From today's Grauniad. Deepcut revisited. As usual, no conclusions. Sarah Hall, political correspondent Saturday August 28, 2004 The Guardian Soldiers aged under 20 are 1.7 times more likely to kill themselves than civilians of the same age, figures from the Ministry of Defence revealed last night. The report said that while members of the armed forces were generally less likely to commit suicide than the rest of the population, the youngest army recruits bucked the trend. In the past 10 years 29 soldiers aged 17-19 had died,compared with 12 in a similar number of civilians in the same age group. Although the numbers are small, they were "statistically significant". The findings are of interest in the light of the discovery of four privates dead from gunshot wounds at Deepcut Barracks, Surrey between 1995 and 2002. Two were aged 17, one 18, and one 20. The report shows that trained soldiers, unlike those at Deepcut, are more at risk than recruits. The suicide rate for trained soldiers is 27 deaths in 100,000, compared with 17 in 100,000 for recruits. Last night the MoD stressed that training establishments were randomly inspected to ensure that recruits were properly cared for, and a range of other measures, including better tracking of reports of bullying and harassment, had been introduced. Such measures have done little to appease the Deepcut families, who have been denied a public inquiry. The report, by the Defence Analytical Services Agency, reveals that between 1984-2003 there were 461 suicides and 82 open verdict deaths in the armed forces. Of these, seven suicides and four open verdict deaths occurred in 2003, but the number could be higher, since coroners are yet to rule on a further 44 deaths in which there is a suggestion of self-harm. The possible explanations included higher than average ill-health in the under-20s and greater access to the means of suicide, but for further investigation was needed, the report said.