§ Dr. Hampson
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the bomb explosions at the Claro Barracks, Ripon, on the morning of 26th March; and if he is satisfied with security arrangements in the area.
§ Mr. William Rodgers
Between 06.20 and 06.47 on 26th March three improvised bombs exploded at Claro Barracks Ripon, the base of 38 Engineer Regiment. A fourth explosive device was later detonated in a controlled explosion by an Army bomb disposal team. It is estimated that the four devices contained a total of approximately 100 1b. of explosives. A small incendiary device was also dismantled.
No warning was given. However, the guard was alerted and a patrol sent out shortly before the first explosion, when suspicious noises were heard outside the NAAFI building. Evacuation of the buildings began promptly after the first explosion. Two people suffered minor injuries from the third explosion. The swift reaction in ordering evacuation probably avoided further casualties.
In the Ripon area, as elsewhere in Great Britain, the Services are taking all practicable steps to ensure their own security. All units receive guidance on security measures and draw up a security plan appropriate to their particular circumstances. Such measures are kept under continual review, but an Army which lives as part of the community cannot insure itself against all risk of terrorist attack. The most effective safeguard is the vigilance of the individual Service 274W men, and all possible steps are taken to encourage such vigilance.