Thefts at the V&A

Iain Overton made this Freedom of Information request to The Victoria and Albert Museum

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear The Victoria and Albert Museum,

Hello. I would very much like, under the Freedom of Information, to ask you the following, please:

1. How many artefacts or items of historical interest were stolen from your museum in the years 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010? Can the items be listed for each year in an excel spreadsheet (for this request and for all requests below)?
2. Of the thefts listed above, year for year, how many were perpetrated by members of your own staff?
3. How many other thefts occurred and were recorded in these years (e.g. visitor bags stolen, wallets etc.) can the quantity be included and the total categories (i.e. visitor theft) where known?
4. If known, how many times in the above years was there police involvement - and were there arrests made following such thefts?
5. How much money, in the above years (year by year breakdown) a. were claimed for and b. received money for in insurance claims for thefts in your museum.

I would be grateful for answers to all of the above questions. However, I appreciate that the data might be hard to collate and so I ask you to spend the allocated time under FOI to search for each question in terms of priority and only to move to the next question if time still permits under the FOI stipulation.

I hope that all of this is clear and no further explaining is required.

Yours faithfully,

Iain Overton

VandA e-mail, The Victoria and Albert Museum

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Christopher Marsden, The Victoria and Albert Museum

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Overton,

Thank you for your enquiry concerning thefts at the Victoria and Albert Museum. I must apologise that our response has been delayed for so long.

Taking your questions in order:
1. No artefacts have been reported stolen during the period in question.
2. Not applicable.
3. The numbers of other thefts are set out in the attached document.
4. The numbers of times the police have been involved is also set out in the attached document. We do not hold full information as to arrests, and have not attempted to provide this information to you. Although we are aware of some arrests being made in connection with these incidents, where the V&A is not itself the victim of a crime we are not necessarily informed of all the details of the police investigation. I am sorry that we are consequently unable to answer this part of your request.
5. I regret that we do not hold this information.

I hope that this response will be helpful to you. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, the Museum does operate a complaints procedure and if you are dissatisfied with our response to your request you may make a complaint, in the first instance to myself as the V&A's Freedom of Information Officer. If your complaint is not handled to your satisfaction you also have the right to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

Christopher Marsden

Senior Archivist
Word & Image Department
V&A Museum Archives
Blythe House, 23 Blythe Road, London W14 0QX
Tel. 020 7603 6304
Visit: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/...

The V&A's Word & Image Department incorporates the National Art Library and the Museum's prints, drawings, paintings and photographs collections.

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