Data from nationally representative surveys of some 2,000 sentenced prisoners near release in all prisons in England and Wales conducted in 2001, 2003 and 2004 show the proportion of prisoners who had previously served in the armed forces as 6 per cent., 4 per cent. and 5 per cent. respectively.
Information relating to prisoners in Scotland and in Northern Ireland is a matter for Scottish Executive and the Northern Ireland Prison Service respectively.
These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.