Conference security changed after laptop stolen

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The Independent Online

Police have been forced to change security arrangements for next week's Labour Party conference after a laptop containing policing plans was stolen from a car, police and the MoD said today.

Thieves stole the laptop from a car being driven by a member of the armed forces parked at a motorway service station on the M3 in Hampshire on Tuesday morning.

The laptop also contained security plans for the Tory party conference in Bournemouth next month.

The Ministry of Defence said security arrangements had been "fully reviewed" as a result of the theft.

"An incident has taken place which is being investigated by police," a spokesman said.

"In light of this incident security arrangements for the conference have been fully reviewed and internal security procedures re-examined."

The laptop and a satellite navigation system were stolen from the car at 9.30am on Tuesday from the Fleet Service Station on the M3, Hampshire Police said.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said plans for policing the conference, which starts on Sunday, had been changed to ensure security was not compromised.

"We are aware that a laptop containing information about the Labour Party conference was stolen from a car," he said.

"We are fully aware of what information was contained on the laptop.

"That information has been reviewed to see if there were any security implications for the conference.

"We have taken action to ensure that security at the conference has not been compromised.

"We would like to reassure the public that GMP's priority is to ensure that the conference and those attending it are safe and secure and we have implemented a robust policing operation to achieve this, while causing minimum disruption to the public."

Police expect 25,000 anti-war protesters to descend on the city on Saturday for a mass demonstration. Organisers say up to 100,000 may join the protest.

Dorset Police confirmed the stolen laptop contained details of security arrangements for the Tory party conference.

A spokesman said a "thorough review" has taken place on the impact this could have on security plans and that "appropriate action" has been taken.

Superintendent Dave Griffith, of Dorset Police, added: "Dorset Police has a proven track record in policing political party conferences and we will once again implement a policing operation to make sure that this conference takes place in an environment that not only is safe, but feels safe, while causing minimum disruption to the local area."