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British Army chief criticises soldiers behaviour after claims of sexual assault surface

ANI | Updated: Apr 06, 2019 23:11 IST

London [UK], Apr 6 (ANI): British Army Chief of the General Staff Mark Carleton-Smith on Friday condemned the "unacceptable" behaviour displayed by soldiers after several allegations including claims of sexual assault raised questions over troops' conduct.
Citing a video statement CNN quoted Carleton-Smith as saying, "This hasn't been a good week for the Army -- it's damaged our reputation."
This comes after local media reported that a female soldier was allegedly sexually abused while she slept by six army members. According to media reports, all six soldiers have been arrested.
Stating that these claims demonstrate "indiscipline that is wildly at odds with the values and the standards that represent the fabric of not just our Army, but the nation's Army", the Chief of Army Staff said, "Over the last few days, a series of exceptionally serious allegations have been made against soldiers currently serving in the British Army."
On Wednesday, the Army had also announced that it has opened an investigation after a video apparently showing serving soldiers firing handguns at a picture of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn went viral.
Stating that he was "horrified" to hear about the sexual abuse allegations, Gavin Williamson, the UK's Defence Secretary said, "There is no place for these kind of actions in the military and, if true, those involved must be dealt with."
He added that he had commissioned a review into inappropriate behaviour in the military, "with a view to stamping it out."
"Not only is it downright acceptable, it is illegal. This is everyone's business. This is about who we are as professional soldiers. The British soldier is known for many things -- stoicism, a sense of honour and duty, courage, a sense of humour, and an honest sense of decency. Any behaviour that falls short of that high standard, we cannot and we will not tolerate," Carleton-Smith said.
He also confirmed that the police are actively investigating these incidents. (ANI)