England

Nuclear site police reveal 130 security breaches

Hinkley Point Image copyright PA
Image caption The Civil Nuclear Constabulary guards Hinkley Point power station

Police guarding the UK's nuclear sites have revealed there have been 130 security breaches over the past five years - including a missing gun.

The information was obtained by the BBC after a freedom of information request to the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.

The force said other incidents included the keys to Hinkley Point power station being lost and confidential information being shared.

It said it took security issues "extremely seriously".

Of the 130 breaches recorded, two were classed as high risk and two as medium risk.

Low-risk incidents included the loss of electronic equipment and papers, and windows being left open.


High-risk breaches

  • In July 2012 an unloaded handgun went missing during a training exercise at the National Shooting Centre in Surrey. It was reported to Surrey Police but the force could not identify whether it had been lost or stolen.
  • In October 2012 confidential information was texted to an officer at Sellafield in Cumbria.

Medium-risk breaches

  • In November 2013 the gate access keys for Hinkley Point in Somerset were lost. All locks at the site were replaced and the keys were subsequently found there.
  • In February 2012 a force camera was stolen from the Sizewell site in Suffolk, and was never recovered.

Chief Constable Mike Griffiths said the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), which is based in Culham near Abingdon, adheres to "stringent security regulations and protocols" put in place by the government's Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

He said: "We encourage our staff to self-report any potential security issues and in the majority of these cases the incident was indeed reported by the person who was responsible for the breach.

"We remain committed to maintaining a security culture at CNC and ensuring any security breaches are kept to a minimum and dealt with swiftly and robustly."

He said that after the loss of the handgun procedures were changed "to ensure this could never happen again".

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