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Secret terror papers left in car for days before theft

Senior officer admits Official Secrets Act charges over confidential documents.

Marcus Beale arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court.
Marcus Beale arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court. PA

One of the country's most senior counter terrorism officers has admitted leaving confidential documents in a car for four or five days before they were stolen.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, who was the counter terror lead for West Midlands Police, put the papers in a locked case in an unmarked police car.

The briefcase and other possessions were stolen from the vehicle in May.

Beale, 54, who has been suspended from duty, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday, where he admitted the charge of failing to safeguard information under the Official Secrets Act.

Beale joined West Midlands Police in 2011 and held its security portfolio, with responsibility for the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit and local policing in Birmingham at the time the documents were stolen.

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