UK

Thieves steal plane fuselage and ship's anchor from MoD

  • 25 March 2011
  • From the section UK
RAF pilot wearing night vision goggles
Night vision goggles worth £49,000 were among the items stolen in the past 10 months

A plane fuselage, a ship's anchor and a clarinet are among items which have been stolen from the Ministry of Defence since May.

Guns, a bridge and Army ration packs also went missing. In total, goods worth nearly £700,000 were taken in the UK.

The list was revealed in response to a question in Parliament.

The Labour MP who made the request, Luciana Berger, said the list was "a national disgrace".

Ms Berger, MP for Liverpool Wavertree, asked for a breakdown of items worth £100 or more which had been stolen from the MoD since the government took office.

She said: "People will be furious thieves can walk away with body armour, pistols, uniforms, helmets and night-vision goggles intended for our men and women serving in combat zones.

"This is nothing short of a national disgrace. Defence ministers have some serious questions to answer."

The most valuable single item to be stolen was a helicopter rotor tuner worth £50,000, which was taken in November.

Crime reduction

Cash was also stolen, along with items ranging from medals and ceremonial swords to a boat rudder.

The list does not include anything stolen from the MoD outside the UK.

Junior defence minister Peter Luff said the Ministry of Defence police (MDP) had "actively promoted" a number of crime reduction initiatives.

"The MDP also have 81 defence community police officers who are trained crime reduction officers working in MoD establishments across the country," he said.

"These officers provide an effective deterrent to potential criminals, by raising the awareness of staff, service personnel, service families and contractors."

An MoD spokesman said: "All crime reported to the MoD Police is thoroughly investigated and in a number of cases arrests have been made.

"Over the last three years the level of theft the MoD Police deals with has fallen by almost 20%."

Ms Berger also asked other Whitehall departments what items had been lost or stolen.

The Ministry of Justice said 34 laptops and 42 BlackBerrys had gone missing but that they were all password encrypted.

And the Cabinet Office said three electronic items to the value of £325 had been recorded as lost or stolen.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites