03 Mar 2017

Number of UK military base security breaches sees sharp increase

The number of security incidents at UK Armed Forces sites has seen a dramatic spike over the past two years.

The figures were revealed by Defence Minister Mark Lancaster in response to written Commons questions.

Official figures show nearly 1,300 security breaches over the past two years. In 2015, 486 incidents were reported, followed by a sharp increase to 806 breaches in 2016.

Last year saw 373 physical incidents at Army locations, while the Royal Navy logged 214.

The MOD defines physical security breaches as “incidents relating to the loss, theft, or compromise, or the potential loss, theft, or compromise of classified physical assets; for example weapons, explosives, ammunition, and other items which are attractive to criminal or terrorist organisations.”

The RAF saw an astonishing rise of 358% last year, jumping from 19 in 2015 to 87 in 2016.

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation was the only section to see a reduction in breaches over 12 months, falling from 11 to nine.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, who submitted written questions on the security breaches, commented: “These figures for security breaches should raise alarm, particularly in the security atmosphere we are currently living through.

“This is a massive spike these security breaches; these are a major national security risk. The Government need to come forward with a plan to change this.

“But more than that, defence ministers need to assure the public, Forces personnel and their families that they are taking this incredibly seriously.”

image © MoD Crown Copyright 2013

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