Top officer to face court over documents stolen from unmarked police car
A top police officer is due to appear in court accused of an offence under the Official Secrets Act after he allegedly failed to safeguard sensitive documents which were stolen from an unmarked police car.
Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, of West Midlands Police, has received a court summons over the alleged offence in May.
The Metropolitan Police, which was tasked to independently investigate the case on behalf of West Midlands Police, said Beale will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on December 7.
A Met Police spokesman said: "On Tuesday, 7 November, the Metropolitan Police Service summonsed a West Midlands officer for an offence under the Official Secrets Act relating to failure to safeguard sensitive documents.
"The summons relates to a Metropolitan Police investigation into the alleged failure to safeguard sensitive documents after items were stolen from an unmarked police car in May.
"A number of personal belongings were taken during the theft, along with a locked box containing documents relating to police matters. The theft from the vehicle is being investigated locally."
The Met's Specialist Operations Directorate has national responsibilities in relation to offences under the Official Secrets Act.
The Met's Directorate of Professional Standards is also investigating the incident.
Beale joined West Midlands Police in 2011 and held its security portfolio, with responsibility for the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit and local policing in Birmingham at the time the documents were stolen.
A spokesman for West Midlands Police said he has been suspended following the summons.
West Midlands Police is the second largest force in England and Wales.