Red Arrows in 'special measures' over sexual harassment report
Red Arrows in ‘special measures’ over sexual harassment report, minister says
- Defence minister Andrew Murrison said he display team had been ‘put on notice’
The Red Arrows are in ‘special measures’ after a report found women were plied with alcohol, treated like property and harassed for sex, a Government minister said.
Defence minister Andrew Murrison told the defence committee on Tuesday that the display team had been ‘put on notice’.
A report published earlier this month found the campaign of bullying, sexual harassment and predatory behaviour was ‘widespread and normalised’ in the squadron – with female personnel forced to form groups known as ‘shark watch’ to protect themselves at social events.
Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Rich Knighton, offered his ‘unreserved apologies’ following the report’s release, and said he was ‘appalled’ its findings.
Addressing the report’s conclusions, Mr Murrison told the committee: ‘The Red Arrows have been put on notice – there’s no question about that.
The Red Arrows are in ‘special measures’ after a report found women were plied with alcohol , treated like property and harassed for sex, a Government minister said
Defence minister Andrew Murrison (pictured) told the defence committee on Tuesday that the display team had been ‘put on notice’
‘I think they are best described as being in ‘special measures’ following this performance.
‘Now, they are subject to the most intense scrutiny, I think, of any part of defence at the moment, and none of them can be under any misapprehension about what is expected of them.’
The minister for defence people, veterans and service families continued: ‘I’m comforted in the knowledge that there has been significant churn since this happened – so we have a fresher slate of people who now populate this organisation.’
‘You will also know that RAF Scampton, their home, has now closed and they’ve gone elsewhere.
‘And you’ll also be aware that there are ongoing climate assessments of this organisation to make sure that they are where we want them to be.
An investigation into the UK’s best-known display squad has concluded that women regularly faced unwanted physical contact, sexual texts and invitations to engage in sexual activity
Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Rich Knighton, offered his ‘unreserved apologies’ following the report’s release, and said he was ‘appalled’ its findings
READ MORE: Red Arrows pilots treated women as ‘property’ and predatory behaviour was ‘widespread and normalised’, probe finds
‘No part of defence, including the Red Arrows, can expect special treatment despite their high profile, if they start to tarnish the good name of defence and give entirely the wrong impression to the to the public that they serve, and in particular, those who may be tempted to join the armed forces.’
Evidence of possible criminal behaviour was passed to the service police, but they were unable to gather sufficient evidence to begin prosecutions.
The non-statutory inquiry, launched in 2021, found examples dating back to 2017 of team members flashing their genitals, several extra-marital affairs and one case of criminal battery.
The report added that it was highly likely women had to deal with being hounded for sex, unwanted physical contact and derogatory comments about their appearance.
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