Criminal Proceedings: Veterans

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 14th March 2019.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the undertakings in the Armed Forces Covenant, what steps he is taking to ensure that veterans are identified when they enter the criminal justice system.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Holding answer received on 13 March 2019

We recognise the sacrifices made by all who have served in the Armed Forces. For those few who come into contact with the Criminal Justice System, it is important their needs are assessed and support offered.

NHS England’s Liaison and Diversion services assess vulnerable individuals, including identifying former service personnel at first point of contact with the Criminal Justice System, for example at police stations and courts across England. Individuals may be diverted away from the Criminal Justice System, or into appropriate community orders.

Information on previous military service is also asked at first contact with probation, typically in court, and during screening on entry to custody. Prisoners can declare their previous service at any point in their sentence. Prisons will typically have a member of staff operating as a Veterans in Custody Support Officer, and work with military charities, to encourage this to happen.

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