Thieves target the long arm of the law

SUFFOLK'S long arm of the law has been left short after light-fingered thieves stole dozens of police items over a two-year period.

Colin Adwent

SUFFOLK'S long arm of the law has been left short after light-fingered thieves stole dozens of police items over a two-year period.

Two flashing beacons, headgear, handcuffs, cycle parts and garden equipment were among 37 separate thefts from the county's constabulary between April 1, 2007 and March 31, 2009.

The value of the items taken was worth nearly �6,000.

The vast majority of the property was of relatively little worth, although it did include copper cable valued at �2,000 and two sets of plant equipment totalling �1,500, which was eventually recovered.

The full value of the goods and money stolen from inside and outside police stations was �5,963.39.

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Among the least expensive thefts were diesel and a handbag, both said to amount to �1.

Rigid handcuffs (�18.95), a high visibility utility vest (�55.21), a police cap (�20), a police helmet (�50) and part of a uniform (�30) also went missing.

The cap and the helmet were the only items recovered.

An extendable baton (�42.56), wheel trims (�60), a fire extinguisher (�25) and a police accident sign (�100) were also taken and never retrieved.

The list of stolen property was released after a Freedom of Information request to Suffolk police.

Also on the itinerary were six thefts of bank notes and cash which totalled �401.90 and a separate theft of $40.

Electrical equipment including a camcorder (�200), video equipment (�128) and audio equipment (�800) also disappeared, although the audio goods were eventually retrieved.

Of the 37 thefts only nine items, totalling �2520.99, were recovered.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “Suffolk is a safe county.

“Unfortunately though, there are occasions when even police officers become victims of crime.

“However, incidents of theft remain low and a number of items have been recovered, including some high value items.

“Any thefts are unfortunate and we always remind our officers and staff to keep police and personal property secure at all times where possible.”

Are you surprised by the numbers of thefts from police? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

SUFFOLK police are not unique in being targeted by thieves:

Among the items to have gone missing was a murder file, mislaid by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, which also lost nine interview tapes.

A prayer mat was pinched from an Essex Police station.

A �45 wheelie bin was taken from Cumbria police.

An A to Z of Rochdale was stolen from Greater Manchester Police.

Two copies of Nuts magazine were recorded stolen in separate incidents by Devon and Cornwall Police.