Police security breach ‘hugely embarrassing’

INVESTIGATION: Police Scotland.
INVESTIGATION: Police Scotland.

A major security review is under way after an intruder apparently spent hours wandering around Motherwell police office unchallenged.

An investigation was launched by Police Scotland after the man reportedly took selfies of himself wearing a police hat in the station.

He is also understood to have gained access to uniforms, batons and handcuffs.

It is said the unwelcome visitor gained entry to the divisional HQ between 3 and 8am one day last year, and has since appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “A 24-year-old man was arrested in connection with an alleged theft and alleged vandalism.

“Following this incident, a robust review of security has been carried out to ensure there is no repetition.”

Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland said the incident was ‘hugely embarrassing for the police’.

He said: “It is very worrying that someone can get this sort of access to the police station. The consequences could have been much worse.

“He shouldn’t have been able to get in to the station at all without being met, but clearly someone was responsible for letting him in and then not intercepting him. That is hugely embarrassing for the police and I’m sure it won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

“That first mistake could be put down to human error, but being able to remain there undetected - and allowed to wander and meddle with all manner of equipment and documents – constitutes a systematic failure of the station’s security, which clearly needs to be tightened up to ensure that any other intrusion in the future is rapidly detected.

“The incident raises a lot of questions, such as whether security measures have been affected by the loss of civilian staff, and how many other stations are vulnerable in this way. Hopefully they will all learn from this mistake.”