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Armed Forces: Intimidation

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the recent Continuous Attitude Survey findings relating to bullying and harassment in the armed forces. (137775)

These surveys demonstrate that we are listening to our armed forces personnel. Like any good employer, we need to monitor the long-term perceptions of our people so that we can review our policies.

Harassment and bullying are unacceptable in the armed forces, because of their impact on individuals, team cohesion and thus operational effectiveness. The armed forces are committed to raising awareness that bullying and harassment will not be tolerated, and allegations will be thoroughly investigated and action taken, where appropriate.

The armed forces have entered into formal agreements with the Commission for Racial Equality to promote racial equality and take action to prevent racial harassment and discrimination and, with the Equal Opportunities Commission to prevent and deal with sexual harassment. They also have a range of work in hand in response to the Adult Learning Inspectorate report on “Safer Training”, the HCDC’s report on Duty of Care and Sir Nicholas Blake’s report on the death at the Princess Royal Barracks Deepcut.