HC Deb 08 December 1995 vol 268 c429W
Dr. David Clark

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many reported incidents of theft there have been in his Department in each of the last 10 years. [4565]

Mr. Arbuthnot

[holding answer 7 December 1995]: The information as follows:

Year Number
1985–86 3
1986–87 0
1987–88 5
1988–89 1
1989–90 1
1990–91 12
1991–92 2
1992–93 2
1993–94 20
1994–95 51

The figures for the two most recent years have been significantly affected by improved reporting procedures following the creation of the defence fraud unit.

Dr. David Clark

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about measures being taken by his Department to counteract theft in his Department. [4567]

Mr. Arbuthnot

[holding answer 7 December 1995]: My Department has taken a range of measures to deter and detect theft and to make staff aware of the need for vigilance. All suspected cases are vigorously pursued and an internal statement entitled, "Fraud and Theft—Policy and Law", makes it clear that we shall not tolerate dishonest behaviour among MOD employees. Investigations into suspected fraud and theft are undertaken by the Ministry of Defence and Service police. The deterrence of fraud, including theft, forms part of high level management plans with requirements placed upon senior line management to impose sound controls, follow up suspicions and report suspected theft. There is a defence fraud unit which is tasked with collating information, assessing policy and raising awareness of the risk of fraud and theft. Physical security is an essential element at all MOD establishments and appropriate measures such as random gate checks and inventory reviews are among the key controls operated by management. Recovery is pursued wherever possible.