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MoD admits hundreds of laptops stolen


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More than 650 laptops have been stolen from the Ministry of Defence over the last four years, it has been revealed.


It is more bad news for security chiefs after top secret documents were left on a train earlier this year.


The MoD said 658 laptops were stolen and another 89 lost while just 32 had been recovered. The department also admitted 26 memory sticks containing classified documents had gone missing since January - just some of the 131 sticks taken or misplaced since 2004.


Three of the memory sticks which went this year contained information classified as "secret" while 19 which were "restricted".


The MoD insists its policies are "generally fit for purpose", and said all data losses were fully investigated.


The embarrassing new details were disclosed by ministers in response to questions tabled in Parliament. Previously the MoD had confessed to 347 laptops being stolen between 2004 and 2007.


But Defence Secretary Des Browne was forced to issue revised figures after "anomalies in the reporting process" were discovered.


Lib Dem frontbencher Sarah Teather said: "It seems that this Government simply cannot be trusted with keeping sensitive information safe.


"It is frightening to think that secret MoD information can be lost or stolen. How can they expect us to trust them to keep our personal information safe in their unnecessary and expensive ID card scheme?"


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