Sarah Olney, the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Treasury, recently questioned the Ministry of Defence (MOD) regarding the number of thefts of departmental property over the past year.

In response, Andrew Murrison, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, addressed the issue, acknowledging the department’s continuous effort in combating theft.

He stated, “The Ministry of Defence (MOD) works hard to detect and deter theft and there are robust processes in place to raise awareness of the need for vigilance in all aspects of security.

Murrison noted the MOD’s vulnerability to theft, similar to other sectors, and its proactive stance on reporting. He elaborated, “Just as theft occurs in wider society, the MOD is not immune, and we actively encourage individuals to report any evidence of loss or suspicion of theft.” He added that in some instances, reported stolen property is later recovered.

From 14 December 2022 to 14 December 2023, the MOD registered a total of 213 thefts, categorised as follows:

  • Service equipment: 153 instances
  • Other Defence assets: 34
  • IT/Telecoms: 10
  • Cash: 8
  • Fuel: 6
  • Metal: 2

Murrison assured that, despite these thefts, key assets at MOD sites are protected by comprehensive security measures to ensure their safety.

Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
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3 months ago

I’m not sure that these stats mean much without context. What is ‘service equipment’? What is the difference between ‘stolen’ and ‘missing’?

3 months ago

Initially I presumed that the article was regards thieving from Main building in Whitehall, but the last sentence states otherwise.

Which I’d bet is a lot less from other Governmental departments (something about armed guards) yes there are opportunist thieves everywhere, but when you have a system in place which rewards those with a bent towards criminality (Supported by the likes of the Lib Dems I should point out) I have to ask what game is Olney playing at?

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Cons the party of Defence and can’t defend their own resources.

It was the wrong question from you; what was the value of each theft and how effective have ModPlod been at recovering / recouping those losses.

Or are you still in your silo, Sir?

3 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

David, Thank you for your post The point I was making is , is pound to a penny the security on MOD bases is a lot better than elsewhere , and having done my bit on Stag, I’m pretty sure seeing blokes in MTP walking around the camp perimeter is enough to put most people off thieving something , yes there is are those in MTP who are light fingered, but again the difference between civy street and the military, is the miltary are a lot harsher on their own. as for the value of each theft , well once… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  Farouk


Honestly, you’ve got too much time on your hands and the next Parliament needs your skills – I don’t care which Party, please stand for election.

Thank you for your fulsome reply. As to ressies, MK6 (!) are going for a £100 a pop in surplus stores – I need to do some building work involving dust – remember our ground sheets? Astronomical sums for a piece of plastic.

Landies? REME usually.