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Armed Forces: Casualty Reporting

Volume 454: debated on Thursday 14 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the standard operating procedure is for casualty reporting for the armed forces. (105715)

The operating procedures for casualty reporting are contained in the Joint Service Publication 751 “Joint Casualty and Compassionate Policy and Procedures”, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps have been taken to improve UK military casualty reporting since the commencement of operations in Afghanistan. (105718)

The MOD is committed to openly publishing casualty statistics on the number of service personnel killed and wounded on operations. Information on casualties sustained since January 2006 in Afghanistan is available on our website:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets

Since 28 October 2006 we have been able to provide data on the personnel admitted to medical facilities as a result of disease, as well as for non-battle injury. This additional reporting has been brought about by improvements in tracking of this category of personnel, and brings the reporting of statistics for casualties in Afghanistan into line with reporting for casualties in Iraq.

Furthermore, since 28 October 2006 improvements in the way the data are recorded in theatre, and collated and analysed back in the UK have made it possible for updates to be provided every two weeks (two weeks in arrears), rather than monthly (one month in arrears).

Historic data on casualties which occurred in Afghanistan before 1 January 2006 have now been collated and are currently being reconciled. I will write to the hon Member when this exercise has been completed.