Of­fi­cer fined af­ter top-se­cret pa­pers stolen

Western Mail - - NEWS -

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

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