Oddly Enough

Cop leaves gun in Starbucks

Cups from a Starbucks coffee shop are pictured in London, March 15, 2007. REUTERS/Catherine Benson

LONDON (Reuters) - A specialist armed police officer is facing investigation after leaving a loaded gun in a Starbucks cafe in central London, police said on Thursday.

The unnamed officer, who the Sun newspaper said provided personal protection for Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair, forgot the weapon after she visited the coffee house last week.

“A police issue firearm was left unattended in a central London cafe on Friday evening and was found by a member of the public,” a Metropolitan Police (MPS) spokeswoman said.

“The weapon belongs to an MPS authorised firearms officer who was on duty at the time. An investigation has begun.”

Apart from specialist officers, such as those who respond to armed incidents or those who guard dignitaries, the vast majority of British police officers do not carry guns.

The spokeswoman gave no details about the person involved. The Sun said it was a female officer aged in her 30s whose job was to protect Blair.

The paper said the semi-automatic Glock 17 gun had been left in a toilet of the cafe after the officer took off her belt.

It said the officer had been relieved of her duties while the investigation was underway.

“She knows she has messed up bad,” a police source told the Sun.

Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Janet Lawrence