Top terror officer admits leaving secret documents in his car before it was stolen
Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale admits failing to safeguard documents under the Official Secrets Act (Picture: PA)

A top counter terrorism officer 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 terrorism lead for West Midlands Police, put the papers in a locked case in an unmarked police car.

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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 today.

He pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to safeguard information under the Official Secrets Act.

Marcus Beale court case
Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale’s car was later stolen – with the documents inside (Picture: PA)

Beale joined the force, the second largest in England and Wales, 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.

The case was referred to the Met by West Midlands Police, but Scotland Yard said the theft itself was being investigated locally.