From hero to zero......Times article

#1
An interesting article in the Times regarding the high incidence of violence and imprisonment among former squaddies especially in the recent conflicts, having recently spent 6 months on remand myself I can attest to the high numbers of ex forces behind bars mostly for violent crime.



From hero to zero
 
#2
I read the artical earlier.
I have often wondered if anyone is Civvy Normal on leaving HM Forces.
We all did Basic training, should all not have received a in depth Training for return to Normal way of life.
john
But then No UK Government in History has ever give a monkey's for ex servicemen.
 
#3
Yes well, this is one of the best kept hidden secrets about service pers who have served in stressful places. Even today, doctors (GP's) have a tendency to gloss over ex forces mental health problems when they see them because to do something about them would mean, in the first place acknowledging that these is a problem and, secondly, acknowledgement of the problem would affect their carefully constructed budgets with a requirement for medium to term care for some individuals.

But it isn't just ex-servicemen and women who suffer the ignorance of those in the medical profession. There is a real problem with the NHS as a whole in respect of the treatment of people with mental problems. I speak from experience:

Case A. A former senior NCO suffered from serious depression as a result of over work and stress. His doctor told him to "give himself a kick up the backside and cheer up", advice that very nearly caused the subjects death by suicide. The subject had to pay privately for two years treatment by a psychologist before being able to go back to work. During that period he received no support whatsoever from any source.

Case B. Female made 5 suicide attempts in 2 years at least one of them requiring major intervention by medical emergency teams. After three years, this highly unstable individual has had one interview with a psychologist. Further interviews have been denied her because "she didn't turn up for the second treatment".

Case C. The wife of a former officer has dementia. He has had to join the local NHS mental health team in order to ensure proper treatment of his wife whilst she is in hospital (like not leaving her lying naked on the bed during visiting hours, for all to see).

I could go on but the point is that more attention needs to be given to mental health by the medical profession and maybe they might start by realising that the more stress a person has, the more likely they are to have problems.
 
#4
mon_colonel said:
An interesting article in the Times regarding the high incidence of violence and imprisonment among former squaddies especially in the recent conflicts, having recently spent 6 months on remand myself I can attest to the high numbers of ex forces behind bars mostly for violent crime.



From hero to zero
I feel sorry for blokes in that situation,they should be treated by People like Combat Stress,not dumped in a civvy nick for years...They signed up to do a very traumatic job for this country,most of us have been there,and now this Country owes it,s support for them.
Most blokes in nick are just dicks,but Ex. Forces should be treated differently because of what they have voluntarily been through.
 
#5
It seemed to me that the courts were dealing with ex squaddies alot harsher than they would have civvies for the same offences, several of the younger guys I spoke to were veterans of Iraq & Afghan and also first time offenders but were given it seemed substanially longer sentences than a civvy for the same crime.
If anything being an ex squaddie went against you went going before the courts.
 
#7
I think they need to have some special review of ex military when they come before the courts to see if there is any chance of it being PSTD and if there is then the sentencing should be into some special system set up to deal with the problem. No body wins (even civvies) in the jail system. I know I did 7.5 yrs on the part time plan (I was a prison officer).
 
#8
jonwilly said:
I read the artical earlier.
I have often wondered if anyone is Civvy Normal on leaving HM Forces.
We all did Basic training, should all not have received a in depth Training for return to Normal way of life.
john
But then No UK Government in History has ever give a monkey's for ex servicemen.
JW: You make a valid point in relation to a more "in depth" Services-Civvy training progression and an issue which could be review'd,

The CTP advisors along with an "extended programme" package to include Industrial specialist, HR recrutiment element and additional resources to assist service personnel in this transition is and would benifit, however

This type of thing would cost the MOD significantly, and as budgets are already tight I strongly suspect this type of idea would be on the back burner for some time.
 
#9
Former soldier kicking over the traces = prison.

Unemployed yob kicking over the traces = ASBO (ignored of course).

Illegal immigrant raping and killing = a free home, full benefits and all the trimmings.

Blair's Broken and Never to be Mended Britain = a place where you defecate!
 
#10
My contribution-offered from a reasoned standpoint and inviting reasoned replies

Firstly this chap was still serving at the time of his offence-so the "I was lost without the Army" defence is not relevant-he was a serving soldier not ex-services.
He battered someone and ruined their life when drunk. Where is the problem in him going to prison?
He is now using drugs (allegedly) and drinking too much-both personal choices. The article does not mention whether this individal has approached Combat Stress, SSAFA, RBL, ABF, Regimental Assoc, Alanon, Narcanon, his MP, GP or any other organisation that might be able to help following his PTSD diagnosis.
He may well still be suffering from PTSD-I don't know I am not doctor. But I have managed a long time in the mob without beating people half to death when pi$$ed.

My personal view-I hope this chap manages to turn himself around. It sounds like he was a first rate soldier, but 6 years for violent drunken assault, harsh but fair.
 
#11
That article is very well written, it does highlight the issues at hand.
Does anyone remember the program 'civvies'?
And its not just guys who are out either, any infantry bn or unit that has experienced close contact with the enemy will have a large number of guys who are suffering in some way.

Lets face it, these guys are doing something outside accepted social norms, it will affect them in some way.
And although I feel that the govt has an obligation to help, what about the guys who came home from 5 years of fighting in WW2? I am sure that they had the same problems, was it just not documented?
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
mon_colonel said:
It seemed to me that the courts were dealing with ex squaddies alot harsher than they would have civvies for the same offences, several of the younger guys I spoke to were veterans of Iraq & Afghan and also first time offenders but were given it seemed substanially longer sentences than a civvy for the same crime.
If anything being an ex squaddie went against you went going before the courts.
Maybe because of the pedestal returning soldiers are put on, means they are deemed to have fallen further than civvies?
 
#13
The philosopher Bertrand Russel-a noted pacifist approved the legitimacy of violence as practised by the Armed Forces (if not the violence itself) because it was lawfully directed and controlled violence. Once this violence for which people are trained is misdirected the courts will take a disproportionately harsh view. The same applies when coppers are in the dock-the previous comment about pedestals is valid. If you are on a pedestal you have far farther to fall.
 
#14
The comments section typifies the civilian view of the armed forces and shows the ignorance that we are up against.

Mind you, why don't they give everyone mandatory PTSD briefings during resettlement? They can take the cost out of that whopping £534 resettlement grant.

(sarcasm roolz)
 
#15
I can honestly say I am not noticing any more squaddies or ex squaddies being nicked now then when i joined the MPS 16 years ago.

There have always been a few (I can remember a run in with a volatile and distressed Aden veteran in the mid 1990's, fortunatly Sargey had been in the falklands and between us we were able to take a welfare approach) and ithink failings in mental health provision are largely to blame, but i dont believe there is an ex forces crime wave or anything.
 
#16
My uncle now long decesed, was during his time 7th Battalion Green Howards the 2nd Regt SAS.
Badly wounded on a recce patrol at Casino and discharged 50% disability pension.
Physically a small man but Hard.
He got involved with Blackmarket racketeers as an enforcer.
The whole gang was caught by law and ended up in court.
Severe sentences for the gang for Blakmarketers where not liked by population and Judiciary.
The judge took one look at my uncles war record and dismissed him.
john
 
#17
I'm not trying to say my situation is the same as I never saw combat and only spent time in the TA in the late 90's but there are some parallels.

Within a couple of months of leaving (for personal reasons beyond my control) I ended up in a deep depression which was the first serious episode of my bipolar disorder.

With me it was the loss of the structure that the army put into my life that seemed to be behind my descent into illness and since my early 20's I have to admit there hasn't been a time where I felt that I fitted in.

Late teens to early 20's are when a lot of people develop mental health issues and there is a possible correlation with this being when young people leave the security of the military with inappropriate coping strategies for civilian life.
 
#18
Squaddies are a notoriously self reliant lot and due to the culture of soldiering on and the fear of stigma regarding PTSD etc will simply suffer in silence.

The drinking is an easy way of self medication which in turn leads to more problems. On many an occasion an assault or violent behavious, especially if it is out of character is the first sign that something is wrong.

Sometimes the first sign that something is wrong is suicide.

If the violence and offending is as a result of PTSD etc, then imprisonment etc is going to make the situation worse. Would you charge a soldier whose leg had been blown off with littering if his limb fell on the pavement.

A lot of these offenders are casualties of war.. sometimes their offending is actually a symptom of their injury.
 
#19
Sad article. I hope this guy can access help. Having said that, he has to do the asking, and from prior experience with my clients (all youth) they won't ask.

I can't help but think that this guy had some prior deamons,

"When Clohessy speaks, he does so in rapid-fire bursts, before losing concentration. The tour of Basra with the Cheshire regiment was, he says, the only time in his life when he felt a true sense of purpose".

That statement tells a story in itself.

I know most people in the thread question the NHS ability to cope with mental health issues. I do too. However, I don't believe these cases should be in main- stream health. Its a specialised area, and sorry run of the mill GP's and Dr's don't have the training or expertise to deal with it. It also doesn't help that only a fraction of the Health budget is spent on mental health. This makes no sense when here in West Aussie, the current stats point to over 50% of hospital beds being occupied by mental health patients. The ratio of mental health inmates is even higher in the Prison system! Some may not like this, but people like the guy in the article need to be treated in institutions.
 
#20
lsquared said:
Former soldier kicking over the traces = prison.

Unemployed yob kicking over the traces = ASBO (ignored of course).

Illegal immigrant raping and killing = a free home, full benefits and all the trimmings.

Blair's Broken and Never to be Mended Britain = a place where you defecate!
I agree with the sentiments, as always, but you're starting to bore me a bit now. Are you able to contribute to any discussions without even the slightest hint of a reference to McRuin, Bliar, etc?
 
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