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Ministerial Corrections

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 16 September 2009

Ministerial Corrections

The following Ministerial Corrections were received between Tuesday 15 September and Wednesday 16 September 2009

Defence

Absent Without Leave

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what percentage of service personnel (a) went absent without leave and (b) deserted in each of the last 10 years.

[Official Report, 9 February 2009, Vol. 487, c. 1525-26W.]

Letter of correction from Mr. Kevan Jones:

Errors have been identified in the written answer given to the hon. Member for North Wiltshire (Mr. Gray) on 9 February 2009. In the second table recording the number of service personnel convicted of desertion the figures cited for the years 2007 and 2008 were incorrect. The correct full answer should have been: (254034)

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. Therefore, individuals with multiple periods of absence are recorded more than once. For this reason the percentage of service personnel who went absent without leave in each of the last 10 years cannot be provided. The following table shows absence without leave statistics for each service by calendar year for each of the last 10 years:

Incidents of reported AWOL

Royal Navy1

Army

Royal Air Force

1999

35

2,055

15

2000

55

2,710

25

2001

90

2,645

25

2002

110

2,950

25

2003

120

2,820

35

2004

185

3,030

55

2005

195

2,715

35

2006

155

2,330

10

2007

115

2,290

25

2008

125

2,105

5

1 Over this period there have been a number of changes to the criteria for reporting absentees in the RN.

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 5.

2. 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.

The following table shows the number of service personnel convicted of desertion in each of the last 10 years:

Convictions of desertion

1999

18

2000

8

2001

3

2002

7

2003

3

2004

3

2005

6

2006

8

2007

7

2008

18

1 This figure does not include the last quarter of 2008 for the RN.

Nuclear Submarines

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what fires have taken place on UK nuclear powered submarines since 1979.

[Official Report, 2 April 2009, Vol. 490, c. 1396W.]

Letter of correction from Bill Rammell:

An error has been identified in the written answer given to the hon. Member for Moray (Angus Robertson) on 2 April 2009. The figure cited for the number of medium-scale fires was incorrect. The correct full answer should have been: (265176)

The records of fire incidents onboard UK nuclear submarines are not held centrally prior to 1 January 1987. Since this date the Royal Navy records provide the following information:

213 small-scale fires, that are categorised as a localised fire such as a minor electrical fault creating smoke dealt with quickly and effectively using minimal onboard resources.

20 medium-scale fires that were generally categorised as a localised fire such as a failure of mechanical equipment creating smoke and flame requiring use of significant onboard resources.

Three fires occurred while the submarines involved were in naval bases, requiring both ship and external resources.