Suffolk: Almost £200k of office and computer equipment stolen from county council in three years

Endeavour House, Ipswich

Endeavour House, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Almost £200,000 of office and computer equipment has been stolen from Suffolk County Council over the last three years.

The revelations, which have prompted calls for a review of security, come after an Ipswich Star investigation into the organisation which costs the taxpayer £1billion a year to run.

In a Freedom of Information request we asked the council to provide details of items and equipment over the value of £1,000 belonging to the authority which has been lost during the last three years.

The information supplied by the council showed a total of 41 insurance claims were made over the period.

In all, £22,859.57 of items and equipment were lost in 2010, £46,600.23 in 2011 and £126,438.88 in 2012.

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The vast majority of the equipment has been lost due to theft, though nearly £6,000 of equipment was classed as ‘lost’ in three instances of vandalism in 2010.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “Like many organisations, we are from time to time targeted by criminals.

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“We take action to protect our buildings and equipment but we are not always able to prevent such acts from happening.

“All incidents are reported to the police and thoroughly investigated.”

Office and computer equipment makes up the largest slice of items missing though other equipment such as glazing and what the council has described as “internal fabric” have also been lost.

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of campaign group the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Local residents will be stunned by the huge amount of taxpayers’ money being lost because of thefts at Suffolk County Council.

“Taxpayers want to know that local authorities are protecting their money, so the council must ensure it has the right security measures in place to prevent such serious crimes.”

The council said that no disciplinary action has been recorded against employees as a result of the lost equipment and no file is kept on items or equipment, if any, that have been recovered.

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