UK

Red Arrows received ‘unacceptable behaviours and bystander training’

T

he Red Arrows received unacceptable behaviours and active bystander training following allegations including sexual assault and misogyny, it has been reported.

Military police were sent to the Red Arrows base to educate members of the team on “consent” in wake of the claims, The Times reports, citing unnamed sources.

It claims new training came days after more than 40 personnel, including young female recruits, gave evidence against the aerobatic display team.

The paper previously said the 40 personnel provided 250 hours of evidence to an inquiry which began earlier this year, describing the Red Arrows as “toxic”.

PA news agency understands that unacceptable behaviours and active bystander training was delivered at RAF Scampton, in Lincolnshire, and that the Red Arrows were among those to receive it.

It is understood to be delivered throughout the RAF, in addition to mandatory diversity and inclusivity training.

PA asked the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to clarify when the training was delivered and whether it was in reaction to the allegations but the MoD did not immediately respond.

The Red Arrows flypast goes over the stadium during the opening ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham (Zac Goodwin/PA) / PA Wire

It comes after RAF boss Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, promised to “address as a priority” concerns around the culture of the service.

In an internal statement sent on Thursday, Sir Mike wrote: “You will be well aware of the ongoing focus on the Royal Air Force in the media and on social media, on a number of topics, over the past weeks.

“I am acutely conscious that the coverage affects us all, whether regular, reserve, civil servant, or contractor, as well as our families and loved ones; and there are legitimate questions being asked which I am determined we will address as a priority.”

He added: “It is right that when issues are raised we take swift action to address them, and we continue to strive for an open and honest reporting culture within the service.

“I thank all of you for the part you play in that, our commanders and line managers especially.

“If you have a concern about an issue or risk that you believe contravenes the values and standards of the service or the Civil Service Code, or exposes the organisation to significant criticism or harm, I encourage you to raise it through the correct channels, your chain of command in the first instance or, if you feel unable to do so for any reason, via the MoD’s confidential helpline or the RAF Police.”

“Recent news coverage has addressed our values and standards, our culture and behaviours, and our determination to meet the MoD’s level of ambition for diversity.

“All of this will be the focus of an Air Force board meeting on September 7.

“As a leadership team, we are clear that unacceptable behaviours have no place in our service.”

The Chief of the Air Staff has invited defence ministers to the meeting on September 7 meeting to discuss personnel policy.

Sir Mike has also asked the department to support a review of RAF recruiting policies, practices and direction, which will seek assurances on current and proposed recruiting practices.

He added: “Having the ministerial team join will enable us to set out the work we have been doing to address concerns in this area and also to discuss how we progress toward an organisation that can draw from the widest possible pool of talent.”

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