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Senior West Midlands Police officer suspended

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A SENIOR West Midlands Police officer been suspended after being summonsed for an offence under the Official Secrets Act.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale faces allegations relating to a failure to safeguard sensitive documents.

Mr Beale has now been suspended, putting his career in jeopardy and he is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court at 10am on 7 December.

The summons relates to a Metropolitan Police investigation into the alleged failure to safeguard sensitive documents after items were stolen from an unmarked car which was being used by Mr Beale in May.

A number of personal belongings were taken during the theft, along with a locked box containing documents relating to police matters.

West Midlands police said they were conducting a separate investigation into who targeted Mr Beale’s car.

Due to the nature of the documents lost, the Metropolitan Police Service was asked by West Midlands Police to undertake an independent investigation into any criminal liabilities. The MPS’ Specialist Operations Directorate has national responsibilities in relation to offences under the Official Secrets Act and it was deemed more appropriate for an outside force independent of the officer to investigate.

The Met police said: “The summons relates to a Metropolitan police investigation into the alleged failure to safeguard sensitive documents after items were stolen from an unmarked police car in May.

“A number of personal belongings were taken during the theft, along with a locked box containing documents relating to police matters. The theft from the vehicle is being investigated locally.

“Due to the nature of the documents lost, the Metropolitan Police Service was asked by West Midlands police to undertake an independent investigation into any criminal liabilities. The Met’s specialist operations directorate has national responsibilities in relation to offences under the Official Secrets Act.”

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