§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the annual cost of loss through theft of National Health Service equipment in each of the last three years; what were the number of prosecutions; and what measures are in force to safeguard property and machinery in National Health Service premises.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg
It is not possible to identify from information held centrally the annual loss through theft of NHS equipment, but according to returns from Health Authorities in England, the total annual losses of equipment, property and stores due to theft, fraud and arson in the last three years were in 1978–79 £567,547; in 1979–80 £1,017,016; in 1980–81 £833,478. Information on the number of prosecutions in not held centrally.
These are, of course, matters for local determination and I am confident that district health authorities will continue to do their utmost to keep such losses to a minimum.