Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Speedy, Mar 29, 2006.
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Now for all the claims of a cover up.
Any chance of a cut an paste - cannot access bbc from here
Deepcut public inquiry ruled out
THE DEAD SOLDIERS
(Clockwise from top left):
Sean Benton, 20, Hastings, East Sussex
James Collinson, 17, Perth, Scotland
Geoff Gray, 17, Seaham, Co Durham
Cheryl James, 18, Llangollen, north Wales
A "disturbing catalogue of allegations of misconduct" has been unearthed by a report on the deaths of four young recruits at Deepcut army barracks.
Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram told MPs the trainees were not "bullied to death", but some recruits there had suffered harassment and discrimination.
The report by Nicholas Blake QC found the deaths of at least three of the recruits were probably self-inflicted.
Despite repeated calls, there should be no public inquiry, he concluded.
The Army would now examine the report's findings to see if any action should be taken for "professional misconduct or negligence", said Mr Ingram.
Recruits Sean Benton, 20, of Hastings, East Sussex; James Collinson, 17, of Perth, Scotland; Geoff Gray, 17, of Seaham, Co Durham, and Cheryl James, 18, Llangollen, north Wales, died of bullet wounds at the Surrey training base in separate incidents between 1995 and 2002.
Mr Ingram told the House of Commons that the review found in the case of three of the recruits - Ptes Benton, James and Gray - Mr Blake had accepted "on the balance of probabilities" their deaths were self-inflicted.
In the case of the fourth recruit, James Collinson, Mr Blake did not reach any conclusion.
"Given the recent coroner's inquest into the death of James Collinson, he understandably refrains from reaching any conclusion on this particular death," said the minister.
Many thanks, so then as we knew all along, hiphip horah!
I agree with Speedy - the families will not accept that there hasn't been a cover up of gargantuan proportions. Having been in a training regiment myself, and dealt with similar circumstances, I wish that those who stripped out the military staff from such establishments and replaced them with civilian contractors would be forced to face the consequences of such decisions. Our chain of command consistently argued for more military staff to support the students undergoing trade training, only to be told that there was no more money, and that the civilian contract was set in stone.
There is no way that you can expect a permanent military staff of 9 to effectively manage a company of 600 to 800. Happily this has now been reversed, but it shouldn't have taken the multitude of inquiries to effect this.
To those who would haver about sending their sons and daughters to the Army I can only ask you to look at where we are now. The training regiments have changed dramatically since these tragic events, and the whole Army ethos is geared around getting the best from individuals as part of a team. Whilst some bullying may rear its ugly head, it is not tolerated. However, there is a difference between bullying someone and telling them what to do. The army is still about following orders, even though you may not want to. That is what is often misrepresented as bullying.
What do you get out of the Army in return for some restrictions on your personal freedoms? Well, apart from the obvious salary, food, clothing and accomodation, you get a trade, qualifications, personal development, world travel, and the chance to get needlessly slagged off by an ungrateful country, without the right of reply!
As a fairly new member to the site I find it hard to avoid comment on this particular issue, topical as it is.....
I must agree with comments made by Spanner. Deepcut has a particularly bad reputation due to all the public speculation of late but how can any military strucutre expect a team of four people, (Tp Comd, Sgt, 2 X Cpl) to effectively manage a troop strenght of over 400 spread across five separate training establishments. I have seen smaller regiments on manpower levels than this.
I do believe the parents will noy be satisfied until they have got what they want - someone t blame and perhaps prosecute - but it will not bring back their loved ones. There is always two sides to the story and no-one really wants to hear the other side. What it was like, the frustrations of managing the squadron with no resources, no budget, minimal military staff and no remit or direction to carry out constructive military training.
I have every sympathy in the world for the parents and wish them the closure they need to move on with their lives, but how about all the rest involved who are constantly having their lives dragged across the coals, publicly, for what I beleieve is currently the 16th review or investigation of one form or another over th last 11 years. Where is their right to move on and get on with their lives.
My apologies for the soapbox but I was at the establishment during the early days and can vouch for the conditions that staff were required to operate under, any civilian employment faced with those conditions would have shut down or sacked the senior management team who organised the system in the first place.
My heartfelt condolences to the parents but please how about a bit of support for the staff who tried to manage an outrageous situation with no support who tried to correct and improve the lives of all those they were responsible for.
Lets be quite clear, the report has identified major abuses of rank/position, failures to identify risk to recruits and lapses in procedures. So much so that one of the key recommendations is the appointment of an independent Ombudsman.
It took four young people to die and enormous pressure for this review to take place.
Not the time to sit back smugly and pat ourselves on the back.
Now is the time to continue with the vast improvements (as acknowledged in the report) that have taken place in the foundation colleges/trg depots in recent years.
Bullies are sad, weak, pathetic individuals and there is no place for them in a professional army.
I unreservedly offer my condolences to the parents and hope that at some in the future they can lay their children to rest in peace.
So 4 deaths in seven years.
Wonder how many people deid in prison in the same time span.
I am truly speechless
As a brother of one of the instructors at Deepcut at the time i endorse your comments 100%.
This has gone behond grief for the families, they want to take some revenge. The media only reported the negative reports but failed to highlight all the good things the staff did for the trainees.
Alot of young soldiers do have a problem with being given an order and as pointed out this should not be mistaken as bullying.
It's time to forget the whole sorry story and move on. We cant have an inquiry every time a soldier kills him or herself. Let the four individuals rest in peace.
I need to go and lay down in a dark room, I am absolutely incredulous.
I will come back later and see if some sanity has prevailed.
Is there a 'public' missing from that sentence in bold?
I think I can see Listy's point. A quick google reveals the UK's suicide rate is about one suicide in every 10,000 people. How many recruits went through training in the past seven years? Something was obviously rotten at Deepcut, but even if it been empty that number of bods would have experienced some suicides even if they had remained in civvy street.
I can't agree with all your sentiment.
"It's time to forget the whole sorry story and move on. We cant have an inquiry every time a soldier kills him or herself. Let the four individuals rest in peace."
I do not believe it is appropriate to 'forget' anything of this unfortunate series of events, we must learn from these things and endeavour not to allow these sought of situations ever to occur again.
I believe we must have an enquiry every time a soldier kills him/her self. The board of enquiry process must be thorough and robust enough to get to the truth and ensure that all steps are taken to prevent a recurrence. This should also be very public from the beginning to ensure we are never faced with this situation again. If there was an ability to be transparent from the start of these unfortunate and tragic circumstances then we would not be facing the comment and criticism that we find ourselves under at present.
I do agree though, let the four individuals rest in peace, they have done nothing wrong so lets show them the respect they deserve......
Now some may see this in a different light but context is everything in this issue.
1. Suicide is the most common cause of death amongst 15-44 year olds in the UK;
2. 20% of deaths amongst 15-24 year olds are atrributable to suicide;
3. Soldiers are twice as likely to die as a result of suicide as an RTA;
4. Men are 4 x as vulnerable as women.
Those are cold stark statistics.
5. 10% of 15-16 yo in this country have deliberatly self-harmed and they are 100x more likely to commit suicide within 12 months than those who have not self-harmed;
6. Between 1984 and 2003 there have been 367 male suicides and 8 female suicides in the Army (50% hanging; 25% gun shot wound and 25% by other means);
7. Soldiers u20 are 1.7X more likely to commit suicide than their civilian counterparts;
Those who may think I am being smug about Blake's outcomes must understand that the Army must be allowed to move on from this appalling chain of events.
The Army has taken massive bounds forward in reducing the risks and caring for our soldiers. Bearing in mind the statistics above the army level of suicide over the last 5 years has been almost the same for the similar cohort in society (belying the 1.7x stat).
Significantly the reduction in deaths by GSW has reduced.
What would a public inquiry do? Give closure to grieving families at best. There is no new evidence that could demand a public inquiry.
Bullying in all its guises must continue to be fought against; and we must never be complacent, approximately 10 soldiers die each year as a result of suicide.
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