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Thieves strike on two nuclear subs

SCOTTISH air bases, army barracks and even nuclear sub­marines docked at Faslane and Rosyth have been raided by thieves on more than 100 occasions in the last five years, documents show.

The thefts at the military installations across Scotland are revealed in figures released under Freedom Of Information legislation.

They include aircraft parts from RAF bases, weapons from army barracks and even items from nuclear submarines.

On March 28 this year, a pulse oximeter, a device used to measure blood oxygen saturation, was taken from HMS Ambush - one of the Royal Navy's newest and most advanced nuclear-powered submarines.

Another nuclear-powered submarine, HMS Churchill, currently awaiting disposal at Rosyth, was hit in January 2012, with 56 individual PVC covered lead blocks, used for diving practice and each weighing more than two stone, taken.

The figures also reveal clothing was stolen from the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious in May last year.

Weapons and ammunition have also been taken from bases as part of the 105 total thefts.

In June 2009 four live magazines were stolen from Faslane, while in September of that year two blank magazines and two live firing magazines for SA80 assault rifles, a smoke grenade and a "jungle issue machete" were taken from Dreghorn Barracks, Edinburgh.

In May 2011 four broadswords - weapons more associated with William Wallace than a modern army - were stolen from Fort George army base near Inverness.

There have also been a series of bizarre thefts from various bases.In January 2009 55lbs of bacon, 33lbs of prawns and 12 bags of sausages were taken from RM Condor Marines' base in Arbroath.

In September that year a washing machine and tumble dryer were stolen from Fort George army barracks. Also in Inverness, a shed door was stolen in June 2011.

Thieves even made off with two panels for a Nimrod aircraft from RAF Kinloss in Moray in June 2010 but they were subsequently recovered by the RAF.

A Ministry Of Defence spokeswoman said: "The MoD works hard to detect and deter theft and there are robust processes in place to raise awareness of the need for vigilance in all aspects of security.

"Just as theft occurs in wider society, the MoD is not immune and we actively encourage individuals to report any evidence of loss or suspicion or theft."

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