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Support for Veterans. Plaid Cymru in Westminster: A brief background on work in support of veterans.

Delyth Jewell

February 2010


Contents 1 - Homeward bound: Problems affecting servicemen and women post-discharge from the Armed Forces.


2 - In need of support: A profile of vulnerable veterans.


3 - An unknown number: A brief outline of Plaid Cymru’s involvement in uncovering the deficiency in departmental figures on members of the Armed Forces’ welfare.


4 - Work in progress: An overview of some of the initiatives already in place to support veterans.


5 - Howard League for Penal Reform Inquiry 2010: Progress on the Howard League’s Inquiry into veterans in the CJS.


6 - The Road to Recovery: Plaid Cymru’s suggestions for tackling the problems faced.


7 - Contact Details: Contact numbers for follow-up enquiries.



Homeward bound: Problems affecting veterans post-discharge from the Armed Forces The spiralling costs of military procurement – as well as the Ministry of Defence‟s stark inability to keep within its budget – have dominated headlines throughout the war in Afghanistan. With a General Election looming (Spring 2010), both the Labour and Conservative parties in the UK parliament have pledged to conduct a Strategic Defence Review early in the next parliament (should they be elected). But though both parties have committed to reassess “all elements of spending”, traditionally, defence reviews do not focus on personnel. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the need for a separate Strategic Review with regard to expenditure on personnel leaving the Forces, to ensure the Forces‟ duty of care towards its servicemen and women is not severed on their discharge. Though the training received by personnel during military service allows many to readjust to life on „civilian street‟, an at-present unspecified, yet growing number drop out of the welfare support system becoming homeless, disenfranchised from main stream services, and socially isolated. Education, training and employment are difficult to access, and veterans of the Armed Forces remain to be oversubscribed in NHS emergency waiting rooms and in road traffic accidents. As shall be the later focus of this paper, and as a result of this acute social estrangement, an alarming number of ex Armed Forces personnel become involved in the Criminal Justice System. Substance misuse and mental health issues often precede this. But though various reports have been published and guidelines set, little has been achieved in respect of scaling the absolute limits of the problem. It is easy to understand why such an estrangement occurs. An element of „culture shock‟ is perhaps inevitable for soldiers returning from warzones. Servicemen and women are forced to make a stark transition from being unreservedly independent to becoming rudely dependent on a welfare system whose nuances are all too often unexplained to them at the point of „debriefing‟. Perhaps resulting from a stubborn independence (actively encouraged when in the Forces), many veterans refuse help, and so „fall through the net‟ of mainstream welfare services. In the absence of an inclusive guide, ex-servicemen and women are left unsure of where to turn for help with such integral matters as accommodation, compensation and pensions. Technically, all army personnel are made homeless on discharge, and not all of these men and women are fortuitous enough to have family and friends to rely on. In fact, the breakdown of relationships due to strain and, in some cases, mental illness, is another alarmingly common theme in veterans‟ stories. Though charitable organisations such as the Royal British Legion, Veterans‟ Aid and Regimental Associations do great things locally, it is obvious that a comprehensive system needs to be established in order to „link up‟ the work these various organisations are doing. Assuring continuity of care for all veterans should be integral to any future strategy to combat these problems.


In need of support: A profile of vulnerable veterans Many studies have been conducted into the social impoverishment experienced by veterans relative to the experiences of the general population. In one such study [Profile and Needs: Comparisons between the Ex-Service Community and the UK population (2006)], the Royal British Legion concluded that 52% of the adult ex-Service community suffer from a long-term illness, a disability or infirmity. The figure for the general adult population (using a similar but not identical question) was only 35%. At present, no national scheme tailored towards the health needs of all members of the adult veteran population exists. The last military hospital, the Royal Hospital Haslar, closed in 2009, since when care for service personnel (past and present) is administered by the NHS. In January 2010, the Department of Health announced a customised health care plan to be provided for seriously injured personnel on discharge (as well as those with mental health problems), and be extended throughout those veterans‟ lives. This is, however, a long way from being a holistic service available to all veterans who need it. Serving in combat will almost inevitably have an effect on personnel‟s mental or physical health. Providing health care to only the most severely injured does not therefore go far enough. Presumably, all veterans with less serious conditions will have to rely on services provided by the third sector, to which referral is all too often on a self-diagnosis basis. This is an especially significant problem with ex-servicemen and women suffering from mental health issues such as PTSD and depression, both of which are surrounded by such stigma as to discourage many veterans from seeking help. The urgent need for action in combating PTSD and depression is reinforced by the apparent rise in cases in recent years. Research shows that the prevalence of mental health problems among veterans has been exacerbated by longer spells spent in conflict zones like Afghanistan and Iraq, while periods of respite between each deployment are shorter. The pressures placed on army personnel have thus increased dramatically in a short space of time, decreasing servicemen and women‟s ability to adapt to something akin to a „normal‟ life post-service. An increased susceptibility to depression is stark amongst this new generation of soldiers. In the study referred to above, the Royal British Legion report the prevalence of depression to be far higher among younger adults in the ex-Service community than with older generations.[1] Substance misuse often accompanies mental health problems, and this tendency is even more acute amongst veterans than with the general population. When twinned with the violent behaviour also commonly displayed by veterans suffering with mental health problems, it is hardly surprising that so many ex-servicemen and women enter the criminal justice system. If administered on a more general basis, 4

counselling could go a long way towards catching these impending problems before they occur. Veterans are equally oversubscribed in the homeless population. In 2008, the ExService Action Group on Homelessness (ESAG) concluded a research project into „The Experiences of Homeless Ex-Service Personnel in Londonâ€&#x;. The project concluded that homeless Veterans are more likely to alcohol misuse, as well as being more likely to display physical and/or MH problems than other homeless people. Veterans are also more susceptible to sustained or repeated homelessness, and, as they are rarely classified as statutorily homeless, they are rarely prioritised in social housing allocations. Although this particular studyâ€&#x;s geographical focus was London, it is likely that similar studies across the UK would conform to its findings. This acute social isolation evidently needs to be addressed as a matter or urgency. As with mental health diagnosis, early intervention at resettlement stage in the form of a post-discharge support programme would be paramount to helping alleviate the alarming rates of homeless veterans. Access to more settled accommodation, including provision from the private rented sector, would give ex servicemen and women a sense of independence. Formalising tenancy support services and advice on debt management would thus be crucial in order to set ex-servicemen and women on the right track on exiting the Armed Forces. If such advice and support are not made readily available, more members of this increasingly vulnerable community will continue on the downward spiral to drug and alcohol abuse, violent behaviour, and, ultimately, entry into the criminal justice system. The next section of this paper will outline attempts made by Plaid Cymru (as well as various third sector organisations) to uncover the number of veterans held within this system. Whatever the exact number, though, it is absolutely clear too many become involved in criminal behaviour when prior intervention could stop this happening. The solutions to be considered must therefore not only rest on helping veterans already incarcerated in prison or on probation and community service: great effort must also be put into ensuring as many as possible are prevented from embarking on this traumatic experience in the first place.


An unknown number: A brief outline of Plaid Cymru’s involvement in uncovering the deficiency in departmental figures on members of the Armed Forces’ welfare On the 8th of October 2008, Elfyn Llwyd MP set a Written Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence (Rt. Hon. John Hutton MP). It read: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what budget has been allocated in 2008-09 to the armed forces for dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (a) in conflict zones, (b) on leave and (c) on discharge from the forces in 2008-09.

In the response he received, Mr Llwyd was informed that since such funding was provided from overall operational budgets, it was not possible to isolate and identify costs. Although programmes like The Reserves Mental Health Programme (RMHP) and the Medical Assessment Programme (MAP) are established to support certain personnel, treatment and referral is prefaced on self-diagnosis from the veteran or their GP.[2] It is absolutely clear that such indirect referral will result in men and women in need of support falling through the net. The present paper does not wish to find fault with some of the excellent work the MoD is already funding. Worthwhile initiatives are evidently at work. A good example is the funding the MoD provides to War Pensioners undergoing treatment at the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society (“Combat Stress”) homes.[3] But the isolated programmes and cumbersome referrals need to be replaced with a systematic programme which includes medical assessments and training on discharge for all personnel, regardless of whether this support is sought. It was disappointing to learn from Mr Hutton that once individuals are discharged from the Armed Forces, responsibility for their healthcare falls to the NHS. “This”, Mr Hutton assured him, “has been the policy of successive Governments since 1948.” This would no doubt be the same policy which saw the last two governments reside over the closure of all UK military hospitals. Plaid Cymru believes that there has never been a better time to change this appalling track record than the present. Relaying past governments‟ failures is a poor substitute for endeavouring to better the problem. Exploiting parliamentary procedure is a good way of finding out information held by governmental departments – or, indeed, the lack thereof. Indeed, the underwhelming response Mr Llwyd received from the Secretary of State for Defence was not the first time Mr Llwyd had discovered such a departmental deficiency. On 5th March 2008, Mr Llwyd tabled the following written question to the Minister of State for the Ministry of Justice (the Rt. Hon. David Hanson MP): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of current inmates of prisons in England and Wales who served in the UK armed forces in either of the conflicts in the Gulf.

He received the following response from Mr. Hanson: 6

This information is not collected centrally. Data from nationally representative surveys of some 2,000 sentenced prisoners near release conducted in 2001, 2003 and 2004 show the proportion of prisoners who had previously served in the armed forces as 6 per cent., 4 per cent. and 5 per cent. respectively. However, there are no estimates available for the proportion of veterans in custody who have served in specific conflicts.

A quick comparison of various studies which have been conducted into this subject goes little towards demystifying the issue. Since no definitive audit has taken place of veterans in the criminal justice system (as has neither been undergone by the NHS), attempts to uncover something close to the true number must rely on a laborious process of cross-referencing and estimation. At no point is it mandatory to question offenders of their service history. It is imperative that this incompetence be addressed. A survey conducted by the Home Office in 2001/02 recorded that roughly 5%/6% of inmates were veterans, whilst a survey by the MOD in 2007 estimated that the figure in Dartmoor was closer to 17.5%.[4] According to research conducted by Harry Fletcher, the assistant general secretary to Napo, the number of service personnel in prison in England and Wales would therefore then have been between 4,190 (5% - Home Office Study) and 14,036 (16.7% - PIR/ MOD study). In the summer of 2008 Mr Fletcher conducted his own research on the matter. Following discussions with Elfyn Llwyd MP on the subject, Mr Fletcher emailed his members and in August of that year reported that 8,500 then-current inmates had served in specific conflicts. That would have accounted for roughly 10% of the then prison population. Furthermore, the figure did not take into account the number on community penalties, which could be about 3,000 to 4,000 people. Mr Fletcher extended his research to survey probation services as well as prisons. He received over 100 case studies. He concluded that at any one time, 12,000 probation officers are involved in serving ex-inmates. According to his research, every one of these will manage at least one veteran (some four or five). In September of 2009, Napo published figures estimating that over 20,000 former veterans were then currently in the criminal justice system in England and Wales. This net figure encompassed the 12,000 veterans Mr Fletcherâ€&#x;s research suggested were on probation or parole, as well as the further 8,500 held in custody. This figure would represent 8.5% of the then prison population, and 6% of those on probation and parole. On 6th January 2010, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence, Kevan Jones, and the Minister for the National Offender Management Service, Maria Eagle, issued a joint Ministerial statement on data collected on the number of veterans in prison in England and Wales. The Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA)


of the MOD estimated that ex-Service personnel in prison represent almost 3% of offenders in prison. It goes on to say: The estimate was determined by matching a database of prisoners aged 18 and over in England and Wales from the MoJ against a database of Service leavers held by the MOD. The analysis does not include Reservists nor those who had left the Service prior to 1979 (Navy), 1972 (Army), and 1968 (RAF). Further work will seek to quantify the likely effect of the incompleteness of the MOD database. DASA estimate that a more complete database is unlikely to increase the estimated proportion of offenders who are ex-Service to more than four per cent. This is because Reservists have other employment and it is possible that it makes them less likely to come into contact with the criminal justice system; and, because evidence from previous studies suggests that crimes tend to be committed soon after discharge from Service.

Evidently, the figure is incomplete since the research conducted sought only to source veterans in prison, and not those held on community orders or on probation. It is dangerous to fall into the trap of assuming all court proceedings result in custodial sentences. But, as members of the Justice Unions Parliamentary Group acknowledged in their meeting of 12th January (2010), it is gratifying to know relevant Ministers have acknowledged the need to conduct an audit. It was also promising to hear of future qualitative analysis to be conducted by the project ahead of policy decisions being made. Although Plaid Cymru welcomes these developments, it is urged that proactive steps should be taken to put a strategy in place as soon as possible. After all, calculating the extent of the problem should not impinge overly on alleviating it. The statement does at least, though, show a promising start: The next stage in this project will be to evaluate the ex-Service prison population in terms of demographic and Service variables such as age, gender, Service branch, length of service, rank, deployment history, time since discharge, and offence type. This qualitative analysis should allow for informed policy decisions to be made where necessary to ensure that resources are better targeted at appropriate groups of offenders. The MOD will also investigate where relevant improvements could be made In-Service to minimise contact with the criminal justice system once personnel are discharged from the Armed Forces.


Work in progress: An overview of some of the initiatives already in place to support veterans As outlined, „civilian street‟ can seem a daunting place for veterans for a number of reasons, which is why any programme administered to help this community should be tailored towards the specific needs of veterans. It is important to note that many such programmes are already in place run both by the MOD and third sector organisations, and the help they offer is invaluable. The handicap with the current system, though, is its inconsistency: no pathway exists signposting these services to veterans on exit from the forces. As a result, referral relies on word of mouth, or happening to be in the right place at the right time. Below is an overview of services already available to veterans. Evidently, many of these services are available to those in custody. More groundwork must be done, however, to establish services which intervene before criminal behaviour commences. Plaid Cymru would suggest consultation with representatives from these services should play a prominent role in any future strategic planning. In fact, „linking up‟ many existing services would save on unnecessary bureaucracy, as well as the added guarantee of expertise, since many initiatives are run by veterans themselves: Health: When in custody, referrals can be made to Health and Mental Health In-Reach teams and CARAT Services (Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice and Throughcare Services). The M.A.P. (Medical Assessment Programme) facility is also available to veterans. Based at St Thomas‟ Hospital in London, the programme provides specialist health assessments to veterans. The M.A.P. can also visit veterans in prison, but only if referred by prison medical staff. „Combat Stress‟ is a specialist Mental Health Charity which provides welfare officers who visit veterans in prison and on release. It can offer short stay remedial treatment at three specialist short-stay Treatment Centres in Shropshire, Surrey and Ayrshire. On 11th January 2010, the Department of Health announced a new customised health plan for seriously injured personnel on discharge from the forces. This package included a comprehensive assessment prior to discharge, guaranteed high quality health care, and an improvement in the transfer of medical records between the forces and the NHS. The statement also pledged to improve GP awareness of the need to identify veterans in their care.


Housing: When in custody, referrals can be made to SHELTER who provide advice. Support agencies like Veterans Aid, SSAFA, The Royal British Legion and Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation can provide support through the provision of hostel accommodation, financial assistance, meal vouchers and clothing. Employment: SOVA services (Supporting Others Through Volunteer Action) are available to those in custody. Organisations like the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) offer a Veterans Welfare Service, whilst the Regular Forces Employment Agency (RFEA) and the Royal British Legion‟s „Civvy Street‟ provide assistance in finding work. The responsibility of all pension provision, whether a War pension or an Armed Forces pension, now falls under the direction of SPVA, reducing risk of duplicating information. Veterans in Custody Support Initiative (VICS): Coordinated by Officer Nick Wood at HMP Everthorpe, this is a tailored initiative for veterans incarcerated in prison which aims to identify ex servicemen and women and ensure they are put in touch with relevant services. All offenders are allocated an Offender Supervisor, as well as a Community Offender Manager to ensure support is continued after discharge from custody. The initiative has been a great success and it is strongly advised similar schemes be adopted in all prisons in England and Wales.


Howard League for Penal Reform Inquiry 2010 Progress of the Howard League’s Inquiry into veterans in the CJS. In September 2009, the Howard League for Penal Reform commissioned an independent inquiry to examine the issues surrounding former armed servicemen in prison. The inquiry is expected to take a little over a year to complete, and Elfyn Llwyd MP will sit on the advisory panel. The conclusions reached by this inquiry should doubtlessly inform any governmental decisions on improving the quality of care available to vulnerable veterans. The inquiry will be chaired by Sir John Nutting QC, and alongside Mr Llwyd the advisory panel will comprise of: Admiral the Lord Boyce; General the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB LVO OBE DL; Major General David Jenkins; Wing Commander Dr Hugh Milroy, Chief Executive of Veterans Aid; and Chris Sheffield, former governor of Liverpool and Manchester prisons. James Treadwell is the appointed academic consultant to the inquiry. Its considerations will be fourfold: 1. To determine the number of male prisoners who have formerly been in the armed services; 2. The nature of the offences committed; 3. Problems faced on leaving the forces; and 4. The nature of the support said servicemen received. Evidently, a follow-up inquiry extended to former servicewomen would be useful. The inquiry will conduct research in three prisons, using sampling techniques in order to extrapolate national statistics. It will review the support offered by both voluntary sector organisations and by the armed services. Members of the panel will consider more structured approaches following active service, and will make recommendations on its findings. In April 2010, members of the panel will visit the United States to witness specialist veteransâ€&#x; courts administered there. It is expected much could be learnt from this system. In the summer of 2010, the report is scheduled to be written, to be launched the following September.


The Road to Recovery: Plaid’s suggestions for improvement Suggestions for tackling the problems faced. As noted, it is clear that veterans of the Armed Forces are oversubscribed in the UK criminal justice system, and the case for an overdue audit on this figure is overwhelming. Two distinct avenues must be pursued in order to benefit the veteran community in both the shorter and longer terms. Firstly, procedures must be put in place to streamline support available to veterans already in contact with the criminal justice system. Initiatives should also be established, though, to target the social isolation experienced by many veterans, which would doubtlessly lessen the number of veterans entering into custody or probation in the first place. Our recommendations will deal with the latter requirement first. Considering that the approximate cost to society of a soldier in the criminal justice system, including health costs, housing costs, and benefit costs can exceed £1 million, it is evident that tackling the root of these problems before a veteran enters into custody is preferable wherever possible, for budgetary reasons as well as all else. The need for a more thorough ‘debriefing’ procedure pre-discharge from the forces: Mental health assessments should be mandatory for all personnel predischarge from the armed forces (these could be conducted at the same time as release medicals). Psychological assessments and drug and alcohol tests should also be conducted prior to individuals‟ entry into the forces. Many substance misuse problems lie dormant prior to enlistment and, if identified, could be treated before being exacerbated in combat. Individuals needing support prior to enlisting should be given a package to complete before enlisting at a later date. The element of Army culture which treats the abuse of alcohol as a catalyst to unwinding should be dispelled of immediately. Many veterans report three or four day long trips en route back from Operational Theatres where personnel are encouraged to drink copious amounts. Such practices encourage a dependency on alcohol and should be stopped. Armed service personnel should receive information and education on the benefits of stress counselling as well as being given support where appropriate. This is crucial in order to lessen the stigma so often attached to admitting vulnerability amongst ex-soldiers. Advice packs should be administered to all on discharge, including contact information for relevant services. Military services must address concern over substance misuse with urgency. Programmes might be provided to give advice and support in a 12

military setting as well as upon discharge. Support packages would not only be in the public interest but would save the taxpayer significant sums of money in the medium and long term. A duty should be placed on criminal justice agencies to refer service personnel to help and counselling where appropriate. Where substance misuse is detecting during service, treatment should be dispatched wherever possible rather than the individual being automatically dishonourably discharged. Improved screening provision for PTSD and depression when on duty should be implemented. One to one meetings should be scheduled rather than group sessions, as stigma can affect servicemen and women‟s ability to admit to suffering from mental health problems. Since not all veterans will display signs of vulnerability straight away, a specialist support officer should be appointed to each veteran who will conduct „check-up‟ assessments post discharge at regular intervals (say every six months) and offer counselling or support where needed. Integration of services provided by MOD and third sector: Mainstream services do not boast an awareness of the cultural differences between military and civilian lifestyles. Owing to the extraordinary circumstances of military life, specific programmes should be tailored for the benefit of veterans‟ individual needs. Many distinct initiatives funded by the MOD and third sector organisations offer grants and support to veterans with health care, housing, training and employment, and financial advice. Consultation should be entered into by representatives from these organisations to set into motion procedures for merging and streamlining services where possible. Pathways into appropriate social housing as well as relevant training should be promoted, and a discharge plan initiated months before discharge. Although administered nationally, local peer-led support groups should be linked in with future overriding procedures rather than scrapped. Such groups can help with motivation through volunteering and activities which involve setting and achieving goals. An integrated response is needed in order to deal with these complex issues: the MOD, Home Office, the DoH, the National Treatment Agency, the Police, Prison, Probation Services and the Courts, as well as the third sector, must enter into consultation on how best to deliver this. A protocol should be developed for the transfer of information between the Forces, the NHS, the criminal justice sector and the voluntary sector. Programmes must be readily available in military and community settings to deal with the consequences of domestic violence.


A national system of awareness training for relevant personnel throughout the criminal justice system and health services should be administered. A study into the capacity of the voluntary sector to deal with this proposed increased workload should be conducted. Finally, valuable information and advice could be sought from the Military Corrective Training Centre (MCTC), from which many offenders are discharged to civilian life. It might be useful for Members to visit the MCTC at Colchester in order to obtain the insights of the Commander and Chaplain there. Evidently, though, a strategic review must be conducted of the way personnel go unidentified when entering into the criminal justice system. If military experience is recognised at arrest or report stage, individuals might be referred for counselling, which could affect the sentencing outcome and individual prognosis. Provisions must therefore be made to the way veterans access services if and when they enter into the criminal justice system. Urgent need to establish mandatory identification of veterans at first point of contact with the CJS: There is currently no provision in the Prison induction process, the probation PSR, or police custody, to identify ex-servicemen and women. Such an identification could be fed to courts to help with sentencing, as well as onward referrals. On 19th October 2009, Mr Llwyd received correspondence from the Prime Minister in response to a Parliamentary Question. Mr Brown referred to a then-imminent revision of the IT based offender assessment procedures held by the MOD, which would enable questioning to identify offenders who had served in the forces. If on target, full implementation of this procedure will be seen across the prison estate by May 2010. This would be a welcome development. Streamlining of services, using the programme used at HMP Everthorpe as a guide: Consideration should be given to implementing the flagship support programme administered at HMP Everthorpe across the prison estate. The establishment of a „Veterans‟ Links Scheme‟ could further improve the uniformity of care available to veterans in custody. Monthly „veterans‟ forums‟ could be held in all prisons. 14

To ensure continuity of care when leaving custody, Napo‟s suggestion of appointing a „veterans‟ link officer‟ to coordinate activity in each of the 42 local authority areas should be implemented.

Further options to be considered: More far-reaching options to be considered are caught up with the suggested reform of the current penal system. As noted, the Howard League for Penal Reform has commissioned an independent inquiry due to report back in September 2010. As part of this inquiry, a visit to the US is scheduled to view the designated Veterans‟ Courts used in New York and New Jersey. Although the appointment of Veterans‟ Link Officers in the UK will begin the process of improving cohesion here too, due diligence should be given to the conclusions reached by this independent inquiry. Reform should also be sought for the way criminal proceedings are dealt with within the military. Court martial hearings should be reformed to take into account the procedures in criminal courts. Currently, the Army can take administrative action against a soldier independently of any court process, often resulting in discharge and demotion. If discharged, little exists in the way of support or referral to relevant agencies. Consideration should be given to creating an independent Inspectorate for the forces to combat this, and soldiers should be given the right to belong to a representative organisation that will defend them and raise issues of concern. A Services Representation Body, similar in function to that which exists in the ranks in the Police, could be created. In the civilian community, procedures should be put in place to ensure veterans are identified at the point of arrest, ensuring as few as possible serve custodial sentences. Accessing support services in the community would further lessen social estrangement on release. Retention of Service ID cards post-discharge (as is the practice in the USA and Canada) would both help identification, and ensure greater access to many civilian services. Wherever suitable, active personnel should serve community sentences as these are less likely to impinge on curfew requirements. Accredited programmes requiring consistent commitment over a number of months are unlikely to be compatible with army commitments. Research must be conducted into the types of crimes commonly committed by veterans (and active personnel), to look especially at whether there is a higher proportion of domestic violence, arson, drug-related offences or sexual offences amongst this community. Relevant training schemes should be commissioned to be given to all active personnel on the


consequences of such actions, as well as stress counselling where appropriate.


Contact Details Contact numbers for follow-up enquiries Elfyn Llwyd MP T E

020 7219 3555

Delyth Jewell Parliamentary Researcher for Elfyn Llwyd MP T E

020 7219 1900 / 07738 182 869

[1] According to the results of this paper, depression affects: 16% of 16-44 year olds, compared with 9% of 45-64 year olds, and 8% of over 65s. [2] In his answer, Mr Hutton noted that: “The Reserves Mental Health Programme (RMHP) provides a mental health assessment, plus outpatient treatment at a DCMH, to any current or former member of the UK Volunteer and Regular Reserves who has been demobilised since 1st January 2003 following an overseas operational deployment as a reservist, and who believes the deployment may have affected his mental health … “ … Second, the Medical Assessment Programme (MAP) based at St Thomas’ Hospital, London also offers help for veterans with mental health symptoms … the MAP is now available for those with operational service from 1982 (including veterans of the Falklands campaign). Veterans who have recently been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan may also attend if their Service Medical Officer or General Practitioner thinks it would help.” [3] In his answer, Mr Hutton said: “[the] MOD gave Combat Stress £2.5m in individual fees in 2006/07 and agreed, in October 2007, to a phased increase of 45% to reflect the build-up of staff and capability.” [4] The Prison In-Reach (PIR) project, which is a partnership organisation between the MOD, the Ministry of Justice and ex-services charities, conducted a pilot study in HMP Dartmoor, and concluded that 16.75% of those surveyed had undertaken military service [Veterans World, Ministry of Defence, Issue No 9 2008]


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Support for Veterans