AS Redditch and the UK prepare to mark Armed Forces Day on Saturday (June 30), local MP Rachel Maclean has thrown her support behind calls for the Government to introduce a statute of limitation to protect British veterans from spurious historic allegations and repeated prosecutions.
In recent weeks, the case of Dennis Hutchings, a 77-year-old grievously ill man, who served in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, has shone a light on the treatment of veterans facing repeat prosecutions for cases going back decades.
Outraged by the treatment of Mr Hutchings and other British Military veterans, the Conservative MP for Aldershot, Leo Docherty, launched a petition urging the Government to end the repeated and spurious prosecution of individuals who have served and will serve, not just in Northern Ireland, but in all conflicts including the Falklands, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The petition calls on the Government to legislate for a statute of limitation to protect those who have served their country honourably and have been cleared of any wrongdoing.
“This week, as we prepare to mark Armed Forces Day and show our support for our servicemen and women, it is right we shine a light on the outrageous treatment of our veterans,” said Mrs Maclean.
“It is a disgrace that servicemen and women, who have served their country with honour, and have put their lives at risk to keep us all safe, face prosecution from spurious and vexatious historic allegations and repeated prosecutions.
“This can’t be allowed to continue. The Government must act quickly to stop this and that’s why I support calls for a statute of limitation to be introduced to protect our brave military veterans.”