British military bases suffer a shocking 15 security breaches every week, the Ministry of Defence has admitted. There were 373 physical incidents at Army sites last year, with another 214 at Royal Navy stations, official figures revealed. Security breaches at RAF bases climbed from 19 in 2015 to 87 last year – a surge of 358%.
Authorities recorded almost 1,300 incidents at UK Armed Forces sites in just two years, soaring from 486 in 2015 to 806 in 2016.
Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said: These figures for security breaches should raise alarm, particularly in the security atmosphere we are currently living through.
The breaches came after cuts to the Ministry of Defence Police budget (file photo) (Photo: PA)
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. Incidents at Army bases rose from 322 to 373, while breaches at the Defence Equipment and Support trebled from 26 to 78. Breaches at Royal Navy stations rose from 88 to 214.
Worryingly, there were 44 physical incidents – about four a month – at Joint Forces Command in Hertfordshire and Permanent Joint Headquarters at Northwood. There were just 19 in 2015. The Defence Infrastructure Organisation was the only section to notice a fall in the number of breaches over 12 months, dropping from 11 to nine.
Lib Dem leader Tim Farron warned: “This is a massive spike” (Photo: Getty)
There was a single breach at head office and corporate services in both 2015 and 2016. The figures were revealed by Defence Minister Mark Lancaster following written Commons questions. Meanwhile, the Tories have slashed the number of officers in all branches of Armed Forces police, and cut the Ministry of Defence Police s budget.
The strength of the Royal Air Force Police fell from 1,479 to 1,160 between April 2010 and December 2016. The Royal Military Police manpower was sliced from 1,701 regulars to 1,529, while Royal Navy Police numbers dropped from 334 to 284. The Ministry of Defence Police s budget was sliced from 182.5million to 136.5million.
Stats showed there were just eight unauthorised entries to UK military sites in 2009, the last full year of a Labour government.
By 2015, they had rocketed to 45.