Parliament Theft: Champagne, Laptops And A Bicycle Repair Kit Among Items Stolen From MPs

Posted: Updated:
Print Article
CHAMPAGNE
PA

Four casks of beer, a bottle of champagne and a floral arrangement are among 36 items which have been stolen from parliament since June 2011, it has been revealed.

The figures were published by the House of Commons authorities on Tuesday following a written parliamentary question from Labour MP Keith Vaz, who had his iPad stolen in May.

In 2011, between June and December, there were 23 reported thefts and in 2012 there have been 13 reported thefts up to 22 March.

Items stolen in 2011 include five laptops, two iPads, a passport, a medal and a bicycle repair kit.

While in 2012 thieves prowling the parliamentary estate have got away with items including a trolly of books, five more laptops, some photos, a printer and a pair of spectacles.

Speaking in May after the theft of his laptop, Vaz, the chairman of the home affairs committee, said it was "bad practice" that despite the high levels of security outside the Houses of Parliament, thefts inside the building were getting worse

So exasperated by the apparent increase in crime, Vaz suggested maybe MPs needed to form their own neighbourhood watch.

Giving evidence to the committee on Tuesday afternoon, Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, said it was a concern as parliament "must be one of the most secure places to get into and out of".

Although he suggested MPs first check that all the missing items had not simply been "misplaced".

On Monday Speaker John Bercow announced that Lawrence Ward had been appointed as the Serjeant at Arms, the security chief for the Commons.

And opportunities for theft could increase soon as a Commons committee is set to decide whether to bulk buy iPads for all 650 MPs in order to cut down on paper costs.

It is currently estimated that around 70 MPs have already purchased the tablet computers to use in Westminster.