SCOTS POLICE have had thousands of pounds worth of gear stolen from them in the last five years.
Items such ID badges, shot-gun certificates, welcome mats and even vehicles have been taken from the country’s constabularies since 2007, new figures have revealed.
More than 400 police possessions were reported as stolen including hats, jackets, fleeces, stab-proof vests, batons and handcuffs.
Thieves even managed to nick police mountain bikes, and patrol cars full of important documentation.
Information obtained from a Freedom of Information request revealed that Strathclyde police had more than 240 possessions go missing from their constabulary during the five-year period ranging from handcuffs to satellite navigation devices.
Four police cars and 12 mountain bikes were also taken from the country’s largest police force.
Riot shields and body armour were also listed as missing from the force’s inventory, as well as police welcome mats.
Meanwhile, Tayside police recorded thefts of confidential police paperwork and notebooks- as well as £140 worth of copper wire.
ID cards and a shotgun certificate were taken from Grampian police, while Northern Constabulary claimed that nothing has been stolen from their force in five years.
The cost of this missing equipment could be in the tens of thousands according to some replies.
Lothian and Borders police reported £6,831 worth of missing equipment; while Fife Police said £5,000 worth of gear was taken.
Tayside Police said their missing equipment would cost them £2,598 to replace.
But the figures could amount to hundreds of thousands if including the items which were lost by police officers.
The forces, however, refused to reply with information for lost possessions, claiming it would be too difficult to collate.
Robert Oxley, campaigns manager of the Taypayers’Alliancesaid: “Taxpayers will worry that the police are giving out crime prevention advice but can’t seem to avoid becoming victims themselves.
“Some of this kit is expensive and replacing it will cost taxypayers a fortune, money that could be saved or spent on front line policing.
“Criminals should never have been given the opportunity to nick a squad car in the first place, stolen items like this could be misused or put the public at risk.”
A spokesperson for the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland added: “The issue of lost or stolen items is taken very seriously in the police service. Levels of security in offices and vehicles are kept under constant review and officers are urged to be vigilant.”