THREE riot shields were stolen from a Bicester police building, a freedom of information act request has revealed.

The statistics show crimes committed against the Thames Valley force between 2008 and 2010 and include the theft of a camera, two PCSO jackets and a police high visibility jacket from Reading police properties in July 2009.

It is not known if anyone was prosecuted over the shield theft in February 2010.

Across the force area six police vehicles were targeted by thieves who helped themselves to items in police cars and vans.

And there were a further 82 instances of property being stolen from police vehicles throughout the force, but these were “trap vehicles” designed to be a honey pot to catch thieves.

Thames Valley spokesman Craig Evry said: “Thames Valley Police is one of several forces to use ‘trap houses’ and ‘trap vehicles’.

“These are used in areas which police believe are being targeted by burglars or thieves. When criminals break in, they could be recorded by cameras or any property taken may be remote tagged or marked with ultraviolet inks allowing police to quickly track it down.

“It’s a useful criminal reduction and evidence tool and criminals should realise that the home or vehicle they’re breaking into might be covered by hidden cameras; hopefully using this technology might make them think twice about committing a crime.”