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Raf Bases

Volume 403: debated on Tuesday 8 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what powers can be exercised by, and what rules of engagement apply to, the US National Guard in the event of unauthorised persons being found within RAF bases where the US National Guard is present. [107231]

Where American National Guards have been deployed on RAF bases made available to the United States Visiting Forces, they can exercise the same range of powers as all (United Kingdom and United States) Service personnel in dealing with unauthorised persons found within that base. For instance, although they do not have the powers of arrest, they may detain and hold such persons using the minimum force necessary, until a police officer, who has powers of arrest, arrives.It is not our practice to comment on Rules of Engagement and that information is withheld under Exemption 1 (Defence, Security and International Relations) of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many prosecutions under the RAF Menwith Hill byelaws have been (a) initiated, (b) subsequently dropped, (c) pursued unsuccessfully and (d) pursued successfully in each year since 1996; and if he will make a statement. [107233]

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 4 November 2002, Official Report, columns 67–68W, which provided details of the number of police reports produced from 1996 to November 2002. The total number of reports with a view to prosecution prepared by the Ministry of Defence Police at RAF Menwith Hill during financial year 2002–03 was seven. Prosecutions are a matter for my noble and Learned Friend the Attorney General.