Veterans caught in crime

John A Silkstone

Mi General
MI.Net Member
Jul 11, 2004
War veterans caught up in crime

Ministers and military chiefs have been urged to provide more support for veterans after it emerged that more than 20,000 have been caught up in the criminal justice system.

Research revealed that around 12,000 ex-Army, Navy and Air Force personnel with criminal convictions are on the books of the Probation Service.

In addition there are an estimated 8,500 veterans in prisons in England and Wales.

That means there are more than twice as many veterans in jail, on probation or on parole than there are currently serving in Afghanistan. Nearly one prisoner in 10 is an Armed Forces veteran.

The numbers were published in a study by the probation officers' union, Napo. Its members reported that the "vast majority" of veterans did not receive adequate support or counselling when they left the forces. Analysis of 90 individuals on probation or parole showed that one in three suffered from chronic alcohol abuse and one in 10 was a drug abuser.

Domestic violence was by for the most common conviction, accounting for one in three cases. Other violent crimes accounted for around one conviction in five. One person in four said they suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, but many went undiagnosed. Others reported depression and behavioural problems.

Among the cases were veterans of conflicts in Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia. Although the sample is small, the figures give the best indication to date about the sheer scale of the problem facing former veterans struggling to adapt to civilian life.

Neither the Ministry of Defence nor the Ministry of Justice currently publish figures on veterans in custody or on probation. The figures do not include veterans in prisons, on probation or parole in Northern Ireland or Scotland so the true figure is likely to be much higher. The study will also reignite the debate over the level of protection and support offered to former military personnel.

Shadow justice secretary Dominic Grieve said it was a "disgrace" that so many veterans were "languishing" in prison. Harry Fletcher, Napo assistant general secretary, said: "It is of grave concern that over 20,000 former military personnel are now in the criminal justice system. There is overwhelming evidence that support is not available of sufficient calibre when soldiers leave the service."
Not really sure what the connection with PTSD is. A number of people tried to use PTSD as a defense but failed when it was determined that the lied or misrepresented there military careers.

Is there a comparison with the rest of the population. We have had the Media try to make the Vets look bad. When compare to the rest of the population the actual incidents involving Vets was less, sometimes by quite a bit.

PTSD, is pretty defined by now on what it is and what it is not. narcissistic or sociopathic behavior is not part of it. That is not saying that a Vet with PTSD will not commit a crime. Also the number of those serving that is actually in combat arms, may only be about 10% of the number of those serving.

We have a number of media sources in the US that is anti-military and will publish articles in way that will cast aspersions on those serving.
Lets not forget that a large proportion of society that are susceptible to the commision of crime because of their social status or poverty are exactly the type that the military find easy to recruit.
Compound that with a life in the military and then the difficulty in resettlement and when the chips are down they will revert to their former selves to support their new lifstyles and difficulties fitting in.
I'm not sure how things are in Great Britain, but here in the states they've pretty much resorted to treating returning veterans the same way they treated Vietnam Veterans...

"Thanks a lot, you're on your own."

Feckin' bureaucrats...

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