More than 1,000 recruits deemed 'too risky'
Morven McLean · 24 Feb 2014, 08:38
Published: 24 Feb 2014 08:38 GMT+01:00
- Majority of Swiss oppose ending conscription (22 Sep 13)
- Without conscription 'who will defend Swiss?' (16 Sep 13)
Armed forces spokesman Daniel Reist confirmed reports in the Swiss media on Sunday but said the increase in cases was minimal. In 2012, 989 recruits were rejected on security grounds.
The ministry of defence has been carrying out increased security checks on recruits since the summer of 2011. By the end of that year 400 young men had been considered a security risk and declared unfit for service.
The measure aims to ensure that no one who poses a potential threat to public safety receives military training and access to their own military weapon.
It was prompted by a number of incidents including the case of a young soldier in Zurich in 2007 who shot and killed a 16-year-old woman he didn’t know at a bus stop in Höngg.
Thousands of young Swiss men are called up every year for basic military training. On September 22nd last year the people voted against scrapping the long-standing tradition of military conscription.
Since 1996 civilian service has been offered as an alternative to those unwilling to serve in the armed forces.