Police say hats, vests, handcuffs, a radio, and baton amongst items stolen in West Police Point burglary

By Jessica Durston - 18 May 2023


Further to the burglary at the Swindon West Police Point on Sunday 14 May, the force confirms that its investigation continues, with three arrests being made and multiple lines of enquiry ongoing.

Three arrests have now been made regarding this incident - which took place during the early hours of Sunday (14 May).

Two of the suspects have been released on bail pending further inquiries and the other suspect has been released under investigation.

Further to a thorough audit of items within the police building, which has taken staff several days to conduct, the force are now in a position to confirm more detail around exactly what has been taken.

Police uniform and equipment has been stolen, including; two police hats, two protective body armour vests, a black equipment vest, personal protective equipment (including one PAVA spray), an extendable police baton, a police radio, two sets of handcuffs, two body worn video cameras and three torches.

Also stolen was a black soft-shell Police jacket, a black soft-shell jacket rear Police patch, a high visibility baton pouch, a police PCSO patch, a number of pocket notebooks, and five police laptops. In addition, one set of Wiltshire Police Officer shoulder epaulettes (featuring the number 206) and one set of Wiltshire Police PCSO shoulder epaulettes (featuring the number 6392) were stolen.

A spokesperson from the force said: "Our internal audit continues and we will keep our website updated with any updates or additions to this list."

Swindon Police are also now aware that some personal data relating to individuals that was displayed on the noticeboards within the police building may have been compromised as a result of the burglary.

The force say they are treating this matter with the utmost seriousness and that they have taken some immediate steps to safeguard both the data and individuals concerned, including:

  • Ensuring that data cannot be accessed on any of the electronic devices that have been stolen
  • Further to a thorough assessment of the information that was on display within the police premises, we have instigated immediate steps to safeguard any individuals who may be impacted by this. A team of officers have been tasked, with urgent effect, to make contact with any member of the public who may be affected by this breach of personal data
  • We have referred ourselves, in line with process, to the Information Commissioner’s Office. We have also escalated this incident to the Home Office Public Safety Group Emergency Response Team and we have made a voluntary referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)
  • We are also conducting thorough internal enquires to ensure that we fully understand any lessons which may need to be learned from this incident.

ACC Deb Smith said: “This is an extremely worrying incident and we wish to reiterate our appeal to anyone who may have information relating to this burglary, if you witnessed anything, to please contact us on 101 quoting reference 54230050337.

“In addition, if you have seen, or suspect you may have seen, any of the items that we have detailed were stolen, you can make contact with us by calling 101, quoting reference 54230050337. If you would prefer to report any information anonymously, you can contact CrimeStoppers on 0800 555111.

“We are acutely aware of the concern that our communities may feel further to the burglary of a police building. I would like to reassure the public that we are treating this with the utmost seriousness and our investigation continues at pace.

“Most importantly, I wish to remind the public that, if they are unsure whether the person they are dealing with is a genuine police officer, call us on 101 to check their identity immediately or, if they feel extremely concerned or suspicious about whether someone in a police uniform speaking to them is genuine and they do not wish to challenge, then please dial 999 immediately.

“We also offer a simple verification process for the public which will allow them to confirm that an officer is on duty, where all officers can proactively offer to carry out a verification check to anyone they engage with who appears concerned for their safety or is vulnerable. The officer can do this by putting their personal issue radio on loudspeaker and asking a member of our control room to confirm who they are and that they are on duty.”

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