The AP (3/14, Press) reports, “Young men who have served in the British military are about three times more likely than civilians to have committed a violent offense,” according to a study published online March 15 in The Lancet. One “key predictor was violent behavior before enlisting. Combat duty also raised the risk, as did witnessing traumatic events during deployment or misusing alcohol afterward,” the article notes.
Reuters (3/15, Kelland) reports that researchers arrived at these conclusions after having studied data on some 14,000 UK soldiers who were deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq and then cross-checking that data against data derived from criminal records.
BBC News (3/15, Gallagher) reports, “Overall criminal activity was slightly lower in military personnel than in people of the same age in the wider population.” But, “the researchers found violent offending was higher within members of the armed services and there was a ‘stark’ difference in men under 30 – 20.6% of the 2,728 young men followed had committed a violent offence, compared with 6.7% of young mven outside the military.” The majority of “violent offences were assaults.”
— “Study finds British soldiers, vets who had combat duty more likely to commit violent crimes, “Associated Press, The Washington Post, March 14, 2013.