Top officer to face court over documents stolen from unmarked police car
The Metropolitan Police said Marcus Beale will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on December 7.
One of the country’s most senior counter terrorism officers is to appear in court after he allegedly failed to safeguard sensitive documents which were stolen from an unmarked police car.
Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, who was the counter terrorism lead for West Midlands Police, has received a court summons under the Official Secrets Act.
A force spokesman said he has now been suspended.
The “documents relating to police matters” were contained in a locked box, which was stolen along with a number of personal items from the unmarked car in May.
The Metropolitan Police, which was tasked to independently investigate the case on behalf of West Midlands Police, said Beale will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on December 7.
A Met Police spokesman said: “On Tuesday, 7 November, the Metropolitan Police Service summonsed a West Midlands officer for an offence under the Official Secrets Act relating to failure to safeguard sensitive documents.
“The summons relates to a Metropolitan Police investigation into the alleged failure to safeguard sensitive documents after items were stolen from an unmarked police car in May.
“A number of personal belongings were taken during the theft, along with a locked box containing documents relating to police matters. The theft from the vehicle is being investigated locally.”
Senior West Midlands Police officer is suspended, details- https://t.co/3X2ccUIDH8— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) November 8, 2017
The Met’s Specialist Operations Directorate has national responsibilities in relation to offences under the Official Secrets Act.
The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards is also investigating the incident.
Beale joined West Midlands Police in 2011 and held its security portfolio, with responsibility for the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit and local policing in Birmingham at the time the documents were stolen.
West Midlands Police is the second largest force in England and Wales.