Police force cops the bill after cash seized from criminals vanishes

Chief Constable of South Yorkshire, Meredydd Hughes
Chief Constable of South Yorkshire, Meredydd Hughes
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Cash seized from criminals was lost by a Yorkshire police force, which then had to delve into its own budget to make amends.

South Yorkshire Police has carried out a major review of its procedures after £885 went missing from one of its property stores.

The money had been seized during a criminal investigation and was subject to confiscation proceedings, which meant the force had to reimburse HM Courts Service when it could not be traced.

More than a year later, however, South Yorkshire officers were asked to investigate a similar lapse at a neighbouring force after a Taser stun gun was reported missing.

A detective chief inspector led the search for the cash sum of £885, which was found to be missing from South Yorkshire’s Sheffield district property store in November 2009.

A report by Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes, confirming that the force had formally written off the sum, was presented to South Yorkshire Police Authority’s internal control and governance committee on Friday.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “A number of recommendations made following the detective chief inspector’s investigation have already been implemented to prevent a repeat of such a problem.

“These include improved processes being put in place with the finance department to clear and prevent a backlog of cash building up and better security measures.”

South Yorkshire Police was chosen by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to investigate the disappearance of a Taser from West Yorkshire Police’s training ground in Leeds.

The weapon was shown to be missing in February this year during an audit of West Yorkshire’s training equipment. It has not been found.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Whilst we generally have effective processes in place, a number of recommendations are now being implemented.”