New figures released by the Ministry of Defence show a 13% increase in sexual offences across the armed forces. 95 charges were referred to the service prosecutor in 2018. 

153 investigations were conducted in 2018, a 35% rise since 2016. 18 of these were for historical offences, suggesting a rise in the number of people feeling able to come forward and report their assailants.

The figures, which can be found here, reveal 160 personnel are currently being investigated. 150 of those being investigated are men, 2 are women, and 8 are “unidentified” suspects.

“Sexual Harassment is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated”

Lieutenant General Nick Pope

When broken down by service, 93 investigations were carried out by the British Army, 31 by the Royal Air Force, and 22 by the Royal Navy. 7 investigations were were classed as “joint service”.

The most common form of investigation was for sexual assault with no penetration” (71 cases), followed by rape (30 cases).

Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Nick Pope has previously said:”We are absolutely committed to tackling this issue and our new action plan, developed with experts from the public and private sector, includes a range of initiatives to stamp out inappropriate behaviour.

“These include stepping up our education and awareness programmes, reviewing our internal disciplinary procedures and raising awareness amongst personnel of where support is available.

“Anyone failing to meet the clear standards of behaviour I or the Army expects will be dealt with robustly and may face dismissal.”

In October 2018 the military police were accused of being “unfit to run sex assault cases” by an Army corporal who claimed she was assaulted by another soldier.

The article, published by The Times, said the person who took her statement was not trained to handle sexual assault cases and the interview was not filmed, a standard procedure used by civilian police forces.

Liberty, a human rights advocacy group, have threatened to “take…[the Ministry of Defence] to court to force its hand” over the case.

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captain P Wash

I’ve been sat here for ages just trying to actually Type something PC. but It’s Hard to ignore the Voices in my Head (Just thought i’d chuck that in for use as ammo, later) all shouting the Bloody Obvious answer to the Above report.


Hopefully those voices in your heads are the ones reminding you that the positive side of this story is that sexual assault is no longer seen as in any way acceptable and that its ok for victims to speak up regardless of gender or the authority of their attacker.

It is entirely possible that people will read these comments who are themselves victims of assaults. Please everyone, think what your messages might say to a victim before posting them on a public forum.

captain P Wash

Really ?

I disagree in principle but in practice I am with you. Apart from inciting people to violence we must protect free speech. I will personally moderate my words because of my beliefs but I will never demand others to do the same.

This kind of self-sensorship over every possible issue that could possibly upset someone is transforming British society in to a 21st century east German police state.

It is a dangerous and ugly state of affairs and all manner of destructive changes are being foist upon us because of this growing and imposing silence.

Captain P Wash

Nathan, That’s a good reply.

We are heading down the road to 1984 at a staggering pace.

Well, isn’t that nice and cosy! At times, there is something rather unpleasant about the contributions to this website. As a complete aside to this, if you continue to hear voices I recommend you consult you doctor….there is already evidence for extreme paranoia!

captain P Wash

Oh do try to play nicely , it’s only Banter.

It is not the cases themselves that intrigue but underlying causes, with that 13% increase.

Could PTSD have any bearing on these figures? Our forces have seen more combat than most over the last decade.

153 investigations out of a force of 150,000 ish is extremely small thankfully, hardly an undisciplined rabble.


PTSD is unlikely to be a significant causal factor, though it might be implicated in some cases, especially given its connection with misuse of alcohol.

It is though entirely possible that people who might meet criteria for a dx of PTSD will commit acts of sexual violence, but it needn’t mean that PTSD causes them to be violent. There is perhaps a greater risk that associating PTSD with sexual violence will cause those with PTSD to be feared and discriminated against instead of helped and supported

Yes the alcohol side was what I had in mind. Stress, leading to drink, leading to wandering hands.

captain P Wash

It’s a “Touchy Subject”.

LOL Captain.


Then we should be careful to associate alcohol with assault rather than PTSD. Now that is a well known factor in wider society and one that remains an issue in the military.

Those are only the reported cases. How many feel that they cannot come forward…it might be considerably more than 153?

Ah. That is true.
The RN and RAF side seems at least consistent.

Very different cultures in the services. The RN are pretty forward thinking and inclusive. Can’t say about the Army, but I’ve experienced some pretty poor attitudes from RAF officers in my time!

Oh no, not that RAF-RN clash again!

captain P Wash

Bugger me Backwards (oops,) Hero, You just seem to be surrounded by People with Attitude towards you.



Sadly it is likely that there are far more unreported than reported cases still. Estimating numbers is notoriously difficult which is perhaps partly why this report makes no attempt to do so. There can be a considerable amount of shame and guilt associated with being the victim of any form of violent assault, especially sexual violence. Add that onto the widely held belief that you might not be believed and that its hard to prove such assaults occurred and reporting rates can be very low. I would not be surprised if reporting rates were much lower for male victims than… Read more »


Rear Gunner Richards

Congratulations for finding the courage to say it today. Look after yourself, it can be a big thing to say it for the first time and can bring stuff back for a while. That needn’t be a bad thing if it lets you deal with it but perhaps just be mindful that it might happen.

Take care

I agree.

It has never affected your SOH RGR that’s for sure mate.

Bill Kenny

Herodotus I believe you can get a cream for mewing smugness these days. Happy to help.


RGR: hats off to you..

How many of the offences committed by the Navy included barrels?

I thought that was Monks….is it your turn?

Fortunately, I have never had my turn in a barrel.

Nelson did….a very long voyage home!

I bet nobody stuck their chap in that barrel on the way home.

And why not, it was full of Brandy…used as a pickling agent to preserve the ultimate Hero. Nelson was a genius ….he constructed his own death at the height of his fame and reputation. Always exit when you are at your peak. Takes a sound intellect to work that one out…

Captain P Wash

Sounds like you are “Pickled” too most of the time !

Takes one to know one…N’est Pas

Captain P Wash

Ha, Mate, I’m Tea Total have been for Years after a nasty Wound and a long term treatment regime.
You appear to be losing it now HERO.

Are you on the Irn Brew Yet ?

Ah, you wish CPW….still, thanks for the sparring…much appreciated. Hope you recuperate soon. Hopefully the political nonsense will be sorted out soon. Though I think that we are all going to be disappointed!

Captain P Wash

You’re just such a Depressive.

My Recuperation Is Ongoing and under control.

Thanks for the Concern.


we are talking serious offences here guys, involving the destruction of the lives and careers for both victims and accused.

What would interests me is:

1) is there a different rate of reporting, prosecutions etc in the armed forces than in the general population.
1) can you expect military police to be able to maintain the skills needed for complex niche investigations considering the small population they serve ( look at the size of pupulation served by most police forces )

Captain P Wash

Yes Jonathan, We Know that.

1) Probably.
2) probably Not.

Oh and, I too Find Sexual Abuse of any nature to be Offensive and Abhorent . Just making that clear to anyone who might take offence or might have earlier.

I’ll keep my reasons to myself though If That’s OK.

Not sure if the regular military police regiments have the niche skills but the Special Investigation Branch of the Army, and the Specialist Crime Bureau, should.

Likewise the RAF Police Special Capabilities Squadron over other standard RAF Police units.


The penalties no longer match the crime by a long way, so the deterrant & protection of society isn’t working. The free access to online porn also screws up kids perception of healthy sexuality.

Captain P Wash

Frank, you are again, Spot On.

What really surprises me Is that No one has actually questioned my first post Here , nor have I had the Opportunity to actually Explain It. ( A few chose to be Offended though )

Not that there would be any point now as It’s Pretty Obvious that Free Speech and the right to express our concerns Has been Erased by the PC Brigade.

Spot on Capn.

PC is one if the biggest problems this nation, and western culture in general, have.

Censorship of those not following the liberal world view on Twitter and Facebook too.