent and unjustified criticism
  • Making threats or inappropriate comments about prospects

262. In the same handbook, harassment is defined as "unwanted behaviour by one individual, whether intentional or not, that creates feelings of anxiety, humiliation, awkwardness, distress or discomfort in another".[394] Professor Chivers agreed that "bullying is in the eye of the person being bullied".[395] But Mrs Atrobus told us "what a 16 year old will perceive as bullying, particularly in that environment, is not bullying, it may be harsh discipline but it is certainly not bullying… I think sometimes there is confusion in their minds about what bullying actually is".[396]

263. Definitions of bullying outside the Armed Forces abound. For example, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, defines bullying as:

    offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.

264. Similarly Amicus-MSF define bullying as:

    Persistent, offensive, abusive, intimidating or insulting behaviour, abuse of power or unfair penal sanctions which makes the recipient feel upset, threatened, humiliated or vulnerable, which undermines their self-confidence and which may cause them to suffer stress.

265. In education a range of definitions have been proposed depending on whom the definition will be used by. A significant difference between these and the Armed Forces' definition is that the latter is the only one which does not explicitly include the impact on the victim. We recommend that MoD review its working definition of bullying in order to bring it in line with definitions used in other organisations.

266. The Armed Forces' policy on bullying relies on the victim reporting incidents. We recommend MoD revise its policy to place the emphasis on prevention.


267. It is difficult to assess the level of actual bullying or abuse within initial training establishments. Bullying is, by its nature, under-reported. Bullying in the Armed Forces is probably less reported than elsewhere because of the Service ethos of non-complaint and stoicism. The Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey provides information on perceptions on bullying and harassment in the Armed Forces as a whole. The 2003 survey found that 85 per cent of solders believed bullying exists in the Army and 7 per cent considered themselves to have been bullied in the previous 12 months.[397] The DOC reports provide information on levels of bullying and harassment, although the results of the survey are acknowledged to be lower than the reality. DOC told us:

    Bullying and harassment was one of the questions we asked the recruits and both in the questionnaire and in the general discussion they all acknowledged that there was a natural pecking order amongst themselves, within the peer group; but in most units, when we asked the question directly about their instructors, we were met with a response of, "Absolutely not. We hold our instructors up and we aspire to be like them, we respect them as role models". We had to fish within that area; it was not an area that was there as an item of any prevalence with any of the units we met.[398]

268. DOC (1) states "there is no doubt that a perceptible amount of low-level bullying occurs within the training streams and our investigations indicated people (7-8%) who reckoned that they were being or had been bullied".[399] That figure was lower by the time of DOC (3).[400] The Secretary of State for Defence has also emphatically denied that bullying is endemic in the Armed Forces.[401]

269. Statistics provided by MoD for reported complaints of bullying and harassment in Army initial training establishments for the last three years show an increase 2001-02 to 2003-04.[402] The increase is explained by MoD as "due to improved awareness and reporting".[403] Colonel Eccles told us in December 2004 that in the previous 12 months ATRA had identified:

    239 formal allegations of discrimination, harassment or bullying, of which 137 were upheld. Now the majority of those cases were dealt with summarily, which I think indicates the severity of them, that they were of a relatively low level, however three did go to court-martial.[404]

270. Surrey Police found "evidence of bullying" during their investigations at Deepcut Barracks.[405] They provided us with two schedules which list allegations during 1995 and 2001-02. Both periods contain allegations of bullying, sexual harassment, and of relationships between NCOs and recruits. Race-related allegations feature in 2001-02.[406] Surrey Police refer to the QinetiQ Post Training Survey commissioned in November 2002, which found 8.4 per cent of respondents at Deepcut claimed to have experienced bullying and 42.6 per cent claimed to have witnessed such incidents.[407] The Catterick families told us that they were currently being contacted by recruits at Catterick and elsewhere who were being bullied, and felt they had nowhere else to turn. Mrs Farr said that she "had about ten in the last 12 months, but they are the ones who dare to come forward".[408]

271. In the RAF, which had an average recruit population of about 3,800, between 1999 and 2003 there were nine formal complaints of bullying or physical or mental abuse by recruits at training establishments, of which four were proven. In addition there was one case involving an NCO that led to a verbal warning.[409] The 2003 Continuous Attitude Survey found that 72.9 per cent of RAF personnel believed bullying existed within the Service; and 21.8 per cent of personnel had observed a bullying incident in the last 12 months.[410]

272. In the Royal Navy, which had a recruit population of around 3,400, between 1999 and 2002 there were 26 complaints of bullying and sexual or racial harassment.[411] Nine of the complaints were specifically related to bullying. It seems from the information provided by MoD that 15 of these complaints relate to a single individual at HMS Raleigh in 1999.[412] In the Royal Navy, 78.7 per cent of officers and 84.7 per cent of other ranks believed bullying existed in the Service. In the Royal Marines 48 per cent of officers and 57.6 per cent of other ranks believed bullying existed in the Service.[413]

273. There are no ATRA-wide records kept of complaints. Serious complaints, those which involve outside agencies, are logged on the Army Casebook Database.[414] DOC (2) noted the particular need to improve the gathering and analysis of data relating to "evidence of bullying from those people who have left the Services or have gone absent without leave (AWOL).[415] Collecting data on bullying is a problem outside the Armed Forces as well. The Government does not centrally collect data on bullying in schools and colleges. However, various voluntary sector organisations do collect data, which suggests that approximately 50 per cent of children consider themselves to have been bullied.[416] The Minister asserted that although bullying would never be eliminated from the Armed Forces, levels of bullying were low when compared to the rest of society.[417] He argued that within the Armed Forces from 7 to 10 per cent of individuals considered themselves to have been bullied, while in the society at large the figure was around 14 per cent.[418] Reported levels of bullying are, as we have said, generally below the actual level in all parts of society.

274. The Surrey Police found during their investigation that 37 per cent of former privates spoke of bullying whereas only 8 per cent of serving privates claimed either to have been the victim or to have witnessed incidents of bullying.[419] This suggests that serving personnel are reluctant to report bullying. General Palmer considered the numbers of incidents to be "relatively small", but he suspected "there is bullying which goes unreported".[420] DOC admitted to us that the figures in their appraisals were likely to be under-reported.[421] Even so the Minister felt able to draw conclusions from the small differences found between the appraisals, and told us there was a downward trend.[422] That conclusion seems to be variance with the figures provided by MoD for complaints at Army initial training establishments quoted earlier. We conclude that bullying exists in the Armed Forces and that it is under-reported. We further conclude that it is not possible to identify trends based on the currently available statistical evidence. We therefore recommend that MoD identify robust methods of capturing data on bullying trends that take account of the extent of under-reporting. Nevertheless, the assertion that the Armed Forces does not tolerate bullying does not sit well with the levels of bullying MoD acknowledge.


275. This Committee's predecessors have considered the issues of racial and sexual harassment in the Armed Forces over several years.[423] As at 1 October 2004, the Armed Forces had 10,360 personnel (officers and other ranks) from ethnic minority backgrounds.[424] DOC (2) noted that equal opportunities legislation had been "sensibly applied", and that these issues had largely been resolved at most establishments. The few incidents that had occurred were described as "cultural misunderstandings and minor tensions" related to the large intake of Foreign and Commonwealth recruits.[425] In the Army, between 1999 and 2003 there were 18 complaints of racial harassment, one of religious harassment, and 10 complaints of racial discrimination. The Continuous Attitude Survey 2003 found that 38 per cent of other ranks believed racial harassment existed in the Army. The Survey found that 2 per cent of the Army, 7.5 per cent of whom are from ethnic minorities, had been subject to harassment on the basis of race, colour or ethnic origin in the previous 12 months. There have been several high profile cases of racial discrimination in the Army going back many years. In a recent case a senior NCO with many years service was found to have suffered racial discrimination and harassment.[426] In the RAF 28 per cent of personnel believed there was racial discrimination in the Service, and 27 per cent believed racial harassment occurred.[427]

276. At 1 April 2004, the Armed Forces had 18,390 female personnel.[428] In the Army, between 1999 and 2003, the Army recorded 29 complaints alleging sexual harassment. Between 1997 and 2003, the number of complaints for sexual harassment and discrimination was 87. In the RAF, 46.3 per cent believed there was discrimination on the basis of gender, 43 percent believed sexual harassment existed.[429] The Royal Navy do not hold complete records prior to 2001. Between 2001 and 2003, one case involved sexual harassment.[430] In the Royal Navy more than 24 per cent of personnel believe there is harassment on the basis of gender.[431]

277. In 2001, we recommended that MoD "take full account of the views of the [Equal Opportunities Commission] and the [Commission for Racial Equality] in working towards an effective equal opportunities policy".[432] The Government's response to that report stated there "certainly there is not room for complacency".[433] As this Committee has previously noted, the Services are engaged in changing working environments and practices to reduce harassment. However, sexual and racial harassment remains a problem throughout the Armed Forces. Recent press reports have highlighted incidents of sexual harassment in the RAF, which is considered to perform relatively well in relation to most duty of care issues. MoD must ensure that all three Services are vigilant and guard against complacency.

Forms of bullying

278. Studies of peer group bullying within schools suggest that there is usually a particular quality about an individual that marks him or her out as a potential victim. It may be a physical feature, cultural or racial attributes, or behavioural or social attributes. DOC states that "Left to their own devices, it is evident that recruits and trainees tend to establish their own hierarchies which can expose the weak, introspective, vulnerable or less capable individual to bullying, harassment, insensitivity and unfair treatment at the hands of the peer group. Particularly vulnerable are those who are for some reason excluded or isolated from the group". Mrs Antrobus, Senior Operations Manager, Services Welfare, WRVS, confirmed that the majority of cases they had dealt with were between recruits.[434] DOC (2) noted that staff and recruits reported "low-level bullying and minor harassment" among the recruits. The report judged that most incidents were the result of friction caused by young people living in close proximity.[435]

279. Our evidence indicates that bullying exists in a wide range of forms.[436] Where the bullying is hierarchical, for example by NCOs on recruits, there is usually an issue about power, control and domination by verbal or physical threats or abuse. DOC (2) noted that at several establishments there were reports of NCOs "over-reacting in response to frustrations with their recruits", which had occasioned aggressive or abusive language.[437] DOC (2) expressed concern about delegation of authority to NCOs; and found incidents of unauthorised sanctions and unprofessional behaviour that suggested that oversight of NCOs is "not as tight as it should be".[438] The ATRA Code of Practice for instructors refers specifically to the importance of instructors understanding their disciplinary powers to avoid "an official disciplinary procedures [being] interpreted as bullying or as an abuse of authority".[439] Many of the allocations of abuse by NCOs or junior officers involve the imposition of inappropriate punishments for minor infractions of military discipline.

280. MoD has provided us with the guidance relating to acceptable punishments for recruits in the three Services. ATRA's guidance makes a distinction between a 'correction' and a 'punishment'. Corrections, such as periods of short physical activity are awarded in circumstances where a recruit is 'idle or inattentive'. We recommend that MoD ensure all instructors are made aware that punishments involving physical activity should not be imposed against medical advice.

281. The aim of the correction is "to motivate the individual in an appropriate way so that his or her conduct or performance improves". Remedial training may be awarded if a correction fails to have the desired result. Remedial training "must always be reasonable, appropriate and corrective in nature".[440] The examples of remedial training we were given included extra parades for a recruit with poor timekeeping; and extra drill for a recruit with "unsatisfactory bearing".[441]

282. Similarly, in the RAF, examples of remedial training included "quick-change routine" for poor timekeeping; and additional drill for unsatisfactory dress or bearing. The RAF's guidance states that recruits should not be required to muster in underwear or swimwear or in inclement weather. It further advises that remedial training on issues such as personal hygiene should not be discussed in public.[442] Punishments are awarded for disciplinary offences, and are awarded by the Commanding Officer or an appropriate subordinate.

283. Bullying by superiors in the chain of command will degrade morale and discipline. The Catterick families told us that NCOs were responsible for a proportion of the bullying, including one incident, in which a soldier had his jaw broken by his corporal.[443] Mrs Farr agreed that there was a need for discipline, but said:

    there is a very fine line between discipline and abuse and this line is getting crossed over too much… There is no reason to hit someone on the jaw because they are late on guard duty and things like that. That is not discipline.[444]

Mr O'Connor, former Chief Constable of Surrey Police told us:

    We know that there is something happening there because you see some issues reported in logs; it is picked up on the attitude surveys that the Army do themselves; it has come out in our interviews. Some degree of bullying is in all institutions, but we know, in terms of dealing with it and understanding the veracity of it, that the closer in you do it to the event the better chance you have. Once you put any time and distance between the event and the point of intervention, it is much harder actually to validate it, because you quite often end up with a one-on-one set of circumstances which you cannot corroborate easily in order to find out what truly happened. That is the difficulty in knowing just how much of this is absolutely solid and how much of it is less so. We felt there was enough of it, both in terms of what was said to us and in terms of the logs, to say that this is worth mentioning: it is something to adopt a proactive approach towards, particularly as there is some evidence—Skinner is obviously at the worst end of that spectrum—that it has happened in a fairly fearsome and dire way for some individuals.[445]

284. As we have stated earlier the inconclusive nature of the information on bullying makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. On balance, we consider it likely that more bullying occurs among recruits than by NCOs and junior officers on recruits. Nevertheless, we find it difficult to discount the evidence that members of the chain of command are responsible for some bullying. Reducing bullying by the chain of command requires cultural change and improved support.

Bullying and educational achievement

285. Rear Admiral Goodall accepted that recruits entering the Services with poor literacy and numeracy skills may have poor communication skills, but was unable to comment on the likelihood of a connection between those academic deficiencies and the propensity for that individual to be bullied.[446] Colonel Eccles told us that although those individuals having remedial educational work may encounter difficulties, they would also have a sense of achievement and would be able to demonstrate to their peers that they had progressed. However, he admitted that there was no policy specifically to protect individuals in that situation.[447]

286. Mrs Farr noted in her memorandum "A common thread that keeps occurring when speaking to the soldiers that have been bullied is that they didn't do well at school, they were dyslexic or as some of their parents have said they were a little slow. If any are going to be bullied it is certainly these because they are different and need extra help".[448] Colonel Eccles said that:

    Recruiting into the Army is done across the board, as you know, and people identify at an early stage in the recruiting process which arm of the Service they would like to go to. Part of that choice is governed of course by their innate abilities, and numeracy and literacy are part of those factors taken into consideration, so I do not think the way in which we recruit into the different arms of the Service makes a huge difference in that regard. Whether the problems we have historically experienced, and we have been talking about earlier today about Catterick and Deepcut, are a reflection of the skill levels of those people who are going through training is a point on which I do not think we are competent to comment.[449]

287. We have considered the educational standards of those entering the Armed Forces, and Army in particular, earlier in this report. Given that MoD acknowledge many of those entering the Services have low educational attainment we were surprised that MoD has not researched the relationship between low educational attainment, and duty of care problems such as bullying and self-harm. We recommend that MoD undertake research into the relationship between low educational attainment and duty of care problems, in particular bullying and self-harm.

Culture and Ethos

288. Within the Armed Forces the reluctance of victims to report incidences of bullying is compounded by a culture of non-complaint. The Catterick families told us that the culture deters reporting of bullying.[450] The three Services have distinct aspects to their culture and ethos determined by historical developments and the environment in which they operate, particularly in conflict situations. This section focuses on the Army.

289. The Army's Values and Standards document recognises the detrimental impact of bullying and unacceptable behaviour on those core qualities that the Services is seeking to inculcate into its recruits. The three primary aspects of the ethos of the Army are commitment, self-sacrifice and mutual trust. Those three qualities are required to create successful teams, which are crucial to military success, particularly in the land environment.[451] IOSH suggested that the "team spirit and peer pressure should be harnessed to help ensure safe behaviours are embedded as 'the group norm'".[452]

290. Team cohesion, based on mutual trust between commanders and those they command is crucial to operational capability. Good morale, reinforced by discipline is fundamental to the success of the team.[453] The Army's Values and Standards document also highlights the importance of courage, discipline and integrity. It concludes:

    Soldiers should therefore avoid any activity which risks degrading their professional ability, and any personal behaviour which may damage morale by putting at risk the trust and respect the must exist between individuals who depend on each other. The same principles apply to any behaviour which calls into question the integrity of those in a position of responsibility and so undermines his or her authority in the eyes of subordinates.[454]

291. The Service Test is used by commanders at every level to determine whether in possible cases of misconduct "to intervene in the personal lives of its soldiers".[455] The Service Test poses the question "Have the actions or behaviour of an individual adversely impacted or are they likely to impact on the efficiency or operational effectiveness of the Army"? In relation to bullying the Standards and Values document states:

    operational effectiveness requires the Army to train to be physically robust and, when necessary to display controlled aggression. However the use of physical strength or the abuse of authority to intimidate or victimise others, or to give unlawful punishments, is unacceptable behaviour which will undermine trust and respect. It is also illegal. It is the responsibility of all those in a position of responsibility, but in particular of commanders, to protect others from physical and mental bullying, and report any incident promptly.[456]

292. The chain of command is central to the Army culture. Despite the emphasis on the responsibility of commanders to foster the desirable qualities set out in the document those qualities could also be applied to deter reporting of incidents. A commitment to self-sacrifice and the role of the team may be interpreted by some as providing official endorsement for not reporting incidents. Mr O'Connor told us that Surrey Police had concluded that "the issue of culture in the training environment is problematic… too often we thought that the culture that prevailed was tough, unquestioning and a little fatalistic in character".[457]

Mr Waterman told us:

    it is possible to have an internal culture where to rat on a fellow recruit for misbehaving is regarded as unacceptable. It is equally possible to develop a culture in which the tolerance of misbehaviour is regarded as completely outwith what being a good recruit and a good soldier and a good member of a team means. So that idea of the team and the team becoming its own management, peer group pressure and all of that, for good behaviour would be an example where whatever you did with maximising numbers of supervisors would not be as effective as getting people to adopt culturally that sense of team and pride in the quality of the way in which the whole team operated. I would probably rather think of it in terms of this kind of psychological environment as well as the physical environment that these recruits are operating in.[458]

293. According to Surrey police a common theme of their investigation was the lack of faith that young soldiers had in the means available to them to report any problems. Surrey Police related this to the Army's culture of non-complaint.[459] They provided illustrative examples of the Army's culture:

    The following excerpt comes from the Charter for RLC phase 2 Trainees and was taken from the RLC website on 23 January 2003. Within a section entitled Instructors appears the following text:

    Those NCOs and civilian instructors that teach on the trade courses have been specially chosen to do so. They are very competent, they know what they are talking about and they are accomplished instructors. They know their job better than you do, trust their judgement and above all—DO AS THEY TELL YOU.

    If at any time you think you have a problem with an instructor, you have the right to speak with your troop commander about the subject, but be aware that if you find yourself in this position, the problem is more likely to be a fault with your attitude than it is with the instructors.

    This seems to give a clear message to phase Two recruits in terms of where they stand in the organisation.

    On 15 April 2004, the same document was accessed on the website. The charter remains the same with the exception that the three lines underlined above have been deleted.[460]

294. Surrey Police also referred to the use of the occurrence book in their evidence to us,:

    An example of the apparently prevailing culture was found in 2000. A female private approached a senior NCO to report that a male Private had sexually assaulted her. What follows is an extract from the NCOs statement:

    As a result of being informed that she would be charged with being in the male accommodation, she withdrew the allegation and stated that she did not want it to be entered in the Occurrence Book. No entry was made and no further action was taken.

    To the Army's credit, another NCO found out about what had happened and immediately made another more senior rank aware. As a result, the male private was arrested and, after an investigation conducted by the Royal Military Police, he was convicted of indecent assault and sentenced to a period of imprisonment. Although, on this occasion, the situation was retrieved very quickly, it is an illustration that even as recently as 2000, the issue of reported criminal allegations may not be taken seriously by some NCOs. Such attitudes and responses by NCOs may well inhibit the reporting by trainees of assault, bullying or other abuse.[461]

295. Mr Waterman recommended that a broader cultural change would extend responsibility for monitoring and reporting duty of care rather than relying on supervisory staff.[462] He told us:

    you actually have much more of a hearts and minds approach to people accepting individual and personal commitment and personal responsibility for the way they behave in terms of not just following the rules as they are written down.[463]

Professor Chivers referred to the need to identify "behaviours which are not really helpful" to the delivery of duty of care and eliminating them.[464]

296. The Armed Forces generally and the Army in particular should consider whether their adherence to a culture and ethos that discourages complaint is detrimental to implementing the improvements necessary to the training regime. Recommending that the Armed Forces change their culture may seem a big step, but the culture can change relatively quickly and painlessly, as the Minister himself said in relation to racial and sexual intolerance. We believe that cultural change is both possible and necessary.

297. We recommend that the Armed Forces, and the Army in particular, consider how to promote a culture that discourages bullying and encourages all Service personnel to take action to reduce harassment and bullying.


298. MoD has provided us with evidence about the mechanisms for making complaints in each of the three Services, how those mechanisms are promulgated, and how complaints are logged and reviewed.[465] Under current legislation, Service personnel are entitled to elevate any complaint relating to their service to the highest level internally, the Service Boards, but with certain exceptions, cannot take their case to an Employment Tribunal. Service personnel have the right to submit complaints to an Employment Tribunal under a number of provisions, notably the following: Equal Pay Act 1970; Sex Discrimination Act 1975; Race Relations Act 1976; Working Time Regulations 1998; Part Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000; Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003; and Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003. MoD told us that, with regard to the Army:

    The complainant may submit his case to an industrial tribunal within six months of the last incident. However, there is a legal requirement for service personnel to submit an internal redress of complaint before submitting an application to an employment tribunal.

In the Army, complaints of bullying can be taken directly to the Commanding Officer, but more usually they will be dealt with further down the chain of command.[466] When a Commanding Officer becomes involved they are required to ensure that "any justifiable request or redress is dealt with promptly and fairly". Furthermore they have a duty to "ensure that their soldiers are aware of, and use, the recognised channels through which they can air a grievance or concern, including access to highly confidential advisers should an individual feel that it is necessary".[467] Decisions on whether to take action and the severity of the punishment if applicable is dependent on the circumstances measured against the Service Test.[468]

299. Complainants are supposed to have access to the Empowered Officer.[469] As we have discussed earlier (see paragraphs 169-184) recruits may be unwilling, however, to take their concerns to officers, even if they are outside the chain of command. DOC (2) noted the "discernible reluctance among recruits and trainees to approach an officer with a problem"; this was due to the recruits considering it "abnormal" to have direct contact with officers; and because the immediate chain of command would find out about it anyway.[470] In the RAF, 68.5 per cent know how to complain about bullying or harassment.[471] For the Royal Navy and Royal Marines 21.9 per cent and 21.7 per cent respectively of other ranks who had suffered bullying did not complain because they believed that nothing would be done.[472] In the Royal Navy, 73.1 per cent of officers and 46.8 per cent of other ranks know how to complain.[473] Of those RAF personnel who reported having been bullied, 48 percent did not complain because they believed it would adversely affect their career.[474] The numbers of complaints upheld over the three years fell from almost 70 per cent to 58 per cent.[475]

300. Low levels of reporting, and even lower levels of successful convictions, are a universal characteristic of bullying. Of those who complained of being bullied in the Army only 25 per cent of soldiers were "satisfied" or better with the "objectivity and fairness" with which the complaint was handled. The most common reasons given by those who had been bullied for their decision not to complain were: they believed it would adversely affect their career; and that they did not believe anything would be done.[476]

301. In dealing with these incidents the Army requires the Commanding Officer to ensure the "rights of the accused are protected and the investigations proceed on the assumption of innocence".[477] In practice this often involves separating individuals against whom allegations are made from the environment the allegation was made in by moving them to another unit.[478] In the Royal Navy the same approach guides the process. Complaints are treated as Equal Opportunities matters until proven otherwise. Individuals must submit complaints within three months to their Commanding Officer. Ratings receive assistance in drawing up their complaint form if necessary.[479] In the RAF, all complaints procedures follow the Service's Equal Opportunities policy. Formal complaints are reported to Command HQs.[480] The RAF do not have a specific policy relating to allegations made against instructors in the training environment, which are dealt with on a "case by case basis".[481] MoD emphasised the need to retain a balance between the person making the complaint and the person complained about. DOC rejected the suggestion that instructors subject to a complaint should be suspended pending an investigation.[482]

302. In the Army a complaint follows either an informal route, through the chain of command, chaplain, medical officer or WRVS; or a formal route, by way of a submission to the Commanding Officer. When a complaint is made formally, the Commanding Officer is bound to investigate. The Commanding Officer may decide to call in outside agencies, such as the civil or Service Police, to assist with an investigation. A formal written response must be made to the complainant detailing the outcome of the investigation.[483] If the complainant is not satisfied with the response, he or she may submit the case to an industrial tribunal within six months of the original incident.[484] Colonel Eccles told us:

    First of all, if we take the example of an incident where we have a trainer who is found to have bullied in a substantial way a trainee, of course each case will be judged on the circumstances and so on but as a rule of thumb the more senior the person, the more severe the way it will be dealt with. If an officer were involved, he would be dealt with extremely seriously, whereas a relatively newly-promoted NCO would not be quite so severely dealt with, but they are treated in exactly the same way and an investigation rigorously done. When we turn to, let's call it trainee on trainee bullying, of which I have to say there is a fair amount, as we all know, again one deals with that in the same way.[485]

These procedures all suffer from a lack of support provided to the complainant or accused. In other disciplined services, notably the Police, support and advice is available to personnel from a federation and staff association which are independent from the chain of command. We do not recommend the establishment of independent trade unions for the Armed Forces. We do, however, urge MoD to consider how mechanisms could be established to provide independent advice for all non-commissioned personnel. These mechanisms could be staffed by serving or recently retired Armed Forces personnel who would give independent advice and guidance.

303. MoD provided us with figures for courts martial and summary procedures taken against instructors and others for offences which could be characterised a involving the breach of duty of care responsibilities. For the Army, between 2001 and 2003, there were 7 courts martial and 89 summary dealings.[486] The court martial cases included ill-treatment, violence and indecent assault by instructors. Within the summary dealing statistics were cases of ill-treatment and verbal abuse. In several of the cases identified as bullying or involving violence, recruits committed the offences. Some cases involved relationships between instructors and female recruits, which are prohibited under Standing Orders.[487] We are concerned that, given the general recognition that much bullying goes unreported, these relatively low figures suggest that there may be a significant number of incidents that should lead to disciplinary action, but have not been reported or investigated.

304. The RAF did not identify any court martials relating to instructors bullying recruits, save for a case in which an instructor was found not guilty at a court martial of allegedly forcing a recruit to complete a physical training exercise while injured. The RAF identified two cases of summary dealing involving recruits, one of which was an assault.[488]

305. We have considered the Tri-Service Armed Forces Bill in a separate inquiry. The proposals for the Bill set out changes to the disciplinary regimes that would include "racial and sexual discrimination, bullying and harassment" being treated as a "major administration action". Administrative action is investigated by the Commanding Officer, who can impose "career sanctions" such as letter of censure, reduction in rank, or in serious cases "termination of employment".[489]

306. The Royal Navy was unable to provide comparative figures because their discipline database does not record whether the offender was an instructor, nor does it record whether the victim was a trainee. The figures we have been provided with for summary dealings and courts martial are therefore silent on the question of bullying offences. HMS Raleigh has had between 222 and 257 summary dealings a year between 2001 and 2003 but it is not possible to determine whether any of those involve instructors' behaviour toward trainees. There were no relevant summary dealings at Dartmouth or Lypmstone for those years.[490]

307. We discussed with DOC the procedures recommended for dealing with complaints. We accept the need to protect instructors from malicious or vexatious complaints, but the recommendations set out in DOC (3) provide little comfort for recruits wishing to complain about their NCOs. We are particularly concerned by the recommendation that a complainant can be disciplined if a complaint is not proven. Brigadier Melvin accepted that the was a serious issue that required clarification.[491]

308. We have concluded that in the past insufficient weight has been given to the issue of bullying, which led to a tolerance of, or at least insufficient action being taken against, bullying. In recent years, attempts have been made to implement what is termed "zero tolerance", but much bullying by both superiors and peers will continue to go unreported unless the culture changes. Accessible and independent channels for reporting are essential. The Armed Forces, and in particular the Army, still do not seem to understand the extent to which their hierarchical structures make it likely that abuses will not be reported.

309. The Armed Forces' approach puts the emphasis on the victim of bullying as a weak individual. While maintaining and improving the process for victims, MoD must explore ways to bear down on the bullies.

Suicide and self-harm

310. Government statistics to January 2003, show that, of the 1,763 non-combatant deaths in the Army from 1984 to 2001, 276 received a coroner's verdict of suicide, a further 49 were recorded as open verdicts and 41 still await a coroners' verdict. Of those 366 deaths, 29 individuals were aged 18 or under.[492] MoD statistics for 'untrained' personnel, which cover the years 1990 to 2002, provide a breakdown on the basis of rank, service, age and year of death.[493] Those figures highlight the relatively high rate of suicide and open verdict deaths among male non-officers in the Army during phase 2 training.[494] Between 1990 and 2002, there were 21 deaths among untrained non-officer Armed Forces personnel, which were given suicide or open verdicts.[495] Of those, 4 were in the Royal Navy, 1 was in the RAF, and 16 were Army personnel, 12 of whom were in phase 2 training. Of these 16 Army deaths, 6 were at ITC Catterick, 3 at 25 Regt RLC Deepcut, and 3 at Pirbright.[496] ITC Catterick, where a high proportion of these non-combat deaths have occurred is the Army's largest infantry training base.[497] Mrs Farr's written evidence set out descriptions of the cases of non-combat deaths of which she was aware.[498]

311. Suicide rates in the Armed Forces have received considerable scrutiny in recent years, including research by Dr Suzy Walton commissioned by the Army. The analysis of suicide and open verdict deaths found that, compared to the UK population as a whole, the suicide rate was higher than expected among male, 'other ranks' under the age of 20.[499] However, MoD maintains that, given the low number of such deaths in the Armed Forces compared to the whole population, that higher rate is not statistically significant.[500] That assertion should be placed in context. Within the general population individuals are not in an environment in which they are supervised 24 hours a day, and in which an organisation has been given an explicit duty to look after them.

312. Dr Walton's research highlighted the prevalence of suicides in the Army involving firearms.[501] The likelihood of any individual committing suicide is partly dependent on their ease of access to and knowledge of an effective method. The Army have responded to this concern by limiting access to firearms if an individual is assessed as being at risk.[502]

313. Self-harm is distinct from a deliberate act of suicide, but it carries a significant risk of accidental suicide. Despite differences in the psychological and causal links between the two behaviours, the management of both behaviours is similar. Dr Walton made recommendations for suicide prevention and management, including the implementation of a suicide vulnerability questionnaire, systematic recording of the case histories of suicides, suicide awareness training and psychological autopsy.[503] The recommendation for a questionnaire which would assign a vulnerability score to each recruit led to the development of the Army's Suicide Voluntary Questionnaire and the preparation of risk statements for recruits.

314. The importance of training supervisory staff and medical staff has been highlighted by charities working to reduce suicide.[504] MoD has initiated training for supervisory and instructional staff on detecting signs of possible self harm or suicidal intent. Individuals are referred to medical staff or a civilian psychiatric nurse as soon as warning signs are identified.[505]

315. The Army Suicide Prevention Working Group was also established following the Walton studies, which is represented on a number of forums considering among others: improved medical and psychological screening of recruits; case studies of self-harm incidents; and research on recent suicides "to understand the issues involved and develop organisational responses".[506]

316. The group has instituted a pamphlet—'Suicide Prevention a Commanders Guide' which has been issued to all permanent staff at training establishments.[507] The group has developed suicide prevention information for recruits and trainees, which is included in the training syllabus.[508] Recruits and trainees are encouraged to report any indications among peers.[509] The Walton reports into Suicides in the British Army also highlighted the need to include suicide related material in staff training programmes.[510] Colonel Hawley found that, in relation to self-harm, military medical staff could be 'ambivalent' to those committed self-harm. He states that there is "a belief common in the military collective ethos that self-harm is unacceptable; it is a sign of individual weakness. Imbued with the military ethos such a set of beliefs may lead to a more dismissive attitude to those who have attempted suicide.[511] Colonel Hawley found that attempted suicide is more prevalent in young females.[512] At ITC Catterick, since 1998, there have been 144 reported cases of self harm.[513] Cases of self harm are referred to local community mental health teams for further assessment. The Community Health Team will advise commanders on employment restrictions and recommendations on appropriate medical grading will be made to the unit medical officer.[514]

317. Dr Walton recommended that a psychological autopsy technique should be adopted which involves looking into the background of victims of what are believed to be self-inflicted deaths to identify common features, possibly facilitating early recognition of vulnerable recruits in the future during the screening process.

318. There are many reasons why an individual may commit an act of self-harm or suicide, including homesickness, relationship problems, bullying and mental disorder. A sense of hopelessness is considered one of the most common factors in the decision to attempt suicide. Professor Hawton, Director of the Centre for Suicide Research, told us:

    Various processes contribute to an individual becoming vulnerable: 'such as feelings of hopelessness, pessimism that nothing will change in the future, feeling trapped in a situation and feeling powerless to do anything about it, loss of self esteem, shame, isolation, which may either be in reality, in the sense of being actually isolated from people around, or feeling isolated in a psychological sense and for whatever reason, being humiliating to share problems with other people or approach other people for help.'[515]

319. As discussed earlier in this report (paragraphs 91-96) effective screening for psychological vulnerability in applicants to the Armed Forces is not considered achievable. It has been suggested, however, that some measurable attributes, such as educational achievement can provide a useful indicator of vulnerability.[516] Professor Wessley told us that the arguments against trying to use screening to prevent military suicides are even more compelling than those against pre-deployment screening: principally that a major risk factor not amenable to screening is the availability of the means to achieve the end—access to firearms. Professor Wessley's view is that "Rather than concentrating on excluding people from risky backgrounds… a more sensible strategy is to consider increasing the support they receive in service".[517]

320. Evidence from PAPYRUS (Prevention of Suicides), highlighted the need to reduce the stigma attached to suicide and seeking psychological help. A study in the United States Air Force found that a range of interventions which focused on removing the stigma attached to seeking help for a mental health, or psychosocial problem, and on enhancing the general level of understanding of mental health had been successful in reducing both the incidence of suicide and other behaviours, such as family violence.[518]

321. Any part of the supervisory regime may identify someone at risk, the chaplain, WRVS, platoon staff, medical staff, military or civilian trainers as well as the Unit Welfare Officer. In addition recruits and trainees are encouraged to report any suicidal inclinations among their peers.[519] A risk assessment is carried out on anyone identified as being at risk and they are given extra supervision as required. Units have formal systems of recording and monitoring vulnerable and at risk students. A confidential register is maintained and reviewed at least monthly. The review is by an appropriate management group, possibly, but not necessarily, the Welfare Committee. A specific risk assessment is carried out before anyone on the list is placed on guard duty or given access to weapons and live ammunition.[520]

322. Although the effectiveness and benefits of screening for potential risk of suicide are in doubt, it is possible to identify and monitor those at higher risk on the basis of known risk factors. We note the inclusion of training for supervisors in the identification of risk factors and behaviours. We recommend that such training be extended and provided to all permanent staff at initial training establishments. We further recommend that recruits and trainees be trained to identify 'at risk' behaviour in their peers.

Access to firearms

323. Access to firearms is one of the aspects of Service training regime that involves a higher risk to the participants than is found in civilian life.[521] The ability to handle and use a weapon is a fundamental part of Service life. Recruits have access to firearms and live ammunition either when participating in firearms training on a range, or when undertaking armed guard duty.

324. Phase 2 trainees only undertake guard duty if they have completed the necessary training and tests; and they are only permitted to draw a weapon from the armoury if accompanied by an NCO.[522] Trainees due to be discharged, or considered to be at risk are not permitted to undertake guard duty.[523] Armed guard duty should only take place in pairs, rather than singly has occurred in the past.[524] The parents of Pte James Collinson referred to a discussion they had had in relation to their son 'borrowing' a weapon on the night he died:

    When we questioned how this could be permitted for a 17 year old to BORROW a weapon and ammunition, we were told "we don't know what these young lads get up to out there on their own".[525]

325. The Army's Learning Account recommended that the requirement to undertake guard duties should be spread as widely as possible across the trainee or soldier population, and detached guards should be visited regularly at stipulated internals by duty officer and NCO.[526]

326. The MoD should ensure that the regulations on access to firearms are clear, understood and implemented throughout initial training establishments.


327. Guard duty is a necessary part of training. If deployed to a demanding operational situation recent recruits will do guard duty. Their lives and their comrades' lives may depend on their alertness and reactions while on guard duty. Trainees therefore need to be taught how to handle firearms and to have had experience of guard duty. Nevertheless, trainees should not undertake guard duty unless they are trained to do so. Guard duty must only be undertaken by trainees in pairs and no trainee who has been identified as being at any level of risk should be allowed to take part in guard duty. If guard duty is a necessary training function it should be managed as part of training. Trainees should not be considered as manpower available to fulfil a need. Guard duty has a training value. It would not be appropriate to bar trainees from undertaking a role which they will probably have to conduct once they are deployed. We therefore recommend that trainees continue to undertake guard duty but do so only in pairs. The MoD should ensure that the guidance on guard duty is fully implemented at all initial training establishments. MoD must ensure that under 18 year olds do not undertake armed guard duty.


328. A consistent criticism from the families of recruits who died during their initial training is that the deaths of their children were not properly investigated. These families need to know that a properly conducted investigation has been undertaken as part of the process by which they may be able to come to terms with the death. It therefore is imperative for the Armed Forces to ensure that in conjunction with the proper and painstaking investigation of any death, the families are kept informed of progress and discuss with them any anomalies that may be thrown up by the investigation. Mr O'Connor told us that:


329. MoD is responsible for the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) and the Service Police Forces. The MDP's 3,800 officers are a civil Police Force, whose primary purpose is to combat the main crime and security risks faced by MoD. They do not usually act as a first responder to an incident at initial training establishments. The MDP have a policing protocol with the Home Department Police Forces, which sets out their working arrangements.[528] The protocol states that primary responsibility for the maintenance and enforcement of the criminal law throughout England and Wales rests with the chief officers of the Home Office Police Forces. In relation to the investigation of crime the Protocol states:

    The responsibility for the investigation of criminal offences committed within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence Police Act 1987 as amended by the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 will rest with the Chief Constable of the Ministry of Defence Police.

    However, in relation to any crime or suspected crime of terrorism, or any incident involving sudden deaths within Ministry of Defence property, that force will take any immediate action necessary whilst simultaneously informing the local Chief Constable. Thereafter, the local Chief Constable in consultation with the Chief Constable of the Ministry of Defence Police will determine how the investigation should proceed.

The protocol makes no specific reference to rape. Army Standing Orders, however, require a Commanding Officer to report to the civil police "any serious sexual assault which might afford grounds for a charge of rape".[529]

330. There are four Service Police (SP) forces in MoD: the Royal Military Police (RMP); the RAF Police; the Royal Navy Regulating Branch; and the Royal Marines Police. The SP are an integral part of the Military Criminal Justice System and their prime purposes are to support deployed military operations, maintain military discipline and police the Service community. The RMP provide policing support to the Army, and the majority of their work is general policing duties. The RMP has a Special Investigations Branch (SIB) which is the Army equivalent of the Criminal Investigation Department. The SIB deal with more serious crimes from serious assaults and fraud through to murder. The RAF and Royal Navy police forces have similar roles to the RMP and have their own SIBs. The SP are not covered by the protocol but in practice maintain the same division of responsibility with the Home Department Police Forces as the MDP. The Government have confirmed that MoD is working on producing more detailed and refined guidance for investigation of deaths at military establishments.[530]

331. The civilian police have primacy in cases of 'rape or above'.[531] The Commanding Officer, MoD or Services police may also call in the civilian police in other circumstances if they believe the case requires their assistance. Mr O'Connor told us that:

    the civil police will be involved in "deaths"—it does not prescribe it any longer to be just murder or suicide—you do not get yourself into the difficulty of pre-defining issues, so that you potentially define out your involvement, the civil police involvement. I think putting "death" in there is a good thing. It is better to put that in than the way it was framed previously. That has been helpful. I think that in the medium term there probably will be some debate about the civil police only involving themselves at rape or higher. That is a high tariff, given the nature of injuries and difficulties that can happen below that level, and I am sure there will be dynamic discussion (as they say) on that issue of at what point the civil police come into play.[532]

332. If the MDP or SP are leading in an inquiry they may call on civilian police resources, such as forensic services. The work of MDP or SP may be subject to peer review, which may be carried out by another MoD police force, or a civilian police force.[533]

333. Surrey Police have questioned whether the "SIB has sufficient independence" to provide reassurance to trainees "that should something happen to them the structures exist to allow them to report the matter and be confident it would be dealt with".[534] Certainly, the families we spoke to were not content with the standard of investigation into their children's deaths. Mrs Sharples told us that there had been no investigation into her son's death; there was no preservation of the scene of crime; and the gun that was assumed to have fired the fatal shot had been washed and put back on the rack without any forensic examination.[535] Mrs Mattin told us that she believed that the verdict in her son's death would have been different if the civilian police had investigated from the start; she considered it more likely that the scene of the incident would have been preserved and investigated more thoroughly.[536]

334. Mrs Farr said she had been told by North Yorkshire Police that they would be able to be at an incident in Catterick in 20 minutes. As she pointed out, unless there is a procedure to secure the area evidence can be lost or tampered with during that time.[537] On the discovery of a body, the first action should be to check for signs of life, take life saving measures if appropriate and to call the police. The scene should be preserved, unless there is a risk to life or limb, as a potential scene of crime. The investigative guidance sets out the procedures relating to preservation of the scene and retention of evidence and exhibits.[538] The guidance includes instructions for action taken before the arrival of the Services police. Unit and medical personnel will usually be the first to the scene and the guidance sets out the importance of maintaining the scene, and any evidence, such as a weapon, for subsequent examination by investigators.[539] It is not clear, however, how widely those instructions are disseminated, and whether, for example, all those in the guard room at a unit who would be expected to be the first to be informed of an incident would be fully aware of the imperative of protecting the scene and ensuring that evidence is not tampered with. We recommend that MoD ensure instructions are not only available to units, but are adhered to.

335. In the Deepcut deaths, Surrey Police have accepted that they should have maintained primacy.[540] The investigations into the deaths by the RMP have been criticised by the families and Surrey Police.[541] Mr James told us that the SIB investigating officers never spoke to him or his wife.[542] He went on to tell us that the investigation, inquest and Board of Inquiry all happened so soon after the death that, as parents, the process was completed while the shock of the loss of their child made it impossible for them to start thinking coherently about the investigative process.[543] The work of the Surrey Policy is being peer reviewed by Devon and Cornwall police.

336. The Royal Military Police have told us that in the past there was too great a readiness to assume that a non-combat death was a suicide. They told us that following the Deepcut deaths they have revised their guidance to reinforce the need for investigators to 'think murder' at the outset. The Deepcut parents told us that, within hours of their children's deaths, they were told that they had committed suicide.[544] Mr Collinson told us that when he telephoned Deepcut barracks following his son's death, to ask about the investigation, he was told "There is one body, one bullet; draw your own conclusion".[545]

337. MoD guidance relating to investigations of 'Suspected Suicide' states:

    Service Police should exercise best practice by assuming the worst-case scenario, thereby viewing cases as murder until proved otherwise. It follows that all such cases should be treated as major incidents from the outset…[546]

That statement is preceded in the guidance by the revealing phrase:

    In the current climate of accountability and public awareness, investigations by Service Police into cases of sudden death where suicide is suspected have become more exacting and require a co-ordinated approach.[547]

338. Confidence in the investigation of an incident is essential. We note that the Service Police have emphasised the need to "think murder". Nevertheless, previous failings on the part of both civil and military police forces cannot pass without comment. The lack of transparency in the investigative process and its outcome has fuelled the disquiet surrounding incidents. In relation to the Deepcut investigations, we recommend as full a disclosure of information as possible. We would encourage the publication of Devon and Cornwall's Police's review of the Surrey Police investigation.

339. We note the MoD's intention to agree a protocol between the Home Department Police Forces and the Service Police. MoD and the Home Office should consider whether that protocol and the existing protocol with Ministry of Defence Police should extend the offences for which civilian police should have primacy. We consider that the protocols may establish a presumption of civil police primacy for allegations of grievous bodily harm or sexual assault. We expect MoD to conclude the new protocol and amend the existing protocol as a matter of urgency. We expect MoD's response to our report to indicate when those changes are to be implemented.

340. We note the curious wording of MoD guidance, which refers to the "current climate of accountability and public awareness". We strongly recommend that MoD redraft this guidance to remove any suggestion that investigations into cases of sudden death should be exacting only because of the current spotlight on such cases.


341. An Armed Forces' Board of Inquiry (BOI) is an internal process convened for Service reasons to determine how a serious incident happened and why, and to make recommendations to prevent a recurrence. It is not a court of law, although those appearing before it to give evidence are entitled by law to have legal representation. Since the principal aim is to prevent recurrence of an incident, the BOI does not apportion blame to individuals. The BOI usually takes place quite soon after an incident, depending on the availability of witnesses. A BOI cannot force a witness to answer any questions that may incriminate him or her. Serving personnel may be ordered to attend Inquiries. Civilian witnesses, including former Service personnel cannot be compelled to attend nor are they bound to answer questions. MoD proposes to include a power to subpoena civilian witnesses to a BOI in the Tri-Service Armed Forces Bill. It has been usual practice not to disclose the official record of a BOI, however, MoD has stated that it is now policy to make copies of the Board of Inquiry report available to the next of kin if they so wish. However, such copies may be redacted to declassify them and to remove names, addresses and other sensitive information, but not to alter the facts.

342. In the case of some of the Catterick deaths, families had not been informed whether or not there would be a Board of Inquiry.[548] The families were not told where or when a BOI would take place, or why, if there was to be no BOI, that decision had been taken.[549] Nor where they given the opportunity to attend.[550] Colonel Eccles told us: "It is not a public activity and it is held internally. Now in very sensitive cases, and we are aware of this, there may be an occasion when a member of the family has something to add to the Board of Inquiry".[551] We have considered aspects of the Board of Inquiry procedure further in our report on the Tri-Service Armed Forces Bill.

343. Next of kin and other interested parties should be made aware of the time and location of a Board of Inquiry as early as possible, irrespective of whether they have expressed a wish to attend. We are disappointed that MoD has taken the view that next of kin should be allowed to attend Boards of Inquiry only in exceptional circumstances. We consider that the presumption should be that next of kin should be allowed to attend and only in exceptional circumstances should they not be. Where the deceased is under 18 the parents, whether or not named as next of kin, should be included.

344. We believe that there should be a presumption that the Report of a Board of Inquiry should be provided to the next of kin as a matter of course. The appropriate liaison officer should brief the next of kin on the content of the Board of Inquiry, and explain distressing or technical issues to them.


345. Coroners in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Procurator Fiscal in Scotland have the absolute responsibility and authority to hold inquests into the death of any person who dies in their area of jurisdiction or where a body is repatriated to that jurisdiction. The purpose of the inquest is to establish the identity of the deceased, and where, when and how he or she came to their death. The Coroner is permitted to conduct a wider examination of the circumstances of the death but may not determine liability or apportion blame. Nevertheless, the inquest may serve in certain key respects to identify deficiencies in public systems, and the Coroner is entitled under Rule 43 of the Coroner's Rules 1984 to report to a person or authority action that should be taken to prevent recurrence of similar fatalities.

346. Interested parties, including parents and spouses of the deceased are entitled to examine witnesses at the inquest and make legal submissions. Mr Ingram told us "remember that the Coroner's inquest is a judicial process by which this is done. That is where the family's legal protection sits, maybe not legal protection but the legal entitlement sits to get that examined".[552] There is, however, no public funding for legal representation at an inquest.[553] There is no right of appeal from an inquest.[554] The parents of Pte Geoff Gray described arriving at the inquest to be handed the witness statements to read in ten minutes.[555] Ms Sharples told us that her son's inquest lasted ten minutes, and no statements were read out.[556] Other witnesses from Catterick told us of inconsistencies and few witnesses at inquests.[557] MoD have now established a procedure which means the Casualty Visiting Officer will be present at the inquest to assist the family of the deceased.[558] We are concerned by the evidence we have heard on the conduct of Coroner's inquests and Procurator Fiscal's investigations. We are aware that improvements have been made and Coroners are becoming more professional. We expect inquests into non-combat deaths at initial training establishments to be conducted to the highest standards.

347. The Minster argued:

    In terms of the Coroner's inquest, and I have been trying to encourage—there is one inquest still awaited into one of the four deaths. I have been trying to say that that would be helpful because by my definition that is a public forum; it is a public inquiry. It will go into all of these areas. People have the right to legal representation, witnesses can come forward, they can examine all of these issues. That is a matter for the Coroner.[559]

348. We cannot agree with the Minister's assertion that a Coroner's inquest (or Procurator Fiscal's investigation) is equivalent to a public inquiry. In the light of the evidence we have received from the families that their children's inquests were 'a shambles', it is clear that in these cases at least they did not meet the families' needs and expectations.

349. Surrey Police's written evidence refers to the use of Rule 43 Inquest Findings. The police give examples relating to access to firearms and alcohol consumption in which Rule 43 notifications were or could have been issued by the Coroner. MoD, however, has not collated Rule 43 notifications and cannot provide an account of the how many it has received or the responses to them.[560]

350. Investigative procedures need to be, and need to be seen to be, independent and effective in order to provide confidence in the system. Despite the primacy of civilian police in serious incidents, concerns remain about the immediate response at training establishments to ensure that all possible evidence is retained and preserved.

Treatment of bereaved families

351. The three Services have similar casualty notification regulations and procedures. All personnel complete an emergency contact, or next of kin form on which they nominate the person or persons to be contacted initially in the event of death or serious injury. The nominated person will usually be the parents, particularly for under 18 year olds, although the choice rests with the individual.[561] If the soldier's parents are divorced, or there are other circumstances that should be reflected on the next of kin notification the implications should be explained to the soldier. The next of kin form is updated annually as part of the unit Administrative Inspection and soldiers should notify the Administrative office if there are any changes of circumstance.

352. Currently the onus is on Services personnel to ensure that their emergency contact and next of kin details are accurate and up to date. There is room for common sense to be applied to this procedure, however, and the Armed Forces need to review its next of kin, emergency contact form to take account of circumstances that may not have been reflected on an individuals form, such as parents splitting up. MoD told us that personnel were asked to update the form on an annual basis, but the seriousness of ensuring accurate information may not have been communicated to personnel. The form could list marital status and living arrangements and may more usefully say who should not be contacted rather than who should be.

353. We recommend the Armed Forces redraft the next of kin forms to take account of potentially complex parental relationships. Consideration should be given to a section that explicitly states if certain people are not to be contacted directly by the Services. The procedures for briefing soldiers on the implications of what they write on the form should be reviewed to ensure that they fully understand what will happen in the event of certain individuals being included or excluded.

354. The Army have told us that liaison with the family of a casualty is through a Casualty Notification Officer and Casualty Visiting Officer. The Casualty Notification Officer (CNO) is nominated by a unit's Divisional Headquarters. The CNO is briefed on the details of the incident; they are not allowed to speculate about the circumstances surrounding the incident. The next of kin is identified from the Emergency Contact card. In the Army, the CNO should be of the rank of Captain or above, serving or retired, and should be "If possible, experienced in notification".[562] The CNO makes the initial visit to inform the next of kin of a death or serious injury and arranges a further visit with the Casualty Visiting Officer (CVO) who provides support and acts as liaison with MoD on matters such as pensions, welfare services, and the funeral. In some cases the RMP or civil police may appoint a family liaison officer. The CVO should also inform the next of kin of details of the incident identified in the Learning Account. The Learning Account is produced within 48 hours of an incident and provides recommendations and actions to prevent an immediate recurrence.[563] The Commanding Officer of the deceased should remain in contact with the Casualty Notification and Visiting Officers. A senior officer will be responsible for the treatment of an individual family and should ensure that families are treated properly.[564]

355. The Royal Navy and RAF have similar procedures in place, although they vary in the precise roles, and requirements. In the Royal Navy, for example the initial notification is made by an officer who is normally accompanied by a chaplain or family social worker, and subsequent visits are made by officers responsible for arranging the funeral, and for dealing with issues such as pay and pensions. The Royal Navy's guidance specifically refers to the need to keep the family informed of the progress of any investigation or BOI.[565]

356. Some of the families who provided us with evidence were critical of the way in which they were informed of their children's death. For example, Mrs Mattin told us that she heard the circumstances of her son's death on the radio, and Mrs James told us that her daughter's grandparents almost heard the news on the television, before they could inform them in person.[566] Mrs Elaine Higgins told us she was informed of her son's death by somebody who seemed both ill-suited and inadequately trained for the task. Mr Gray told us "You have got to have facts before you can go to a parent and tell them what has happened with their son"; and Mr James said:

    I think the one thing that is common amongst anyone experiencing bereavement is their quest for answers, even the most basic answers in our case. We wanted to know what she was doing on the day before, who she was talking to, what she was talking about; and we will never know that now. I think there is a need for a professional—someone referred to a family liaison officer, and I do not know what we would call that person, but there needs to be a professional person, a single point contact—a key account manager or call it what you will—but one person who is responsible from A to Z for the communication with those parents until they are through that immediate process.[567]

357. The difficulties that can arise when families have split up was highlighted during our meeting with families on 2nd December 2004. Ms McManus told us that she had not been informed by the Army of her son's death, nor had she been informed about the Board of Inquiry. Similarly, Mrs Gray described how, because she had not signed her son's enlistment papers, the CNO had initially refused to tell her what had happened.[568] The Minister told us: "This is a most difficult area because if someone said 'That is my next of kin, and I do not want you to communicate with someone else in my family' we have to honour the views and wishes of the dead".[569] He went on to say:

    If we tread over that and we start communicating to other members of the family because we are trying to be over-compassionate, people will say "They have no right, they have no ownership of that grief". This happens all the time and the people who have to manage this are put into a very invidious position. It is not unique to the Army, it is anyone who has to deal with those sets of circumstances, whom do you speak to, how do you communicate, who are you offending by not speaking to or who are offending by speaking to. This is very problematic.[570]

358. Mrs Farr told us how important it was for a bereaved parent to maintain contact with the Army, not only to satisfy oneself that any investigation or inquiry is being properly conducted, but also as part of the process of grieving.[571] However, Mrs Mattin summed up the Army's approach, saying "We are not important, they want us to GO AWAY, and that is how we are treated from the minute it happens, 'Go away'. They just do not want to know".[572] The parents of Pte James had had no contact with the Commanding Officer at Deepcut barracks, and they had no contact with an officer from the barracks until their daughter's funeral.[573]

359. The Deepcut families highlighted deficiencies in the family care provided by the Army. Specific complaints related to:

  • No single point of contact resulting in mixed messages being given.
  • Insensitive way that some of the contact was made.
  • Long periods of time between contact.
  • The way that some personal effects of the deceased were destroyed.
  • The manner in which the remaining personal effects were returned to the families.[574]
  • Inability to obtain, or difficulty in obtaining official records relating to their children.[575]

360. The treatment of bereaved families for personnel killed in action was considered by the Committee in its report Lessons of Iraq. In that report our principal concern related to the timing of families being informed about a casualty. We noted that MoD recognised the informing the next of kin should be 'timely and sympathetic to the needs of the family'.[576] It is unfortunate, therefore, that we have to conclude that the level of support given to the families of those who die in non-combat circumstances falls well short of what is provided to families of combat casualties. It seems that the established procedures for informing next of kin, and supporting bereaved relatives were ignored in the cases presented to us.

361. We accept that it is not always possible to ensure those who are appointed as Casualty Notification Officers have received appropriate training. We recommend that MoD ensure that Casualty Notification Officers receive appropriate briefing before informing the next of kin, and that such briefing takes account of the failings that have occurred in the past. We further recommend that all Casualty Visiting Officers are trained in appropriate counselling techniques. Casualty Visiting Officers should also be able to advise families on all aspects of the investigative processes, including the Coroner's inquest (or Procurator Fiscal's investigations) and Board of Inquiry. Casualty Visiting Officers should, as a matter of course, provide families with advice on the appropriate bodies to which they can turn for financial and legal assistance for those processes.


362. Many of our witnesses from the families, both in the formal evidence sessions and the informal meeting stressed the suffering they had been caused by the manner in which their children's belongings had been returned.[577] The main complaints related to items not being returned; and the manner in which those effects that were returned, had been delivered. The items that were not returned included expensive pieces of electrical equipment—which were assumed to have been stolen from the deceased, as well as personal items such as deodorant.[578] Such apparently mundane items are important—as Mrs Farr told us "they do not send half bottles of aftershave back… that is the smell of your child. You need that…".[579] Private letters were also not returned in some cases, along with photographs and other papers.[580]

363. The families told us of several problems with the return of personal items. Mrs Higgins told us that when her son, Aled's possessions were to be returned from Germany she had waited in all day for the delivery, which did not come. Her son's possessions were eventually left in a box on her neighbour's doorstep. There had been no inventory listing the contents of the box, and many items were missing, including her son's watch. When Aled's watch was returned, she told us that it had not been cleaned and was still covered in blood. The parents of Pte Collinson had had no notice of the return of their son's possessions.[581] Several of the parents, including Mr and Mrs James referred to items missing, including their daughter's diary.[582] All of the parents said that there was no inventory provided with the personal items, and that the items appeared to have been "thrown into the box" rather than being packed with any care.[583] Several of the parents referred to other items missing, or the wrong items being returned.[584] For example, Mr Collinson told us:

    James had just passed his driving test and he was very proud of that, and as parents we never even got the chance to see his full driving licence, they took it upon themselves to destroy it. […] his iron was missing, his radio was missing; a lot of his belongings were not there.

His wife added:

    I think it would be fair to make the point though that some weeks after that we made a bit of a noise about the condition of James's things when they came back, and so we got a letter from Colonel Laden, who was the Commanding Officer at Deepcut at the time, assuring us that the same thing would never happen again; that the Army were going to make changes and that they would be much more considerate in the way that they returned the belongings of the deceased.[585]

364. The procedures for return of belongings were revised in 2000 following complaints from bereaved families.[586] Items such as partly-used aerosols are now to be returned to the family, as are documents such as passports. Any items that might cause distress, such as letters from a girlfriend if the individual was married, are to be logged and stored so that they can be returned if requested. The deceased's clothing should not be laundered unless requested, or required for medical reasons. The unit is required to prepare full inventories of the personal effects. Guidance has also been given to improve the packing and delivery arrangements.[587]

365. The way in which personal items were returned to those families who gave evidence to us was unacceptable and contributed considerable additional distress. The procedures in place at the time were clearly not followed. We welcome the improvements in the procedures that MoD has made. It is essential, however, that MoD not only ensure that the revised procedures are followed in all cases, but that they are also implemented with sensitivity and an awareness of the distress that can be caused.

375   DOC (2), para 7; DOC (3). Back

376   Ev 420 Back

377   Ev 458-459 Back

378   Ev 296-301 Back

379   Qq 133ff; Ev 327, 368; HC Deb, 4 February 2003, col 21 WH.  Back

380   Qq 133, 140 Back

381   HC Deb, 20 December 2004, col 1373W Back

382   Q 69 Back

383   Ev 291 Back

384   Ev 291-294 Back

385   Ibid Back

386   Q 137 Back

387   Q 134 Back

388   Q 440 Back

389   Q 1210 Back

390   Q 89 Back

391   Q 1358 Back

392   Ibid Back

393   Ev 280 Back

394   Ibid Back

395   Q 215 Back

396   Q 389 Back

397   Continuous Attitude Survey Back

398   Q 868 Back

399   DOC (1), para 71 Back

400   DOC (3), para 7; Qq 868, 874 Back

401   HC Deb, 10 May 2004, col 31. Back

402   Ev 299 Back

403   Ibid Back

404   Q 1362 Back

405   Surrey Police Final Report, para 4.18; Ev 424ff Back

406   Ev 427ff. We have been told that of the allegations contained in the annexes to the Surrey Police's memorandum, in two cases so far the individuals concerned had agreed to be interviewed by the Royal Military Police, and neither of those cases related to substantial allegations that could progress. Back

407   Ev 424 Back

408   Q 1018 Back

409   Ev 300-301 Back

410   Continuous Attitude Survey Back

411   Ev 300-301 Back

412   Ibid Back

413   Continuous Attitude Survey Back

414   Ev 296 Back

415   DOC (2), para 17 Back

416   HC Deb, 21 December 2004, col 1693W Back

417   Q 1309 Back

418   Q 1309. The figure of 14% is based on the 2002-03 British Crime Survey figure for bullying at work in the protected services. Back

419   Ev 424 Back

420   Qq 133, 138 Back

421   Qq 868ff; DOC (1), para 75. Back

422   Q 1360. See also Q 868. Back

423   See paragraphs 5 and 6. See also Minutes of evidence Defence Committee, Session 1986-87, Ethnic monitoring and the Armed Forces, HC 163; HC 410 (1986-87); Second Report from the Defence Committee, Session1995-96, Manning and Recruitment, HC 69, para 35; HC 138 (1997-98), para 374; HC 29-I (2000-01), paras 35-47; HC 143 (1995-96), para 29.  Back

424   HC Deb, 10 January 2005, col 66W. Royal Navy: 870 males, 120 females; Army: 7,280 males, 770 females; RAF 1,150 males, 170 females. Back

425   DOC (2), para 15. Back

426   "Soldier's £171,000 from the Army for 'Bubba' racial slur", The Times, 3 February 2005. Back

427   Continuous Attitude Survey Back

428   Ministry of Defence, Defence Analytical Services Agency, September 2004.  Back

429   Continuous Attitude Survey Back

430   HC Deb, 17 January 2005, col 738W. Back

431   Continuous Attitude Survey Back

432   HC 29-I (2000-01), para 128 Back

433   HC 462 (2000-01), para 43 Back

434   Q 353 Back

435   DOC (2), para 23. Back

436   Ev 229-236 Back

437   DOC (2), para 23. Back

438   Ibid, para 30 Back

439   Ministry of Defence, Army Training and Recruitment Agency, ATRA Code of Practice for Instructors Back

440   Ev 275ff Back

441   Ibid Back

442   Ibid Back

443   Qq 929-931, 991, 998-1002 Back

444   Q 1006 Back

445   Q 739 Back

446   Qq 848-849 Back

447   Qq 1307-1309 Back

448   Ev 424 Back

449   Q 1312 Back

450   Qq 1027-1032 Back

451   Army's Values and Standards Back

452   Ev 393 Back

453   Army's Values and Standards, para 7. Back

454   Ibid, para 19 Back

455   Ibid, para 20 Back

456   Ibid, para 23 Back

457   Q 682 Back

458   Q 175 Back

459   Ev 424-425 Back

460   Ibid Back

461   Ev 424-425 Back

462   Q 152 Back

463   Q 158 Back

464   Q 221 Back

465   Ev 296ff Back

466   Q 353 Back

467   Army's Values and Standards, para 34. Back

468   Ibid Back

469   Ev 291, 301 Back

470   DOC (2), para 30. Back

471   Continuous Attitude Survey Back

472   Ibid Back

473   Ibid Back

474   Ibid Back

475   Ev 299 Back

476   Continuous Attitude Survey Back

477   Ev 275 Back

478   Ibid Back

479   Ibid Back

480   Ev 276 Back

481   Ibid Back

482   Q 830 Back

483   Ev 276 Back

484   Ibid Back

485   Q 1363 Back

486   Ev 308, 310 Back

487   Ibid Back

488   Ev 308 Back

489   See Second Report from the Defence Committee (2004-05), The Tri-Service Armed Forces Bill, HC 64. Back

490   Ev 309 Back

491   Qq 818-832 Back

492   HC Deb, 4 February 2003, col 20WH Back

493   Ev 322ff Back

494   Ibid. Suicide and Open Verdict Deaths among Males in the UK Regular Armed Forces, 1984-2003, N Blatchley, V Ward, N Fear, Defence Analytical Services Agency, August 2004, hereinafter Suicide and Open Deaths. Suicide and Open Deaths found that males in the Army had higher mortality rate for suicides than those in the Navy and in the RAF. The rates in the Army for those aged under 25 years, but not for those in older age-groups, were statistically significantly higher than equivalent rates in the other two Services. Back

495   Ev 324, another three deaths were awaiting verdicts. Back

496   Ibid Back

497   Ibid. Nineteen soldiers died at the Catterick Garrison between 1995 and 2001, seven of these were at the ITC.ITC Catterick trains approximately 9,000 young men a year; between about 1,700 and 2,100 are resident in any one month. At March 2003, there had been, since 1990, five deaths at Catterick Garrison which received Coroner's verdicts of suicide, one of which involved fire-arms. There have been a further three Open verdict deaths at the Garrison, two of which were fire-arm related. See also HC Deb, 7 January 2003, col 43W. Back

498   Ev 424-427 Back

499   Suicide in the British Army, Part 1: Prevalence and Methods, December 1996, Suzy Walton, MoD para 4.1; Suicide and Open Deaths, p 6. Back

500   Ev 324-325 Back

501   Suicide in the British Army, Part 1: Prevalence and Methods, December 1996, Suzy Walton, MoD; Suicide and Open Verdict Deaths among Males in the UK Regular Armed Forces, 1984-2002: Methods Used to Commit Suicide, V. Ward and N. Fear, Defence Analytical Services Agency, July 2004, para 3.1ff. Back

502   Ev 311, 320, 364-365 Back

503   Suicide in the British Army, Part 3, Development of a suicide vulnerability questionnaire, July 1997, S N Walton, MoD; Suicide in the British Army, Part 4, Validation and Modification of the suicide vulnerability questionnaire, May 1998, S Walton, MoD; Suicide in the British Army, Part 5, Suicide prevention and management, September 1998, S Walton, MoD, hereinafter Suicide in the British Army, Part 5. Back

504   Ev 387-388 Back

505   Ev 365 Back

506   Ev 311 Back

507   Ev 365 Back

508   Ev 311 Back

509   Ev 365 Back

510   Suicide in the British Army, Part 5. Back

511   A study of attempted suicide in the Army: 10 years of experience 1987 to 1996, Lieutenant Colonel Hawley, October 1998, p 34. Back

512   Ibid Back

513   Ev 370 Back

514   Ev 311-312 Back

515   Q 404 Back

516   See Screening for vulnerability to psychological disorders. Back

517   Risk, Psychiatry and the Military Back

518   Risk of suicide and related adverse outcomes after exposure to a suicide prevention programme in the US Air Force: cohort study, Kerry L Knox, David A Litts, G Wayne Talcott, Jill Catalano Feig, Eric D Caine, British Medical Journal, Volume 327, 13 December 2003, see Back

519   Ev 294 Back

520   Ibid Back

521   Ev 421 Back

522   Q 112 Back

523   Qq 117, 119, Ev 319-320, 364 Back

524   Q 119 Back

525   Ev 385 Back

526   Ev 364 Back

527   Q 740 Back

528   Home Office Circular 24/2002, which was implemented on 3 May 2002, sets out the relationship between the Ministry of Defence Police and the Home Office police forces. It replaces HOC 17/1999 dated 25 March 1999 following he enactment of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 which amended the Ministry of Defence Police Act 1987 and provides for the Ministry of Defence Police to act outside MOD property in certain circumstances. Back

529   Ev 326 Back

530   HC Deb, 4 February 2003, col 20WH. Back

531   Qq 716, 1296; Ev 316-317 Back

532   Q 715 Back

533   Q 1297 Back

534   Ev 421 Back

535   Q 964 Back

536   Qq 1060-1061. See also Qq 1062, 1071-1072 Back

537   Q 1073 Back

538   Ev 316-319 Back

539   Ev 316 Back

540   Qq 1293, 1372-1373 Back

541   Qq 716, 1144, 1177, 1205, 1224-1227 Back

542   Q 1128 Back

543   Q 1137 Back

544   Qq 1244-1246; Ev 390 Back

545   Q 1179 Back

546   Ev 317 Back

547   Ibid Back

548   Q 964 Back

549   Qq 964-967, 969-970 Back

550   Q 968, 970 Back

551   Q 1386 Back

552   Q 1387 Back

553   Applications may be made to the Lord Chancellor's Department for Exceptional Funding. Back

554   The Coroner's decision may be challenged by way of a judicial review, or applications to the Divisional Court or the High Court under the Human Rights Act 1998. Back

555   Q 1228 Back

556   Qq 1003-1005 Back

557   Q 1005 Back

558   Q 1391 Back

559   Q 1293 Back

560   Ev 425-426 Back

561   HC Deb, 10 January 2005, col 67 W. Back

562   Ev 328 Back

563   Q 1329; Ev 339 Back

564   Ev 328 Back

565   Ev 329 Back

566   Qq 1064-1066, 1177 Back

567   Q 1177 Back

568   Qq 1147-1152 Back

569   Q 1382 Back

570   Q 1383 Back

571   Qq 932, 982, 1035 Back

572   Q 970 Back

573   Ev 389 Back

574   Ev 421 Back

575   Qq 946-961 Back

576   HC 57-I (2003-04) para 316. Back

577   Qq 961, 1120, 1122-1126, 1134 Back

578   Qq 961, 1125; Ev 387 Back

579   Q 961 Back

580   Qq 961, 1119-1122, 1132 Back

581   Ev 387 Back

582   Qq 1119-1122, 1125, 1132, 1134, 1139 Back

583   Q 1122 Back

584   Qq 1122, 1124, 1125, 1134 Back

585   Q 1125 Back

586   Ev 330-332 Back

587   Ibid Back

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