Veterans: Criminal Investigation

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 14th May 2019.

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Photo of Marcus Jones Marcus Jones Vice-Chair, Conservative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if her Department will ensure that all veterans who are under investigation in relation to historic cases in Northern Ireland are made aware of her Department's welfare and pastoral support.

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

It is a very high priority for Defence to ensure that all personnel involved in Northern Ireland Legacy matters are offered, free, appropriate legal and pastoral support, taking account of individual circumstances, including health and wellbeing. For both inquests and criminal investigations, we contact every veteran as soon as we have been made aware of their potential involvement. This contact will signpost points of contact within the Ministry itself, (including the MOD's 'Veterans UK'); the Army, including the Army Personnel Services Group and Regimental Associations or equivalent organisations and relevant charities and third sector bodies. In addition, MOD officials are in frequent contact with veterans' organisations and other interested bodies and make every effort to publicise this support through appropriate channels, to ensure that the wider veterans' community has a channel through which they can contact the Department if appropriate. We also have appropriate points of contact so that those of whom we are not initially aware, can initiate contact with the right people.

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