Scottish Parliament crimes: Theft, drugs, and damage

The Scottish Parliament has seen its fair share of crimes. Picture: Julie Howden
The Scottish Parliament has seen its fair share of crimes. Picture: Julie Howden
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POLICE are investigating a spate of crimes committed at the Scottish Parliament – including the theft of a box of biscuits.

New figures have revealed that dozens of offences have occurred at the Holyrood building, with the majority of them going unsolved.

Officers have been called in to probe a series of allegations including theft, malicious damage, the sending of offensive emails and possession of drugs.

The figures have been revealed by Police Scotland in response to a freedom of information request.

They show that of the 51 crimes which have taken place at the parliament since the start of 2013, 42 remain unsolved.

The offences include 37 thefts, six instances of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, and five cases of vandalism.

The Holyrood ‘crimewave’ comes despite parliament bosses spending millions of pounds on security measures to deter crooks.

John Lamont MSP, the Scottish Conservatives’ chief whip, said: “It is obviously concerning that so many crimes are being committed within the Scottish Parliament.

“We must have robust security measures in place, so the highest possible vetting and checks are carried out on all new staff.”

Most of the cases of theft involved property belonging to MSPs, their staff or parliament staff. Items stolen included cash, mobile phones, keys, a pair of trainers and a box of biscuits.

The figures also showed that three crimes have also been committed at St Andrew’s House, the headquarters of the Scottish Government, in the last three years.

Officers investigated two offences under the Communications Act for sending offensive material and an accusation of threatening behaviour.

Police Scotland have a Scottish Parliament Police Unit with a dedicated officer stationed at the building.

The £414 million building operates an airport-style scan and frisk system on visitors.

And the parliament has already spent £35,000 on stab-proof vests for staff, which they started wearing in 2011 amid reports that they could be vulnerable to attack.

In 2013, a £6.5m security extension was opened. The new entrance offers more space for screening and a baggage drop and bosses said it was given the go-ahead after security advice.

Other security measures which have been installed at the building since it opened in 2014 include turnstiles at two entrances, more concrete bollards and benches as a barrier in front the building and a “triangular roundabout” at the entrance to the underground car park.

A Scottish Parliament spokesperson said: “The parliament attracts around 400,000 visitors a year.

“Any criminal activity is a matter for the police unit at Holyrood or Police Scotland to investigate.”