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Trained Personnel

Volume 408: debated on Friday 11 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many trained personnel have gone absent without leave in each of the services in each of the last five years. [115098]

The information available is shown in the following tables. Data are captured using different methods for each of the three services, therefore the figures are not directly comparable on a Tri-Service basis. Figures are based only on trained personnel.

Naval Service1,2
1 January to 31 DecemberNumber reported AWOL
1 These figures relate to Royal Navy only.
2 A warrant is issues on the 7th day of absence unless it is known that an individual will be absent before the 7th, day in which case a warrant is issued sooner. Once a warrant is issued the individual is classed as AWOL
Financial YearNumber reported AWOL
1 Only one officer was found to be AWOL during the period in question, consequently the table only shows other ranks.
2 A person is classed as AWOL if he/she does not report for duty on a particular day. If the person has still not reported for duty after 21 days, a Board of Inquiry will meet to investigate the absence, it will then decide whether to class the person as AWOL. This will then be backdated to start from the first day of absence.
Royal Air Force1,2,3
Financial YearNumber reported AWOL
1 An individual who is reported AWOL on more than one occasion within the same calendar year is counted once in the year they were reported absent.
2 An individual who reported AWOL in one calendar year and is still absent in the following year is counted in the year they were reported absent.
3 The table does not address specific categories within AWOL. A person is classified as AWOL if they did not report for duty on a particular day. However after they have failed to report for duty for 23 days, a Board of Inquiry can declare the individual "illegally absent" (there has been only one illegal absentee in each of the financial years and they are included in the figures). Service personnel do not become deserters until either it is known they are not going to return voluntarily and/or are subsequently arrested and found guilty of desertion at court martial.