Military centre 'loses' 8,000 items
Published 24/01/2013 | 16:00
A military training centre has "lost" more than 8,000 pieces of equipment during the last four years - including more than 100 bayonets and a dozen hand grenades, an investigation has revealed.
Lympstone Commando Training Centre in Devon said 8,312 items, among them 13 dummy hand grenades and 2,860 pieces of cutlery, had been lost since 2008, according to the investigation.
The list of items, released to the BBC as part of a freedom of information request, included 600 magazine assemblies for the SA80 assault rifle - although no bullets were missing, it said.
It also included 470 items of clothing and footwear, 781 towels, seven garden rakes and five snow shovels.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said there was no risk to the public as a result of the items going missing or being unaccounted for. The spokesman added that the hand grenades are made from plastic and are incapable of exploding.
In a statement, the MoD said: "These figures include items that have simply been damaged during use and do not reflect where misplaced items were later recovered.
"We take the loss or theft of equipment very seriously and work hard to detect and deter theft. There are robust processes in place to raise awareness of the need for vigilance in all aspects of security and we actively encourage individuals to report loss or theft."
The MoD said appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against those identified as being responsible for any thefts.
Around 1,300 recruits, 2,000 potential recruits and 400 potential officers attend courses at the Royal Marine training centre every year.
More recently, the east Devon village has been among those to contribute towards the composition of the Military Wives Choir, which has topped both the UK singles and albums charts under the direction of choirmaster Gareth Malone.
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence(Ministry of Defence)