16. Armed Forces (updated 2021)

Introduction

16.1 The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is a Duty to Co-operate agency and has a critical role to play in the management of those who are convicted of sexual and violent offences and remain in the armed forces. The MoD has agreed to provide the Responsible Authority with information regarding MAPPA offenders at key points in their sentence and on release to support the lead agency risk management plan. This includes information about the offender's behaviour in custody, any engagement in intervention programmes and employment or education related activities, and contact made with others, either in custody or the community. The lead agency will be the Police as these offenders are not subject to supervision on licence on release.

16.2 Armed forces personnel are subject to the jurisdiction of the Service Justice system as well as the civilian criminal justice system. As such they can be convicted of a 'crime' under s.42 of the Armed Forces Act (AFA) 2006[1] (Criminal Conduct) which applies the criminal law of England & Wales to them wherever they are in the world. Service personnel convicted of criminal conduct under s.42 can be sentenced to a period of detention and serve their sentences at the Military Corrective Training Centre (MCTC) in Colchester. Offenders may be sentenced to up to two years detention under s.42. They can also be sentenced to a term of imprisonment and serve their sentence in a civilian prison (see Chapter 15: Custody) or be given a hospital order and admitted to a civilian hospital (see Chapter 26: Mentally Disordered Offenders). They will usually be discharged from the armed forces if they are given a sentence of imprisonment or a hospital order.

16.3 Sexual offenders convicted of an offence under s.42 AFA 2006 are subject to notification requirements if the corresponding offences under the law of England and Wales qualify for notification requirements and are sentenced to a term of service detention of at least 112 days. These offenders are subject to MAPPA under Category 1. S.42 AFA 2006 does not fall under Sch. 15 and so other offenders sentenced under this section are not eligible for MAPPA Category 2. Where the MoD (or any other agency) deems that these offenders pose a risk of serious harm that requires active multi-agency management they should consider referral into Category 3. See paragraphs 6.10-6.18 for the criteria for referral into Category 3. Service Police Crime Bureau (SPCB) monitor service personnel subject to MAPPA and are responsible for maintaining the ViSOR records.

1. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/52/section/42 [back]