Biscuits among items stolen at Scottish Parliament

Crime at the Scottish Parliament building has almost doubled in the last year, with biscuits and trainers amongst the items reported stolen.

Crime at the Scottish Parliament building has almost doubled in the last year, with biscuits and trainers amongst the items reported stolen.

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A PACKET of chocolate biscuits and a pair of trainers were among a number of items reported stolen from the Scottish Parliament in the last year.

Police Scotland officers based at Holyrood had to deal with 21 incidents of theft, threatening behaviour and vandalism, occurring in the last financial year.

It means parliamentary crimes have almost doubled on the previous year’s complaints which saw 11 reports filed.

A Freedom of Information request revealed there have been 15 complaints of theft with two keys and a mobile phone amongst the items reported stolen.

There were four reports of threatening or abusive behaviour, two of vandalism and a “theft by finding” - where someone had taken a pair of shoes believed to have been abandoned in a public place.

Cash sums of £4, £5, £8, £10 and £12 were part of the nine incidents where money was reported as having been taken.

Scottish Conservative chief whip, John Lamont, insisted that rising levels of crime at Holyrood could damage Parliament’s reputation.

He said: “The Scottish Parliament is supposed to set an example to the rest of the country. We’re supposed to make the law here, not allow it to be broken.

“While the figures are still relatively small, it’s important that a trend is not allowed to emerge, otherwise public confidence in Holyrood will be damaged.”

In 2012-13 there were three cases of breach of the peace, one of an offensive email being sent, and another of vandalism.

There were also six reports of theft over the disappearance of a camcorder, phones with SIM cards, an iPod, DVD, £32 in cash, a lock and a welding machine.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Parliament said: “All instances of theft at the Parliament are treated very seriously.

“The theft of any item is a crime and it is important that incidents at the Scottish Parliament are reported to Police Scotland, who will investigate as proportionate to the circumstances.”

Security is tight at the £414 million Scottish Parliament building, with visitors required to pass through airport-style scanners at the public entrance and dedicated police officers on patrol.