Fairness requires that I flag up as loudly as possible a correction to yesterday’s Met officers lose 2,000 secure radios over past 5 years story.
The article was based on a response to an FOI request (not one of mine) published on the Met’s website and although I asked the Met for a comment I didn’t wait for them to respond before running the story.
Bad boy that I am, I was too amused at the idea that while Met officers were busy teaching Londoners how to keep their iPhones safe they were also misplacing their own expensive, if not quite designer, kit.
But the Met’s ever-helpful press office have now been in touch to explain that things aren’t quite what they seem – although the radios were all reported lost, lots of them were subsequently found.
Here’s their full statement:
“The figures provided in the FOIA only refer to instances of individual reports of handsets being lost – it does not include the number subsequently found at a later date.
“We take the security of our radios extremely seriously and instruct officers to report a lost handset immediately, even if just temporarily misplaced – this has a significant impact on the figures. This is illustrated by the fact that during 2012/13, 959 radios were reported as lost and 955 were found.”
So it seems the FOI was answered a little too literally – someone asked how many radios were lost and they got the answer. It’s just that the Met’s FOI team didn’t think to deduct the number which subsequently turned up again.
Slapped wrists all round.
Still, with a near 100% recovery rate last year it seems the Met hasn’t been ‘screening out’ reported losses of its own kit – news which should please the Assembly Tory group….