Sooner or later we all suffer a crime committed against us, sometimes a burglary, sometimes a car related crime and sometimes ,unfairly, the state seems to punish us. Last week I heard a story from someone who suffered all three – at the same time. A few weeks ago, just before Christmas, an acquaintance was burgled. He had taken his family out to dinner and returned to mayhem . The house had been ransacked, lots of consumer goods taken and the thieves took his daughter’s car from the drive to transport the swag.
The police called a day later to tell the victim that the car had been found less than 2 miles away. It was parked up and simply left unlocked. It was not an obstruction. The victim offered to come and collect the car immediately with his spare keys, but the police asked if they could keep the car and take fingerprints etc. He agreed and even went to the trouble of taking his spare keys to the “Police” pound to facilitate the access to the car.
A few days later , he was advised by the police that the car was ready for collection. He duly turned up at the pound to be told that he needed to pay £150, the cost of the recovery. Understandbly put out by this, he was told he had no options and that it was all LEGAL.
When he complained by phone to the police he was swamped by quotations from this traffic act and that regulation. So he has his house burgled, his car stolen and then he is the one that effectively gets fined. A search of the internet shows that this is prevalent throughout England. I suppose his only option would have been to insist that the car was left where it was and that he would recover it but he mistakenly thought that he was assisting the police in their enquiries. He would have also needed to know about this outrageous possibility.
It could have been worse though, one man found his own car and when he rang the police to ask if they wanted to make enquiries in the area he found it , they said they were under-resourced and asked if they could send a tow truck round instead at his expense.