HL Deb 08 March 2004 vol 658 cc141-3WA
Lord Astor of Hever

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many downgraded personnel in the Armed Forces are not fit for operational deployment; and whether they will include this figure in future assessments of medically downgraded personnel. [HL1302]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach)

Within the Armed Forces, the three Services currently have different systems of medical downgrading reflecting the different roles they perform in delivering military

question is asked of those who admitted being the victim of a violent offence in the previous 12 months. This question is asked every year. The last published figures in relation to this question were published in September 2003, and reported on questions asked in the 2000 BCS. This estimated that there were 1,246,000 incidents of alcohol-related violence in 1999 (Research Development Statistics, online report 35/03). More recent estimates have been published on the proportion of violence which is considered to be committed by someone under the influence of drink in 2001–02, which was 47 per cent (Home Office Statistical Bulletin 01/03).

In the BCS, all victims of violent crime are asked about the location of the incident. The options include, "In/around pub/bar/night club/ working men's club" and "In/around dancehall/disco". This gives us a measure of the number and proportion of incidents committed in connection with licensed premises. The figures published from the 2000 BCS revealed that 19 per cent of all violence occurs in or around a pub, bar or club, which is an estimated 623,000 incidents per year (online report 35/03).

capability. Medical downgrading statistics include those who are ill and injured, but also include those Service women who are pregnant. In addition they include those who have long-term conditions but remain fit for the task they are expected to undertake. As of the quarter ending 1 October 2003, centrally held figures show that 2,095 trained Royal Navy personnel were assessed as not fit for operational deployment. Within the Army, 2,945 trained personnel in other ranks were assessed as non-deployable but figures for Army officers are not available for this period.

The total figure for the RAF of medically downgraded trained personnel, which includes those with either limited deployability or non-deployability, is 4,412. It is not currently possible to differentiate between those who would be deployed in a limited capacity and those who are completely non-deployable within the medically downgraded RAF personnel figures. However, there is a mechanism in place for RAF personnel to be individually assessed if there is an operational requirement. As these assessments are carried out on an individual basis, it is not possible to identify these people as a group.

Work is under way to refine the way in which fitness for task is measured across the Armed Forces and future assessments of medically downgraded personnel will seek to differentiate those that are not fit for operational deployment.

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