BBC loses £240k worth of laptops, phones

More than £240,000 ( $381,662 USD) worth of BBC laptops and mobile phones have been lost or stolen over the past two years, it has emerged.

According to data retrieved by computer security firm Absolute Software under a Freedom Of Information (FoI) Act request, 146 laptops, 65 mobile phones and 17 BlackBerry devices were recorded as lost or stolen by BBC employees between April 2008 and March this year.

The lost laptops had a value of around £219,000, while the mobile phones were worth £12,913 and the BlackBerrys cost £9,106. The BBC managed to recover 19 items worth £23,450, which left the total bill at £217,569.

“It is shocking that any organisation could lose so much equipment, but the BBC is just one of many we’ve seen recently, proving it’s all too common,” said Absolute Software general manager Dave Everitt.

“In this case, however, this technology is paid for by the licence payer and employees should be far more careful about how they handle it.”

Absolute’s FoI request also revealed that a BBC employee was investigated over the theft of a laptop, but it’s unclear whether any disciplinary action was taken.

In a statement, a BBC spokeswoman said: “The BBC takes theft very seriously and has implemented a number of measures to reduce the level of crime.

“The portability of laptops and phones means that in any large organisation there is an inevitable risk of theft.

“The BBC investigation service is involved whenever an allegation of theft is made, and where appropriate the police are informed and prosecutions brought where