Northern Ireland

PSNI stations and cars robbed of equipment worth thousands

Thousands of pounds worth of equipment and personal belongings have been stolen from police stations and vehicles across Northern Ireland
Image caption Thousands of pounds worth of equipment and personal belongings have been stolen from police stations and vehicles across Northern Ireland

Thousands of pounds worth of equipment and personal belongings have been stolen from police stations and vehicles across Northern Ireland.

Thefts in the last four years include a racing bike worth £1,000, cash, mobile phones, drugs, even uniforms.

The eclectic list was revealed following a Freedom of Information request from the BBC.

The biggest single theft took place in Antrim's Caulside Park in November 2012.

In that incident, more than 30 pieces of equipment were stolen from a car belonging to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Image caption The biggest single theft took place in Antrim's Caulside Park in 2012 - while officers were responding to a report of a theft

Officers were responding to a report of a theft when the kit bags were stolen.

The bags contained items of uniform, such as high visibility jackets and police issue boots, as well as equipment including fixed penalty notice books, evidence bags and name badges.

A few months after the theft, workmen in the area discovered the kit bags, which had been discarded by thieves, and handed them back to police.

Image caption High-visibility jackets were among the items stolen

Among the more unusual items stolen between 2011 and 2015 were:

* A police bike speedometer worth £60, Ballymena

* £73 in white hand towels, Lisburn

* An £80 spanner and socket, Kilkeel

* A PSNI car wing mirror, Belfast

* Copper piping, Portstewart

* Cannabis, Musgrave Street, Belfast

* Police long service medals, Coleraine

* Six cigars worth £150, Strand Road, Londonderry

Police said not all of the stolen property belonged to the PSNI.

In a statement to the BBC, it added: "A relatively small number of incidents of theft have been reported at police establishments and from police vehicles over the past four years.

"All such reports are fully investigated."