Hertfordshire police officers lose nearly 100 warrant cards

CARELESS cops in Hertfordshire have lost nearly 100 warrant cards in the last two years – one of the highest totals in the entire country.

Officers mislaid a total of 98 cards between 2009 and 2010, with only a handful of forces, including the Metropolitan Police, reporting higher losses.

Five warrant cards, which identify the holder as a sworn police officer with powers of arrest, were also reported as stolen during the same period.

The figures emerged this week, following an investigation by the industry magazine Jane’s Police Review.

The cost of replacing lost or stolen cards is met from the public purse.

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A police spokeswoman told the Welwyn Hatfield Times it costs 38p to provide an officer with a new warrant card.

She said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary has recognised the relatively high number of warrant card losses by officers is unacceptable and has already reviewed the relevant information security procedures to ensure a more rigorous approach is taken against those who lose their cards.

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“These new procedures ensure the loss reports are submitted to senior managers and disciplinary action will be considered in relation to those who have lost their cards on more than two occasions.”

She added: “We also believe the number of losses compared with other forces may be due to the fact that we de-programme cards, which also serve as building access cards, as soon as the loss is reported although in many instances the card is located by the officer a short while after reporting.”

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