Washing powder, handcuffs, a wheel - some of the odd items stolen from Wigan police station

Wigan Police Station
Wigan Police Station

Handcuffs, an office phone, and even a truncheon are just some of the items stolen from under officers’ noses at Wigan police station, startling new figures reveal.

The Wigan Evening Post has uncovered details of how brazen crooks have helped themselves to over a dozen pieces of police equipment.

The figures span a four-year period and also reveal how only four of the items stolen have subsequently been recovered.

Light-fingered thieves at the Scot Lane station have also lifted a video camera, gloves, a wheel, and washing powder.

However, the presence of uniformed officers does appear to be having some effect on deterring thieves.

In 2011 and 2012, there were four thefts in both years, falling to just one in 2014.

The theft figures were revealed following a Freedom of Information request by the Evening Post.

Thieves had struck at Wigan police station three times last year, stealing an office telephone, which resulted in one adult being cautioned, and a mobile phone, with a named suspect identified.

Yobs had also stolen clothing from a police house in Wigan.

Other items stolen includes a sets of handcuffs, with one person charged in 2014, lead flashing from the roof, and a truncheon.

And bizarre items pilfered by thieves include gloves, a wheel and washing powder.

A defendant was charged with stealing a video camera from Wigan police station in 2011.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “We take all reports of theft seriously and thieves will be prosecuted wherever possible.”

The shock figures are revealed just a month after similar statistics showed how the borough’s hospitals are frequently targeted by crooks.

Data released under Freedom of Information rules show that between 2013 and 2015, strong medication had been stolen from Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust for misuse seven times.

Last year, thieves struck nine times at its hospitals, stealing money from two patients, a pay and display machine in the grounds and even wheeling a 7ft tall drinks machine out of a ward.

Patients also reported sweets and a purse missing, while staff called police when a projector and medical waste bins were taken by opportunist pilferers.