London, Nov.25 : The British Ministry of Defence has confirmed the loss of almost 200 memory sticks, desktop computers, laptops and hard drives this year.
The Scotsman quoted Junior Defence Minister Kevan Jones as saying last night that some 74 media storage devices were also stolen this year.
He said that from 1 January to 5 November 2008, losses included 59 memory sticks, 62 laptops, four desktop PCs and 72 hard drives. Stolen items listed for the same period were six memory sticks, 58 laptops, eight desktops and two hard drives.
Since 2003, 866 laptops have been stolen from the MoD, with 178 laptops reported lost. Some 157 desktop computers were stolen over the last five years and seven were lost.
The number of hard drives reported lost this year - 72 - is the highest for the department since records began in 2003.
In total, 145 hard drives have been lost from the MoD since 2003 and 33 have been stolen.
Last month, a hard drive with the private details of 100,000 armed forces personnel went missing from the department.