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Armed Forces Act 2006

Duties of commanding officers
Section 113: CO to ensure service police aware of possibility serious offence committed

246.Under this section, if a CO becomes aware of certain allegations or circumstances, he must ensure that the service police are aware of them. He may find that they are already aware, or he may need to inform them. He must do so as soon as is reasonably practicable. The duty applies to allegations or circumstances which would suggest to a reasonable person that someone (whether or not identified) within the CO’s command may have committed any service offence listed in Schedule 2. The service offences listed in that schedule are all inherently serious, in that it is difficult to envisage a trivial example of any of them.

247.The section gives the Secretary of State power by order to amend Schedule 2. Under section 373, an order under this section must be approved in draft by both Houses of Parliament.

Section 114: CO to ensure service police aware of certain circumstances

248.This section requires certain officers to ensure as soon as reasonably practicable that the service police are aware of certain circumstances. The Secretary of State may prescribe the circumstances, and the officers on whom the duty falls, in regulations. The circumstances which may be prescribed are not limited to where there is an indication that an offence has been committed.

Section 115: Duty of CO with respect to investigation of service offences

249.This section deals with situations (other than those in which a duty arises under section 113 or 114) in which a CO becomes aware of allegations or circumstances which would suggest to a reasonable person that someone within his command may have committed a service offence. In such cases the CO may ensure that, as soon as reasonably practicable, that the service police know of the matter. Alternatively he may ensure that the matter is appropriately investigated. An investigation other than by the service police will in many cases be appropriate, because service offences (defined in section 50) include all offences which may be committed by service personnel under the Act, including the less serious disciplinary offences.

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