Thefts from Cambridgeshire police value more than �7,000 over three years

HANDCUFFS, a book, and a set of car keys were all stolen from Cambridgeshire police last year.

In a bizarre cop-robber role-reversal, data from a Freedom of Information request showed there were 12 thefts from Cambridgeshire Constabulary in 2010 to the value of more than �650.

In 2009, there were 27 crimes to the value of �3,480, while in 2008, there were 26 crimes at a cost of �3,226.

Among the items stolen last year were four bikes, including a �300 mountain bike taken from Emmanuel Street, Cambridge; a set of handcuffs taken from Derwent Drive, Peterborough; and two mobile phones costing �250.

In one mystery theft, someone stole an item categorised as ‘other’ to the value of �1 from a police station.

In 2009, police had insufficient evidence to charge someone who stole a sit-on lawn-mower worth �800 while in 2008, one unfortunate officer had his lunch stolen from Cambridge Retail Park.

A Gameboy was also stolen from an officer in Lawn Avenue, Peterborough.

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Offenders caught were mostly charged or cautioned, but for some there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.

However, the data showed of 65 crimes over the last three years in only 11 were the items recovered.

A police spokesman said: “The force employs more than 1,400 officers and although all staff are encouraged to keep their property securely stored it is inevitable some items of kit will be lost or stolen.

“Police officers carry out their jobs in often very challenging circumstances while carrying a lot of kit.

“Many of the items which have been misplaced were lost while dealing with scuffles or disorders.

“Specialist police equipment and clothing can cost anything from a few pence to a few hundred pounds and we take all measures to recover lost items.”

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