Guns, explosives and computers stolen or lost from UK armed forces in past year

A Freedom of Information request revealed a number of rifles and other equipment had been stolen from the armed forces (Picture: Getty Images)

The armed forces have lost or had stolen 11 rifles, 42 "explosive munitions" and 1,153 rounds of ammunition in the past year, according to a Sky News investigation.

A Freedom of Information request revealed eight rifles and 1,000 rounds of ammunition were stolen in a single burglary at an army cadet facility in Merseyside. 

Another two rifles were taken from a display at a Reserve Centre and a gun was also lost after it was dropped in water in Wales during an army exercise.

It is not yet clear if any of the weapons have been recovered but the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said in a statement most of the lost ammunition went missing during operations or training exercises.

The Ministry of Defence in Whitehall (entrance Horse Guard Avenue) (Picture: Getty Images)

Other items stolen include a quad bike, vehicle loading ramps, body armour, a clarinet and £1,000 in cash.

The MOD managed to recover some equipment, including motorcycle clothing, but other items were sold on eBay.

The report also revealed 30 computers, 210 laptops and 80 USB sticks had gone missing but the MOD claimed some of the lost hardware could be attributed to accounting errors.

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A MOD spokesperson said: “We take security extremely seriously and have robust procedures to deter and prevent losses and thefts, as well as precautions to ensure devices cannot be accessed by unauthorised parties.

“We have large numbers of devices right across the world, and all incidents are recorded so lessons can be learnt and disciplinary action or prosecution taken when necessary.”

The Gun Control Network told Sky News former soldiers had died after keeping military weapons when they had left the army.

The data from the Freedom of Information request covered September 26, 2018,  to September 30, 2019.