Risk of violence after serving in recent military tours

Defence correspondent om Cotterill on the jet simulator

The News defence correspondent ‘lands’ jet on HMS Queen Elizabeth

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YOUNG men are more likely to commit a violent crime if they have served in the armed forces.

The report in the medical journal Lancet, looks at a study of around 14,000 military personnel, who served in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Marines from the Portsmouth area served in Afghanistan, while the Royal Navy and Marines were involved in the Iraq conflict.

The report showed troops who have been in combat, are more likely to be involved in violent offending back in the UK.

Researchers from King’s College London looked at criminal offending rates and the possible links between them and post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and other mood disorders.

The study found that of 2,700 men serving in the armed forces under the age of 30, 20.6 per cent had been convicted of a violent offence, compared with 6.7 per cent in the general population.

Men who had seen combat in Iraq and Afghanistan were 53 per cent more likely to commit a violent offence than those in non-frontline roles.

And personnel who had multiple experiences of combat had a 70 per cent to 80 per cent greater risk of being convicted of acts of violence.