Hundreds of warrant cards lost by police officers

OVER a hundred police warrant cards have been lost by officers across Comet Country over the past two years - making the region’s boys in blue some of the worst offenders in the UK.

Hertfordshire Constabulary lost 98 warrant cards and Bedfordshire Police officers misplaced 84 during 2008-10, both reasonably high figures when the Greater Manchester force, the third largest in the country, lost 102 over the same period. Additionally five cards were stolen in Hertfordshire and one in Bedfordshire.

The figures have come to light after an investigation by Jane’s Police Review, an industry magazine, and reveal that only a handful of forces have misplaced more.

Warrant cards are an essential piece of police kit which identifies the holder as a member of the force.

Officers must carry the card while on duty and face tough disciplinary action if they are lost.

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Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire police share the warrant card service.

A spokesperson said: “Bedfordshire Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary has recognised that the relatively high number of warrant card losses by officers is unacceptable and has already reviewed the relevant information security procedures to ensure a more rigorous approach is taken against those who lose their cards.

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“These new procedures ensure the loss reports are submitted to senior managers and disciplinary action will be considered in relation to those who have lost their cards on more than two occasions.

“We also believe that the number of losses compared with other forces may be due to the fact that we de-programme cards, which also serve as building access cards, as soon as the loss is reported although in many instances the card is located by the officer a short while after reporting.”

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