§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what new measures his Department took in 2001–02 to protect its property from theft or damage. 
§ Ms Blears
[holding answer 10 April 2002]: The Department takes very seriously the theft of and damage to its property. We keep under continuous review the steps we take to protect our property and introduce new security measures where these are cost effective.
In 2001–02 we introduced the following new measures:The setting-up of a cross-departmental management security forum to strengthen policy and compliance;Issue of cable locking devices to secure laptop computers;Issued guidance to all staff on the identification and record keeping of unique serial numbers for mobile telephones to help deter theft.
Other security measures already in place include:Periodic checks to confirm the continued existence and condition of assets;Individual authorisations to staff to take mobile IT assets from official premises;Random searches at building exits by security staff;Clear written procedures to staff on procedures to protect assets;Checks to detect unsecured portable property;Security markings on IT equipment.