£30,000 Defra equipment lost or stolen

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The Independent Online

Some 41 laptops were among electronic equipment worth more than £30,000 that went missing from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) last year, figures showed today.

A total of 63 items were lost or stolen from the department between July 2009 and the end of June, junior minister Richard Benyon said, with a total value of £30,620.

As well as the laptops, worth £25,650, nine BlackBerrys worth £1,510 and three projectors worth £1,850 also went missing.

Four desktop PCs worth just over £1,000, five monitors worth £460 and a £100 camera also vanished.

In a written Commons reply to the SNP's Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire), Mr Benyon said: "Defra takes the loss of equipment very seriously so regular security guidance is provided to staff.

"Security breach patrols are undertaken and staff are notified of instances where equipment has been left out or inadequately secured."

Earlier this month it emerged electronic equipment worth almost £40,000 had gone missing from the Department of Health last year, while the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills lost track of property worth £24,850.