Offending by armed forces veterans

Meeting: 
MQT on 2015-03-25
Session date: 
March 25, 2015
Reference: 
2015/1163
Question By: 
Roger Evans
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

Nottinghamshire Police are piloting a project to support armed forces veterans who become involved in crime. What assessments have you, MOPAC and the Metropolitan Police Service made of this scheme, and will you be introducing a similar one in London?

Answer

Answer for Offending by armed forces veterans

Answer for Offending by armed forces veterans

Answered By: 
The Mayor

These individuals have served our country in the most difficult and unimaginable situations and it is important that we offer veterans support. That is why I have introduced free travel for veterans.

We understand that military veterans can be more vulnerable and when they are involved in crime they need support. The MPS already provide support in custody around employment, housing, re-training or health issues which are often associated with offenders who are veterans.

As with other offenders, the drivers of veteran offending also include drug abuse and mental ill-health and we are doing lots around those - including health and liaison in custody suites for mental health and drug intervention projects and funding drug-related crime prevention initiatives across the capital.

This means that veterans with any specific needs will be picked up by the existing services, so we are treating the causes of offending, not just the symptoms.

The Nottinghamshire pilot is very interesting and I know that the MPS are looking at this to see if there is anything they can learn.

Homelessness can be a particular problem for veterans, and can draw people into criminality. That's why every year £250,000 of my £9 million budget for rough sleeping services assists members of the armed forces. I recently spend Friday 9th January rough-sleeping in London to show my support for the Evening Standard/ Independent Homeless Veterans campaign. I have also pledged around £200,000 of my budget to refurbish the New Belvedere House Veterans Aid hostel.