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This document contains the following information: The Government’s response to the Deepcut Review.
This document sets out the Government’s response to the report of the Deepcut Review (HCP 795, session 2005-06, ISBN 0102937079) published in March 2006, which examined the circumstances surrounding the deaths of four young soldiers at Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut between 1995 and 2002. The Review concluded that, although the Army did not cause the deaths of the soldiers, there were failures to identify and address potential sources of risk in recruitment and training procedures, particularly in the duty of care to young recruits. The Government’s reply accepts the majority of the recommendations made by the Review, though with qualification or modification in some cases. With regards to the recommendation for the creation of an Armed Forces Ombudsman, the Government argues that this proposal would be difficult to reconcile with the workings of a military complaints system, in terms of the chain of command and the role of prosecuting authorities. The Government proposes that the key purpose underlying the recommendation can be met by the appointment of an independent commissioner to oversee the fairness and effectiveness of the military justice system (as proposed under the Armed Forces Bill), with direct access to Ministers and with the power to refer complaints or allegations of bullying and harassment to commanding officers for action.
This Command Paper was laid before Parliament by a Government Minister by Command of Her Majesty. Command Papers are considered by the Government to be of interest to Parliament but are not required to be presented by legislation.