The Home Office said 12 of its laptops were stolen in 2007 - by government standards a pretty low figure.
No desktop computers went missing during the period. The estimated value of the stolen machines was £8,200 - or £683 each. This total apparently included the cost of "ensuring that the laptops meet the security standard required by the business process they support". We'd love to see the cost breakdown between the cost of the kit and the cost of securing them.
By way of comparison the Ministry of Defence, a leader in the field, managed a cracking 173 stolen lappies in 2004, 40 in 2005 and a respectable 66 in 2006. Over the same period the MoD also contrived to have 10 desktop computers stolen.
After the loss of the entire Child Benefit database in November 2007 civil servants were forbidden from taking unsecured machines out of their offices. One MoD official, serving with the Cabinet Office, got around this by leaving secret documents on a train instead.
The Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said at the time that government employees would be held responsible and fined for recklessly flouting data protection principles by leaving laptops in cars or winebars.
The statement is here.®