Officers in Art and Antique Unit from April 2019 to April 2022
Freedom of information request reference no: 01.FOI.22.024159
I note you seek access to the following information:
I want to learn about how many police officers work in the Art and Antiques Unit, if they investigate stolen books and manuscripts and I want to learn the number of rare book thefts in the UK for the periods April 2019- April 2020, April 2020- April 2021 and April 2021- April 2022.
I have today decided to disclose the located information to you in full.
Please find below information pursuant to your request above.
The Art and Antiques Unit is currently staffed with one Detective Sergeant, three Detective Constables and one civilian member of staff.
The Art and Antiques Unit specializes in investigating cultural heritage crimes in London. Not all book/manuscripts thefts would be deemed as a cultural heritage crime.
The Metropolitan Police Service does not collate national crime figures regarding book thefts/manuscripts.
However, to assist, the MPS can today confirm that, generally speaking, we usually only investigate rare book theft if an international letter of request (ILORS) is received. Occasionally, we will also assist overseas law enforcement agencies in seizing stolen property or obtaining information regarding the consignor.
The following numbers of ILORS relating to books / manuscripts have been received by the Art and Antiques Unit:
2022 – No referrals 2021 - Two ILOR referrals 2020 - Four ILOR referrals 2019 – Six ILOR referrals
Due to the confidential nature of ILORS, any request for further information about these specific investigations would be highly likely to be exempt in accordance with the Act.