§ Mrs. Ann Winterton
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) on what date she was informed of(a) missing equipment and (b) the suspension of personnel at her Department's regional office at Exeter; and on what date the equipment was first found to be missing; 
(2) if she will list the items discovered missing from her Department's regional office at Exeter; what data are contained on the equipment; and to what the data on the equipment related; 
(3) on what date the Devon and Cornwall constabulary was informed of (a) missing equipment and (b) the suspension of staff from her Department's regional office at Exeter; 
(4) for what reasons staff have been suspended from their posts at her Department's regional office at Exeter on 697W 1 November; whether these suspensions are on a permanent or temporary basis; and if she will state the seniority and role of the members of staff involved. 
§ Mr. Morley
18 members of staff who had been based at Exeter are suspended from duty while the Department carries out its own internal criminal investigation concerning expenses claims. An investigation into missing equipment is also being carried out. The police have not been advised as my staff have the power to deal with criminal matters.
As the investigations are on-going it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this time.