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Absent Without Leave

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armed forces personnel went absent without leave in each month of 2008. (253715)

Records held centrally on service personnel who have gone absent without leave (AWOL) relate to the number of incidents reported, not to the number of personnel. Information about the number of incidents of AWOL reported monthly in the Army is not held centrally.

The following table shows AWOL statistics for the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force for each month of 2008, and the total number of AWOL incidents reported in the Army for 2008.

Incidents of reported AWOL

Royal Navy

Army

Royal Air Force

January

10

1

February

10

0

March

5

0

April

5

1

May

10

1

June

20

0

July

15

1

August

10

0

September

15

0

October

10

0

November

5

1

December

10

0

Total

125

2,105

5

Notes:

1. All figures are rounded to the nearest five.

2. All three services record AWOL statistics by the number of incidences of AWOL rather than the number of people who have gone AWOL, so there may be a number of people who are represented more than once in these figures. While the figures reflect the number of reports of AWOL, it may come to light later that there are extenuating circumstances and therefore does not reflect the number of personnel who went on to be formally charged with AWOL.