Armed Forces: Drugs

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 23rd February 2015.

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Photo of Andrew Griffiths Andrew Griffiths Conservative, Burton

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many people serving in the (a) Royal Navy, (b) Royal Marines, (c) Royal Air Force and (d) Army were convicted of (i) possession of and (ii) supplying illegal drugs in each of the last five years.

Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

Holding answer received on 21 January 2015

Drug use is unacceptable in the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence has a policy of Compulsory Drug Testing which seeks to reinforce that message. Providing a positive result, indicating the presence of illegal drugs, will almost certainly result in an administrative discharge. Positive rates in the Armed Forces over the last few years average less than 0.5%, which is significantly lower than the latest British Crime survey (2013/14) which reports one in 11 (8.8%) of adults aged 16 to 59 have taken an illegal drug in the last year.

The following tables provide information on the number of convictions in the Military Court Service in each requested year. Numbers provided for the category of ‘possession’ include convictions by a Commanding Officer at a Summary Hearing; offences relating to the supply of illegal drugs cannot be dealt with at Summary Hearing level.

Convictions for possession of drugs

Service

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Navy

-

-

-

-

-

Army

10

10

10

-

-

RAF

-

-

-

-

-

Convictions for supplying illegal drugs

Service

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Army

-

-

-

-

-

‘-’ Five or less. Note: Figures have been rounded to 10. There were no relevant convictions in either category among Royal Marines personnel and also no convictions for supplying illegal drugs among Navy and RAF personnel.

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