London, Jan 7 (IANS) In a carelessness which could cost the British authorities dearly, a set of keys for 33 high-security court cells has gone missing.
The keys can open every door in West London Magistrates' Court, including the underground jail, The Sun reported.
All criminals - including murderers, paedophiles and rapists - first appear in the magistrates' court ahead of being transferred to prisons and crown courts.
Also, security firm Serco is accused of failing to change the locks immediately after the blunder.
"If those keys get into the wrong hands, it could be disastrous. They were in a safe but disappeared," said a source. "It is shocking that they didn't immediately do anything about it."
Locks have now been changed and public safety was not endangered, a spokesperson said, adding Serco, which runs court escort services in West London, is probing the incident.