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Royal Pharmaceutical Society

'Irreplaceable' president's chain stolen in theft from RPS London headquarters

The RPS first president's chain

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Ash Soni, current president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, says the first president’s chain is “irreplaceable”

The president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has expressed his shock following the “disgraceful” theft of the president’s chain of office from the society’s headquarters in London.

The chain, which is engraved with the names of all past RPS presidents from between 1841 and 1968, was stolen by a lone intruder from a museum cabinet at the RPS’s London headquarters on 11 November 2018. Usually known as the ‘first president’s chain’, there is a second chain that is worn by the current president.

The emergency services were alerted to the theft after the intruder alarm was sounded at 7am.

Amber Butcher, facilities manager at the RPS, said the facilities team attended the site as soon as possible after the alarm to find that two doors leading into the office’s main reception area had been smashed.

“When the police entered they saw that a museum case had been damaged and then when they looked a bit further they saw that the item was missing.”

She added that nothing else from the RPS museum’s collection had been taken.

Smashed window in RPS headquarters

Source: Pharmaceutical Journal / Graham Clews

The presidential chain was stolen from the London headquarters of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society on the morning of 11 November 2018

The chain, which dates from 1901, is comprised of 58 18-carat gold panels.

Ash Soni, president of the RPS, said that although the chain was insured, “things like that are irreplaceable”.

He added: “It’s such a disgrace that it’s the [necklace that was stolen] and [it is] very odd in some ways.

“Of all the things to take from all the various display cabinets, it’s the one thing that’s probably the most recognisable from the RPS perspective because it’s got names of [all past presidents] on it and it’s clearly something which represents the profession. It just seems peculiar.”

Michael Bonne, head of information and facilities at the RPS, added that the police investigation is ongoing with “the primary objective” to recover the chain.

He said: “As with any item in our museum, it is unique and special to the Society and so any loss of this kind is unfortunate and rare.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205731

Readers' comments (1)

  • RPS chain of office theft is despicable.
    Hope the perpetrator has second thoughts and returns it.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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  • The RPS first president's chain
  • Smashed window in RPS headquarters

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