Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Police personal mobile phones stolen

Fifteen mobile phones have been stolen from the PSNI in the past five years, it has been claimed.

The thefts of the handsets were made from police stations and from cop cars in a series of alarming incidents which are feared could put them at risk from dissidents.

Policing Board member Derek Hussey has called for a ban on officers using their personal phones while at work.

“There is an awful lot of personal information, including family, friends and sometimes full addresses, held on mobile phones. It’s a security nightmare,” said the DUP representative.

Mr Hussey said he would be calling on the chief constable to introduce a ban on the use of personal mobiles by on-duty officers.

Concerned also about the loss of police equipment including radios, Mr Hussey said: “It would allow people to listen in to police on a secure network until it was shut down.”

A police spokesman said officers were obliged to take “due care” with all equipent.

“They must ensure any property in their possession is handled and maintained as required by law and in accordance with police service policy and any loss of property must be reported."

The revelation comes as another series of alarming thefts - including a police officer’s uniform - are understood to have also been reported.

The theft, from Dunmurry PSNI station, is among 54 items listed as have been reported as stolen.

Other items include drugs and cash.

The news follows an embarrassing incident last month involving police when a PSNI officer left his gun on a child’s bed during a raid of a suspected dissident republican’s house in north Belfast.

And last February, an officer’s personal phone was obtained by terror group Oglaigh na hEireann.

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