Exposing Walter Mitty: The Awards for Valour (Protection) Bill Contents


1.The Awards for Valour (Protection) Bill, a Private Members Bill sponsored by Gareth Johnson MP, was presented in the House of Commons on 29 June 2016. The summary of the Bill published alongside it at First Reading declares it to be “a Bill to prohibit the wearing or public display, by a person not entitled to do so, of medals or insignia awarded for valour, with the intent to deceive”. The Bill is scheduled to receive its Second Reading on 25 November 2016.1

2.We decided to examine the thematic and policy issues behind this Private Members Bill, the extent of the problem that it seeks to address, whether acts of deception in relation to military decorations are worthy of criminalisation, and the nature and scope of criminal offences that might be created by the Bill.

3.We held a single oral evidence session on 6 September 2016, taking evidence from Mr Johnson and other expert witnesses to explore some of the themes identified above. As well as receiving written evidence from the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Justice, we were pleased to receive written contributions from Service charities who work closely with serving and former members of the Armed Forces and their families. Their perspective on several matters surrounding the legislation has been particularly useful. We are grateful to all who have contributed to this inquiry.

1 HC Deb, 29 June 2016, col 341

16 November 2016