Weapons and cars in kit stolen from West Midlands Police
Motorbike, cars, bank cards, luggage, weapons and mobile phones have all been stolen from under the noses of West Midlands Police, new figures released today reveal.
The equipment and personal belongings are among tens of thousands of pounds worth of police gear that has been snatched from the force, according to a Freedom of Information request.
It shows that, over the last two-and-a-half years, thieves took a £10,000 motorbike from a car park earlier this year – one of six police motorcycles to have been stolen since the start of 2015.
A total of eight other vehicles were stolen over the period, including a van and two cars – one of which was taken from a compound and is still recorded by police as has been stolen.
Two mopeds also went missing, along with one unspecified vehicle that was stolen from the roadside in 2016 and has never been found.
In 2016 cannisters of CS gas, which is classed as a firearm, were stolen from a police station and later recovered.
Other items stolen from police buildings include mobile phone equipment worth £2,000, which the force says was recovered undamaged, three cameras, sports equipment, garden furniture and a sat nav.
The force has also seen 26 bicycles vanish from in front of its officers’ prying eyes, nine of which are still recorded as missing.
The information was revealed after a request to the police from Lib Dem politicians in Wolverhampton.
Ian Jenkins, Wolverhampton Lib Dems chairman, said he could not believe the list of stolen items that was released by West Midlands Police.
He said: “The list is truly astonishing and taxpayers will worry that police are giving out crime prevention advice and yet can’t seem to avoid being robbed themselves.
“If this wasn’t so serious it would be laughable.
“It seems every year we are asked to pay more for the police yet they are losing things worth tens of thousands of pounds.
“Thefts from forces cost taxpayers money and all this equipment adds up to a big bill that could be reduced.”
West Midlands Police spokeswoman Sharn Braich, said that the data included items that had been stolen from members of the public.
“The figures represent thefts recorded across two years and cover the whole of the West Midlands area,” she said.
“It should be noted that the figures include incidents where a member of the public has had an item stolen and has reported the theft at a police station, therefore the location has been recorded as the police establishment, even though the theft has happened elsewhere.
“While every effort is made to secure police property, we too can sometimes fall victim to crime, however in many cases the property was recovered undamaged.”