By Andrea McCallum
CHEEKY thieves have robbed police of over £3,000 worth of gear in the past two years including flashing lights, police hats and handcuffs.
Among the haul from Lothian and Borders Police are defence items which could be used as weapons, including a CS gas spray can and a truncheon.
The list, released under Freedom of Information laws, details nearly 40 nicked supplies including a bag of sugar, £120 cash, a set of police vehicle keys and 20p worth of stationary.
A £420 motorbike helmet topped the bill and £10.85 police trousers had the lowest price tag.
Lothian and Borders Police Board member Councillor Joanna Mowat said: “We all have to take workplace security seriously, the police just as much as anyone else.
“It just shows that no-one is immune, so we all need to take care and I will be asking the chief constable to ensure that precautions are taken.
“Stealing is wrong. It’s not terribly funny, it’s not big and it’s not clever and at the end of the day it’s wrong.
“I’m sure there may be people who find it vaguely amusing to steal a police siren or something, but it’s not funny.”
Four flashing warning lights, three warrant cards, two handheld PDA notebooks and a police sign cost the force nearly £750.
Traffic wardens were even targeted by thrifty crooks who lifted their fluorescent jackets, walkie-talkies and trousers.
A force spokeswoman said: “Lothian and Borders Police take all thefts seriously, and in cases where expensive items have had to be replaced, this will have had an impact on budgets for the department involved.
“Given the size of the organisation, however, this is not a particularly high number of incidents, and will not have affected operations or police response.
“It does, however, serve as a reminder that we can all be the victims of crime, and as such must stay vigilant.”