HC Deb 20 June 1988 vol 135 cc430-1W
Mr. William Ross

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether efforts are made to record all military weapons which go missing in the United Kingdom, which belong to(a) the Army, (b) the Royal Air Force and (c) the Royal Navy; and if he will indicate in a table in the Official Report, by category of weapon, as recorded, such information as is available to him relating to weapons which have gone missing in each year since 1 January 1980.

Mr. Freeman

[holding answer 7 June 1988]:Instructions require all weapon losses to be reported. Such losses are investigated by the appropriate authority in each service. The figures for small arms weapons lost and not recovered by year since 1980 are as follows:

Mr. Freeman

[holding answer 9 June 1988]Records are not kept of rescues in individual counties. The following information relates to an area from 3°W to 7°W and from 49°45'N to 51°5'N. This covers all of Devon and Cornwall (including the Scilly Isles and Lundy) with the exception of some very small parts of Devon; a large part of Somerset; and also the adjacent sea areas. The figures relate to persons rescued by military search and rescue helicopters and record the number of people who were recovered alive from a hazard or who were transported for urgent medical attention.

Persons rescued in or near Devon and Cornwall
1985–86 1986–87 1987–88
Boulmer 4
Brawdy 4 1 4
Chivenor 50 46 59
Culdrose 74 55 51
Lee-on-Solent 1 1

Aircraft from these stations also rescued many people in other areas. The hon. Member may be aware that on 1 April 1988 the readiness states of the search and rescue Sea Kings at RNAS Culdrose were improved to enable them to respond to incidents within 15 minutes by day, and 45 minutes by night. As regards other decisions which may affect the service in Devon and Cornwall, I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 13 June 1988 to my hon. Friends the Members for Tayside, North (Mr. Walker) and for Devon, North (Mr. Speller) at column 71.