To ask the Secretary of State for Defence why live ammunition was stored at Scorriton Down in the Dartmoor national park; what precautions were taken to protect it; how much was stored there; when the theft was discovered; and if he will make a statement.
Scorriton Down lies in an area used extensively for military training during the second world war. The range was closed in 1947 and clearance work lasted until 1949, at which time the land was returned to the owners. Since the equipment used to locate the munitions at that time was not as effective as its more modern counterparts, some items remained undetected until the discovery last year of some live ammunition. The Royal Engineers were then called upon to conduct what has proved to be a lengthy clearance operation.During the course of this clearance operation foolhardy members of the public have, quite contrary to common sense, and at considerable risk to themselves and others, deliberately dug up and removed four items of old
|Ministry of Defence United Kingdom based civilian staff|
|1 January 1988||1 January 1980||1 January 1979|
|Number of staff||Percentage of total||Number of staff||Percentage of total||Number of staff||Percentage of total|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||5,893·0||4·1||7,834·0||3·6||7,749·0||3·4|
munitions. These stolen items have since been recovered and destroyed, along with all other munitions found on the site to date.
In the light of this incident the Army is reviewing its operating procedures. Pending the outcome of this review, clearance work on Scorriton Down has ceased and the police have been informed of this. I shall write further to my hon. Friend once the review of procedures is complete.