Officer fined after top-secret papers stolen
A senior counter-terrorism officer has been fined after topsecret documents which “could compromise national security” were stolen from his car.
Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, 54, is facing disciplinary action from West Midlands Police, having pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to safeguard information under the Official Secrets Act.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard he left the papers in a locked case in the boot of his unmarked police car for five days while he carried out errands, including a pub visit with a colleague and shopping.
Prosecutor Jane Stansfield said if the documents, which have not been recovered, are made public it could lead to a “compromise in national security” and “present a specific risk to individuals or communities”.
Potential repercussions could also include a “compromise in intelligence and internal relationships in the intelligence services”, she said.
Beale, who was fined £3,500 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court yesterday, has been suspended on full pay since he was summonsed to court in November. Latest figures show he gets a £119,000 salary, with a total annual remuneration of £145,000, including pensions and benefits in kind.
Sentencing, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said: “No training is needed for a police officer to know you should not be leaving anything of value in a locked car for five minutes, let alone five days.”
> Marcus Beale