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Thefts

Disclosure date: 17 January 2014

Reference: FOI2013/145

Request

1) For the academic years 08/09, 09/10, 10/11, 11/12, 12/13, 13/14, please give a list of all items reported lost or stolen on any of your premises. Please give:
- As much detail as possible on the item
- If possible, note whether it was reported lost or stolen
- Which building it was reported lost or stolen in
- If held, whether the item was retrieved

2) For the academic years 08/09, 09/10, 10/11, 11/12, 12/13, 13/14, the number of students found to have stolen an item on premises. Please detail the item they stole, where it was stolen and what happened to them as a result. Should this information go beyond compliance costs for the years requested, please provide the most recent years and work backwards.

3)  For the academic years 08/09, 09/10, 10/11, 11/12, 12/13, 13/14, the number of staff found to have stolen an item of university property. Please detail:
- The item they stole
- Where it was stolen
- Which dpt they belonged to
- What happened to them as a result

Response

1) Please see the attached Excel document for items reported lost in the SOAS library in 2013-14. We are unable to provide you with all of the information you have requested.

Library staff currently log reported thefts or losses in a “Lost Items” book; the information gathered in previous years may not be reliable: staff have not always indicated if an item was found or collected, deciphering handwriting can be very difficult, and in many cases library users simply do not collect items, even when contacted by staff.

The appropriate limit over which public authorities are permitted to refuse requests is £450, with staff time calculated on the basis of £25 an hour. This means that the limit in terms of staff time is 18 hours.

We estimate that to gather all of the requested information and reproduce it in an Excel spreadsheet would take approximately 5 minutes per item. Given that reports of missing items run into the hundreds each year - there were approximately 600 losses for the 2008-09 academic year - it is clear from this that to provide more detail would cost significantly more than the £450 limit. Therefore we will not be providing all of the information that you have requested. However, we hope that the information that we are able to provide is useful to you.

2) No information held.

3) No information held.