A West Midlands police officer has been fined £3,500 after pleading guilty to an offence under the Official Secrets’ Act.
Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 7 December in relation to the matter.
He was summonsed on Tuesday, 7 November, following a Metropolitan Police Service investigation into the failure to safeguard sensitive documents after items were stolen from an unmarked police car in May.
A number of personal belongings were taken during the theft, along with a locked box containing documents relating to police matters. The theft from the vehicle is being investigated locally.
Due to the nature of the documents lost, the Met was asked by West Midlands Police to undertake an independent investigation into any criminal liabilities. The Met's Specialist Operations Directorate has national responsibilities in relation to offences under the Official Secrets Act and it was deemed more appropriate for an outside force, independent of the officer, to investigate.
The Met's Directorate of Professional Standards is also investigating.
We are not disclosing details about the documents, which were highly sensitive and relate to national security.
Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, which investigated the matter, said: “We take the safeguarding of sensitive information extremely seriously and an investigation was launched into this breach.
“In this case urgent steps were taken to mitigate any risks to security caused from the loss of the documents, which have never been recovered.”