Met Police risk security breach through device thefts

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Figures obtained by the Parliament Street think tank have shown that the Met Police has had over 1,000 electronic gadgets lost or stolen between 2010 and September 2014.

Included in the lost or stolen items were, 24 laptops, 251 PDA’s, 172 BlackBerry handsets and 713 standard mobiles. Of this number 201 were lost, however, the loss and theft figures were only separated between 2013 and 2014.

In addition to these figures, police also reported that 301 police radios were unaccounted for in the first 9 months of 2014. However, no desktop computers or tablets were lost or stolen during this period.

Speaking to the Press Association, Clare George-Hilley, director of the Parliament Street think tank, said: "The loss and theft of critical equipment not only costs a significant amount of money, but it potentially puts the organisation at risk of a security breach."

"Taxpayers need to be confident that expensive devices are managed securely and kept out of reach of criminals, with officers trained to reduce and prevent these incidents from occurring in the first place."

Speaking to the Press Association, a Scotland Yard spokeswoman, said: "We have measures in place to ensure MPS information is protected if a device is lost. We can take immediate action to disable a radio which is either unaccounted for or reported lost or stolen."

"Also handsets are password protected and encrypted to Government standards and become inoperable if they are tampered with. It should be noted that the number of devices unaccounted for or reported lost or stolen over the course of a year is a very small proportion of the total number of devices within our organisation of around 50,000 people."

Scotland Yard has been asked to provide a list of lost or stolen equipment over the past five years’, the data includes civilian and police staff.

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