Investigation launched after police admit £113k had disappeared from former force HQ locker
Investigation launched by Independent Police Complaints Commission
Cash disappeared in September last year
Money linked to a trio guilty of offences including firearms crimes
By Phil Vinter
PUBLISHED: 14:52, 28 March 2012 | UPDATED: 17:07, 28 March 2012
They are known as the boys in blue, but officers have been left red-faced with embarrassment after £113,000 in cash was stolen from an evidence locker at a former police force headquarters.
An investigation has been launched by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) after Warwickshire Police confirmed that wads of banknotes had disappeared from a secure storage unit in the village of Leek Wootton, near Warwick.
The money had been seized in 2009 under the Proceeds of Crime Act, and was linked to a trio jailed for a variety of offences including possession of firearms in January 2010.
Police have revealed that the cash went missing in September last year from the historic building which was the county headquarters for 57 years until 2011.
Warwickshire Police said that a confidential investigation had begun in an attempt to track down those responsible.
But the force is now appealing for information from serving officers and members of the public and the IPCC has ruled that the investigation should be carried out locally.
It is being led by the anti-corruption unit of Warwickshire Police’s professional standards department.
A police spokesman said: ‘Warwickshire Police is conducting a criminal investigation into the theft of £113,000 from a secure storage area at its Leek Wootton premises.
‘The investigation is being carried out by the Anti Corruption Unit of Warwickshire Police’s Professional Standards Department.
‘Warwickshire Police has formally referred this matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which has decided that it should be investigated locally. Warwickshire Police Authority has also been informed.’
The Leek Wootton estate, which was mentioned in the Domesday Book, covers 55 acres of sprawling Warwickshire countryside.
The main house, known as Woodcote House, was built in 1861 as a family country home and was used as a home for injured US servicemen in World War Two, before being purchased by Warwickshire County Council in 1947.
It became the force’s headquarters two years later and remained so until February last year.
Police, courts and criminal justice agencies in the area have since moved to a ‘one-stop’ justice centre in Leamington Spa.