Yesterday, Keith Vaz received a response to a written question he filed to John Thurso regarding thefts on the parliamentary estate. Having lost an iPad and a laptop from his office, Vaz was keen to see if petty crime is a problem on the estate.
Thurso’s response appears to confirm that it is. The catalogue of listed crimes highlights wide ranging theft in Westminster over the past few years. There have been 106 reported incidents in the past six years alone, with a definite upward spike in the past year. A record 40 incidents have been reported so far in 2011, increasing rapidly as the year has gone by.
Laptops were the most popular item to be stolen – with 31 reported as stolen, 25 in 2011 alone. 13 mobile phones have also gone missing, along with 19 instances of cash disappearing. But some of the more bizarre items that have been reported as stolen include a cable drum, a knife, a charm, a set of golf clubs, flowers, a bottle of whisky, a set of chairs, an orchid and a tax disc.
Despite the obvious security concerns over the number of iPads, iPods, laptops, hard disks and letters that have disappeared, it appears that members need to keep a sharper eye on who wanders in and out of their office. Or maybe parliamentarians just need to be more careful with their golf clubs in the future. Who would suspect you couldn’t trust everyone working in Westminster?