The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is set to implement several new measures to address inappropriate behaviour in the armed forces in line with recommendations of a review.
In April, the MoD commissioned a report to look into inappropriate behaviour in the British Armed Forces.
The review was undertaken by Air Marshal Michael Wigston. It was mandated to analyse the internal culture and come with recommendations to improve behaviours.
The ministry has published the findings of the report and has agreed to implement all 36 recommendations in full spirit.
While there is a high standard of behaviour in the armed forces, the review observed an ‘unacceptable level of inappropriate behaviour in some areas’.
The MoD stated that senior military leaders responsible for managing day-to-day discipline will be tasked with raising the standards and instilling a shift in culture.
Another key measure proposed to be implemented is the overhaul of the complaints system. This will pave the way for a swift investigation of the most serious allegations.
The ministry will also set in place a new training and reporting structure to keep track of culture change.
A new ‘Defence Authority’ will be formed to oversee the implementation of recommendations and enable the sharing of best practice across the services.
The new body will include investigating serious allegations such as sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination. The proposed changes are aimed at empowering victims to seek justice.
In a bid to protect the identity of whistleblowers, different platforms will be created to allow personnel to anonymously report inappropriate behaviour.
These platforms include a new hotline, a phone-based app and website forms.
UK Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “Whether it is crude comments, discriminatory treatment, or even offences of a sexual nature, inappropriate behaviour has no place in society, let alone in our armed forces.
“This report sends a clear message and I am committed to ensuring its recommendations are delivered in full.
“In addition to the report, I want to ensure non-commissioned officers are able to address poor behaviour when they see it. They are the moral compass of the armed forces.”
The MoD will set new performance standards and provide training in diversity and inclusion to personnel to improve their understanding and awareness.