INVESTIGATIONS into the mysterious theft of nearly £1,500 from Harrow Civic Centre - which auditors said had an 'indication of staff involvement' - have failed to uncover a suspect.
Harrow Council had fought to keep the report into the incident confidential, but the Information Commissioner's Office backed the Observer's Freedom of Information request and ordered it to be disclosed this week.
Just after the start of business on June 5, 2009, a key to a strongroom within the offices of registration services at the Civic Centre in Station Road, Harrow, went missing.
Staff could not access the room or its contents, including the marriage register.
The door remained locked until 1.20pm the same day when another member of staff discovered the door inexplicably open, with the key in the lock, by which time a locksmith had been called to replace the lock.
At 4pm that day, envelopes containing the week's takings, which should have been on a shelf in the strongroom, were found to be missing - a total of £1,406.50 in cash and cheques - even though, the report reveals, a £50 float 'that was in a more obvious position in the room was untouched'.
The report says: "While this theft indicates involvement of staff because of the knowledge of the location of the key and the amounts that were stolen, there is no clear evidence that indicates an individual or even that it was a member of this section.
"Unfortunately it has not been possible to determine who carried out the theft as there is a clear-cut lack of evidence for this.
"The police initially showed some interest in investigating the incident, so internal audit delayed investigating until it became clear that no further action was being taken by police."
Cashing-up procedures were changed as a result of the theft and the council submitted an insurance claim to recoup the money.
A Harrow police spokesman said: "We can confirm that Harrow Council informed police on June 5, 2009 of a loss of £1,400 from the register office.
"The matter was investigated by police and forensics officers. However, due to insufficient evidence, no further action is to be taken.
"Recommendations were made to the council's register office regarding tightening security procedures."