A detailed response from the Children’s Commissioner for Scotland to our query about child abuse incidents in the cadet forces. They have now obtained details from the MOD as set out below.
Parallel queries to the Children’s Commissioners in N. Ireland and Wales were not responded to because the Commissioners maintained that ‘Defence’ was not a devolved matter. The reason was somewhat perverse as the military cadet forces are not part of the Defence Forces of the United Kingdom according to the MOD.
The text of the MOD reply concerning Scotland is set out below and does not include details for Sea Cadets.
The Celtic League concern over this was prompted when it was revealed the MOD had paid several million pounds in out of court settlements to resolve sexual abuse allegations.
The Celtic League are grateful for this detailed response from the Commissioner.
Linda Ellis Macdonald Enquiries Officer Children & Young People’s Commissioner Scotland
Reply to: Linda.Macdonald@cypcs.org.uk
22 February 2017
Dear Ms Macdonald,
Thank you for your email of 26 January 2017 requesting the following information:
“Please provide information on the number of allegations of abuse – including physical, emotional and sexual abuse – made by (or on behalf of) children and young people under the age of 18 years at the time the allegation was made, who were serving in military cadet forces in Scotland in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
This information should not include allegations of non-recent abuse (also known as historic abuse) made in each of those years. Historic abuse is defined as an allegation of neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse made by or on behalf of someone who is 18 years of over, related to an alleged incident which took place when the alleged victim was under 18 years old.
Where it is available (and without disclosing personal data), please disaggregate data on the number of allegations made against 1) military staff, 2) adult volunteers and 3) cadets.”
I am treating your correspondence as a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) 2000.
A review of our data holdings has been completed, and I can confirm that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) holds information within the scope of your request; this is provided overleaf.
In accordance with the Data Protection Act and our obligations in relation to the protection of confidentiality when handling personal data, disclosure control has been applied to the the figures provided in this letter. Disclosure control is necessary when presenting any statistical or numeric information to safeguard the confidentiality of individuals, to protect commercially sensitive information, or where sharing the statistics may pose a threat to security.
The figures provided in this letter have been rounded to the nearest 10. When rounding, to prevent the systematic bias caused by always rounding numbers upwards, a value of ‘25’ would be rounded down to ‘20’ and a value of ‘15’ would be rounded up to ‘20’.
Additionally, totals and sub-totals are rounded separately and so may not equal the sums of their rounded parts.
Further information about MOD disclosure control is available at this link:
The MOD takes allegations of abuse seriously, and there is a stringent policy in place for when an accusation is made. Regarding allegations of abuse made by (or on behalf of) children and young people under the age of 18 years at the time the allegation was made, who were members of the cadet organisations in Scotland, the MOD has recorded 30 allegations in 2014 and 20 allegations in 2015.
For the number of allegations made during 2014 and 2015 against military staff, adult volunteers and cadets in Scotland, the MOD records indicate there were fewer than 5 allegations made against military staff, 20 allegations made against adult volunteers and 40 allegations made against cadets.
Please be advised that the Royal Navy does not hold any information within the scope of your request, so the figures above do not include the Sea Cadet Corps. However, under Section 16 of the FOI Act (Advice and Assistance) I can advise that you may wish to contact the Marine Society & Sea Cadets (the charity which runs the Sea Cadet Corps) to see whether they hold any related information. Please use the following link:
You may wish to be aware that total number of cadets in the UK is 128,550. The total number of cadets is published annually and the data as at 1 Apr 16 can be found online at:
If you are not satisfied with this response or you wish to complain about any aspect of the handling of your request, then you should contact me in the first instance. If informal resolution is not possible and you are still dissatisfied then you may apply for an independent internal review by contacting the Information Rights Compliance Team, Ground Floor, Zone D, MOD Main Building, Whitehall, SW1A 2HB (e-mail CIO-FOI-IR@mod.uk). Please note that any request for an internal review must be made within 40 working days of the date on which the attempt to reach informal resolution has come to an end.
If you remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you may take your complaint to the Information Commissioner under the provisions of Section 50 of the FOI Act. Please note that the Information Commissioner will not investigate your case until the MOD internal review process has been completed. Further details of the role and powers of the Information Commissioner can be found on the Commissioner’s website,
Defence People Secretariat FOI’
pp Celtic League Military Monitoring.