Oliver’s £500 bill to get his stolen car back
Last updated at 12:08, Thursday, 09 August 2012
A WHITEHAVEN man whose stolen car was found by police now faces a £500 bill to “recover’’ the vehicle from a garage.
Oliver Graham says he is being made to pay for being a victim of crime after he claims police failed to inform him that his recovered car was racking up daily bills.
He claims the vehicle had been required by the police for forensics and said he was told they would cover any recovery or storage costs. So he was stunned when told he would have to pay the bill and reclaim it through his insurance.
Mr Graham’s car was taken from outside his home at Church Street on July 7 and was eventually traced to Latrigg Road where it was recovered a week later by a garage, Egerton’s of Brigham, authorised by Cumbria Constabulary.
He said the police told him the car was awaiting forensics but there was “no mention of how long this may take”.
However, 10 days later Mr Graham received a “notice to dispose of the vehicle” on the car. It has subsequently been racking up costs of £20 a day, plus a £150 removal charge, since July 24.
Mr Graham said: “I was previously told that as the police requested the recovery and storage of the vehicle for forensics evidence then they would be responsible for the costs. I was told someone would chase the matter up and they would get back to me. But no-one did.
“When I went back to the police station, following the ‘notice to dispose’ I was advised that I WAS responsible for the recovery and storage costs and would have to pay Egerton’s myself and then reclaim the loss from my insurers.’’
Mr Graham said he was told by his insurers that it was “quite a common police policy’’ but given the £350 excess on his insurance policy, the loss of no-claims bonus and the value of the car it “wouldn’t be worth my while,’’ he said.
“My car is still with Egerton’s and the storage costs are escalating daily. I believe the charges to be the responsibility of the police and I am still trying to get confirmation.
“The ‘notice to dispose’ which they sent does not constitute a proper invoice as it does not state the correct statutory ground for the recovery of my vehicle.’’
Mr Graham is angry that he was prepared to help the police providing witness statements and CCTV to help catch the thieves but feels he has been let down. He now wants the police to look at the current policy. “It is actually potentially undermining the constabulary’s reputation and its relationship with the public. It certainly doesn’t serve victims of crime,’’ he said.
“I also want the public to be aware of the police’s current vehicle recovery and storage policy and of the financial implications of doing the right thing in reporting a vehicle as stolen and assisting the police in their investigations.’’
A spokesperson for Cumbria Constabulary said: “The charges that need to be met are those for recovery and storage. The recovery agent should enter into an early dialogue with the vehicle owner to ensure that these are kept to a minimum, but they will continue to grow if the vehicle is not collected or other disposal authorised.
“Cumbria Constabulary, like other police forces, has one single contract for vehicle recovery and storage with an authorised contractor. This is in line with approved ACPO guidelines. The contractor uses local sub-contractors and ensures that they meet the required standards. Cumbria Constabulary does not gain financially from vehicle recovery arrangements.
“When a vehicle has been reported stolen, these costs are often covered by the owners’ insurance, depending on the type of policy purchased. Where an offender is convicted, the owner or insurance company can reclaim these costs through an application to the criminal court, or by civil means.”
First published at 11:11, Thursday, 09 August 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
I was also sent this notice about 7 years ago. In my case I had sold the car the day before the Police found it abandoned. I explained this to them. 32 days later I received the letter saying I had to pay for the recovery and storage of the vehicle. I phoned Egertons asking why it had taken so long to inform me of this and to tell them i no longer owned the car anyway. I said at the time that it was a cheap way of making a bit of easy money - it sounds like it is probably still the case.
i,m sorry oliver but i,m afraid theres not one mp in this country be it lib,lab,or the cons that cares about the innocent party,the countrys gone to the dogs ,never mind the over priced olympics,its a joke you have to pay to get your own stuff back,while the thieves get a slap on the wrist,i,m sick of cameron and the rest bleating on about how things will change,lets face it things will never alter till justice is in favour of the victim.
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