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Cannabis, cars, family pets and even HANDCUFFS are among the items stolen from the police as figured reveal almost 1,800 thefts from forces since 2015



Cannabis, cars, family pets and even HANDCUFFS are among the items stolen from the police as figured reveal almost 1,800 thefts from forces since 2015


Handcuffs, cannabis plants and a family pet are among the unlikely items stolen from embarrassed police forces in Britain.

Other things ‘lifted’ from police stations or vehicles include drugs, tear gas and £95,800 in cash. 

New figures reveal that since 2015 there have been 1,784 recorded incidents of theft at 32 forces.

More than half the thefts were from the Metropolitan Police, which recorded 971 stolen items worth £198,402, including 14 laptops, 24 items of official uniform and a domestic pet.


The most expensive theft was the £95,800 in cash from a police station in South Yorkshire, which also suffered several thefts of Class B drugs.

Cannabis plants disappeared twice from police stations in Liverpool, while evidence bags and a police shield were lost in Lincolnshire.

West Yorkshire Police had £42,727 of goods stolen including 17 bicycles, three quad bikes and ten vehicles, alongside flares and tear gas, batons, a body camera and a dozen pairs of handcuffs.

In total, 91 bicycles and 17 cars or vehicles were stolen, including a three-and-a-half- ton Ford Transit van from Norfolk Constabulary.


Other forces that lost vehicles included Durham, Dorset, Essex and West Midlands.

The figures highlight the frequency with which dangerous or heavy police equipment routinely goes missing.

North Wales Police incurred the loss of body armour and captor spray – an incapacitating device used to project a jet of liquid into a person’s eyes to cause immediate burning pain.


In Scotland, an Enforcer battering ram – commonly used to break down doors in drug busts – was stolen in Lanarkshire and never recovered.

Northern Ireland’s police service, meanwhile, lost a magazine and 17 rounds of live ammunition in the area around Londonderry where journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead in April.

Among the more unusual stolen items were a log book, nine cans of Strongbow cider and a St George’s charity box taken from Lancashire police.

A wooden spear and a PlayStation with the FIFA 14 game disappeared from Cambridgeshire Constabulary, while Northumbria’s records list the disappearance of a £2,000 pressure washer.

Low-value items that have been stolen included a £5 watering can in Devonport, £4 worth of Tetley tea in Bedlington, Northumberland, and a Saltire flag in Glasgow. 

Derbyshire’s one recorded theft was a chiminea, with Hertfordshire and Suffolk being the only two forces to have no items taken.


The overall bill for goods recorded as stolen came to £436,979 but around half of the items listed had ‘no value recorded’, meaning the true cost is likely to be much higher.

The Metropolitan Police later said they had made a mistake about the pet and it was in fact tied up outside the police station. 

They also said its figures needed to be considered in the context of it being the biggest police service in the country.


Scores of VIP cops hit by misconduct probes


More than 60 elite police officers who protect Royals and VIPs have been investigated for misconduct in just two years.

Officers have been accused of corruption, sexual assaults, other assaults and ‘improper disclosures of information’.

In total, 64 officers from the specialist protection units have been investigated over 74 accusations between 2017 and 2019.

The complaints, revealed after a Freedom of Information request, come despite the Metropolitan Police overhauling the protection teams in 2015 following a string of concerns about officer culture.




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