HC Deb 20 December 1999 vol 341 cc359-60W
Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in each armed service, how many personnel(a) went absent without leave and (b) deserted in each of the last three years. [102533]

Mr. Spellar

The services do not hold statistics relating to the number of personnel who went absent without leave in each of the last three years. However, the figures relating to incidents of absences without leave among personnel, which could include more than one instance of absence by an individual, is as follows:

Year Royal Navy Royal Marines Army Royal Air Force
1996 45 10 1,345 36
1997 32 10 1,355 23
1998 28 6 1,722 26

There were no deserters from the Royal Navy or Royal Marines within the last three years. Figures are not held by the Army. RAF records reflect the year in which an individual was convicted at court-martial. These are as follows:

Year Royal Air Force
1996 3
1997 1
1998 2