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Military security breaches up 40%, MoD data shows

By Richard Wheeler

Published 29/01/2016

Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt adjusts her helmet before watching a live firing exercise
Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt adjusts her helmet before watching a live firing exercise

Security breaches connected with military bases, classified material and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) increased by almost 40% in 2015, new figures show.

Figures released to MPs reveal there were 2,145 recorded cases last year compared to 1,537 in 2014, equating to a 39.5% year-on-year rise.

But defence minister Mark Lancaster has withheld information on successful cyber attacks on the MoD's systems in the interests of protecting national security.

He also claimed the release of such figures may be "likely to prejudice" the work and security of the Armed Forces.

The MoD data released shows there were 44 unauthorised entries to military bases in 2015 compared to 24 in 2014.

It adds classified material was lost or stolen 490 times last year compared to 424 incidents in 2014, while "other security breaches" totalled 1,611 in 2015 and 1,089 in 2014.

Mr Lancaster, replying to a written parliamentary question from Labour former defence minister Kevan Jones, said: "The Ministry of Defence treats all breaches of security very seriously and requires all breaches to be reported.

"All incidents are subjected to an initial security risk assessment with further action taken on a proportionate basis."

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