BBC loses laptops and mobiles to the tune of £240,000

Darren Allan

August 9, 2010

Auntie Beeb seems to be getting forgetful in her old age, losing laptops and smartphones at a rate of knots TV license payer’s can ill-afford to subsidise these days.

In the last two years, it seems that Beeb staff have managed to lose – or have stolen – some 146 laptops, 65 mobile phones and 17 BlackBerry devices. Such are the findings of a freedom of information request from Absolute Software (as reported by the Guardian).

The missing goodies and gadgets totalled up to a sum of £240,000, although around £20,000 worth of those were eventually recovered.

A BBC spokeswoman told the newspaper: “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 trouble is, how many of these expensive notebooks and devices were lost, rather than stolen, which is just pure carelessness with the public’s money. And how many were stolen because they’d been handled carelessly, left lying around somewhere?

Okay, so the BBC employs a lot of people, but managing to lose on average 10 devices every month seems quite an achievement. That’s two or three every single week. In fact, quite possibly as you read this, someone, somewhere, is leaving a BBC laptop on a train.


Comments in chronological order (4 comments)

  1. PD says:

    Seems like very lazy journalism. Why don’t you tell us how many people work for the bbc or how many laptops, devices, etc are actually owned by the BBC. You could then provide an informed opinion as to whether the figure lost is actually of any importance. Is the 240,000 figure to replace at new value or the value of the actually lost devices?

    By the way I don’t work for the BBC.

  2. Brian Turner says:

    Lazy?! That’s a quarter million of public money wasted from carelessness!

  3. Shadow says:

    Agreed Brian. No matter how you look at it. This is BAD

  4. John Howe says:

    How do you ‘lose’ a laptop? It seems far more likely to me that employees are reporting them lost and keeping them. Perks of the job with a soft touch employer.

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