Stolen equipment from military bases in the West Country over the past two years has cost British taxpayers more than £280,000.
On Wednesday, the state-run BBC reported that over £280,000 worth of equipment, including four Land Rovers with a total value of £75,000 and copper piping with a value of over £35,000, has been stolen from 15 military bases in the Western Country during the period between January 2011 and December 2012. Among the bases affected were Tidworth Barracks in Wiltshire, RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset, and Abbey Wood in Bristol. “It is very surprising and very disappointing that military bases are losing equipment on this scale,” said Laurence Robertson, MP for TewKesbury near Imjin Barracks that lost £15,000 of goods in the thefts. The Defence Police Federation, which represents the Ministry of Defence (MoD) police officers, has estimated that the real number of thefts is higher because in many instances goods have been wrongly written off as “loss”. “Those responsible for security at these sites must do more to keep items safe in the first place and to bring those responsible for taking them to justice,” said Robertson. The number of prosecutions related to the lost items over the past two years has been as few as six while there have been 97 separate incidents of goods going missing during the same period.