'I'm a victim twice' says owner of stolen scooter slapped with recovery fee

'I'm a victim twice' says owner of stolen scooter slapped with recovery fee

CRIME VICTIM: Ned Sproston with the scooter which had been stolen

CRIME VICTIM: Ned Sproston with the scooter which had been stolen

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

A VICTIM of theft has had to pay to be get his stolen scooter back, despite it being recovered by police only a few hundred metres from his home.

Ned Sproston, 38, a home tutor for Bradford Council, has complained he has been "made to suffer twice" after he reported the scooter missing from outside his flat at All Saint's Court, Ilkley.

Police found the vehicle about five hours later in Beanlands Parade, approximately 300 yards from Mr Sproston's front door, and contacted him to say it had been taken to a storage yard in Keighley, more than 11 miles away.

He was then told he must pay a standard £150 fee to collect the bike, an expense he said will not be covered by his third party insurance.

"The police made no attempt to contact me, and if they had, I would have walked round the corner to get the bike and bring it back," Mr Sproston said.

"It is only worth about £500, so it's not worth having anything more than third party insurance, which won't cover this cost.

"They are spending people’s money without their say-so, and charging someone who has been the victim of a crime.”

Mr Sproston said although the scooter's front panel had been damaged, it could have "easily" been wheeled back to his flat without any need for recovery, adding that no forensic examinations had been done by the time he collected the vehicle.

"I was livid," he said. "Police should not be empowered to charge for recovery when it blatantly doesn't need doing.

"It would have been so simple for me to get the bike back, and the charge comes directly after you've just had your vehicle stolen, it's a real kick when you're already down."

Mr Sproston has written to the Independent Police Complaints Commission in protest against the recovery policy, but Paula Rodgers, acting vehicle recovery unit manager at West Yorkshire Police, told the Telegraph & Argus the fee was enforced in accordance with road traffic regulations.

"West Yorkshire Police has a policy to recover all vehicles which are reported as stolen or found abandoned," she said.

"Owners of vehicles recovered in this way will be subject to a recovery and storage charge.

"This is a statutory fee which is set by the Home Office and charged by the contractor.

"In most cases, this can be reclaimed through the owner's insurance policy.

"All stolen or abandoned vehicles are taken to the contractor's depot, as they could be damaged in such a way that they may pose a danger to public safety."

A police spokesman added that forensic examinations on the scooter had been cancelled at Mr Sproston's request as he did not want to pay extra storage charges on the vehicle.

Motoring groups such as the RAC have previously lobbied the Government in an attempt to change the law on recovery fees, and commenting on Mr Sproston's case, a spokesman said: “This does appear to be a little harsh in light of the crime and the value of the stolen vehicle.

"The theory is that by capping recovery costs at £150, it balances out for cases where the costs are either higher or lower.

"Clearly vehicle theft can be a costly and distressing experience for all motorists, but this case does make you question if a little discretion could not be used.”

Comments (13)

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9:04am Thu 28 Aug 14

Joedavid says...

Sorry for his situation in having to pay out but he choose not to pay for full insurance cover.
Sorry for his situation in having to pay out but he choose not to pay for full insurance cover. Joedavid
  • Score: -16

9:16am Thu 28 Aug 14

Davyb16 says...

I have 2 cars one cost £400 and the other £375 both have fully comprehensive insurance and AA cover, you have to protect your transport.
I have 2 cars one cost £400 and the other £375 both have fully comprehensive insurance and AA cover, you have to protect your transport. Davyb16
  • Score: -9

9:17am Thu 28 Aug 14

Not so simple says...

You get what you pay for. Also since the Police is now run as tax/revenue collection and generation service :
Get used to it

Burgers and drug dealers not getting caught.... But if they steal your motor the cops will send you or your insurer a bill.

People fighting in streets and those on Asbos are rarely caught but if you drive slightly over the speed limit they'll pounce on you and give you a juicy fine or a court appearance.

The once great police force needs to maintain the peace: that's it's job not collecting taxes for the governors of the land as that's the job of the sheriff of Rottingham
You get what you pay for. Also since the Police is now run as tax/revenue collection and generation service : Get used to it Burgers and drug dealers not getting caught.... But if they steal your motor the cops will send you or your insurer a bill. People fighting in streets and those on Asbos are rarely caught but if you drive slightly over the speed limit they'll pounce on you and give you a juicy fine or a court appearance. The once great police force needs to maintain the peace: that's it's job not collecting taxes for the governors of the land as that's the job of the sheriff of Rottingham Not so simple
  • Score: 26

9:36am Thu 28 Aug 14

hortonite says...

it is standard practice, I suffered the same thing but my insurers paid for the storage then got it back through increased premiums. My bike was stolen, the police made all the appropriate noises then did nothing. Three days later a neighbour discovered my bike and reported it to the police, I went to collect my bike, it too was only a few hundred yards away but well hidden. I was informed I could not have my bike as the police intended to check for fingerprints. I told the boys in blue I was taking it anyway, their immediate response was to threaten to prosecute me for obstructing the police in the line of duty. My bike was loaded on to a trailer and driven passes my house. A week later I received a letter threatening even more charges unless I arranged to have my bike removed, this was the first contact the police had made despite the fact I had been phoning daily to check on the non existent progress. After numerous phone calls the police admitted they had not even checked for finger prints because it had rained !!! So there you have it nearly two weeks of storage and the police admit they have done nothing except line someones pockets with my money
it is standard practice, I suffered the same thing but my insurers paid for the storage then got it back through increased premiums. My bike was stolen, the police made all the appropriate noises then did nothing. Three days later a neighbour discovered my bike and reported it to the police, I went to collect my bike, it too was only a few hundred yards away but well hidden. I was informed I could not have my bike as the police intended to check for fingerprints. I told the boys in blue I was taking it anyway, their immediate response was to threaten to prosecute me for obstructing the police in the line of duty. My bike was loaded on to a trailer and driven passes my house. A week later I received a letter threatening even more charges unless I arranged to have my bike removed, this was the first contact the police had made despite the fact I had been phoning daily to check on the non existent progress. After numerous phone calls the police admitted they had not even checked for finger prints because it had rained !!! So there you have it nearly two weeks of storage and the police admit they have done nothing except line someones pockets with my money hortonite
  • Score: 31

10:41am Thu 28 Aug 14

They only do damage! says...

hortonite wrote:
it is standard practice, I suffered the same thing but my insurers paid for the storage then got it back through increased premiums. My bike was stolen, the police made all the appropriate noises then did nothing. Three days later a neighbour discovered my bike and reported it to the police, I went to collect my bike, it too was only a few hundred yards away but well hidden. I was informed I could not have my bike as the police intended to check for fingerprints. I told the boys in blue I was taking it anyway, their immediate response was to threaten to prosecute me for obstructing the police in the line of duty. My bike was loaded on to a trailer and driven passes my house. A week later I received a letter threatening even more charges unless I arranged to have my bike removed, this was the first contact the police had made despite the fact I had been phoning daily to check on the non existent progress. After numerous phone calls the police admitted they had not even checked for finger prints because it had rained !!! So there you have it nearly two weeks of storage and the police admit they have done nothing except line someones pockets with my money
Only ever interested in the money.
[quote][p][bold]hortonite[/bold] wrote: it is standard practice, I suffered the same thing but my insurers paid for the storage then got it back through increased premiums. My bike was stolen, the police made all the appropriate noises then did nothing. Three days later a neighbour discovered my bike and reported it to the police, I went to collect my bike, it too was only a few hundred yards away but well hidden. I was informed I could not have my bike as the police intended to check for fingerprints. I told the boys in blue I was taking it anyway, their immediate response was to threaten to prosecute me for obstructing the police in the line of duty. My bike was loaded on to a trailer and driven passes my house. A week later I received a letter threatening even more charges unless I arranged to have my bike removed, this was the first contact the police had made despite the fact I had been phoning daily to check on the non existent progress. After numerous phone calls the police admitted they had not even checked for finger prints because it had rained !!! So there you have it nearly two weeks of storage and the police admit they have done nothing except line someones pockets with my money[/p][/quote]Only ever interested in the money. They only do damage!
  • Score: 11

12:31pm Thu 28 Aug 14

freespeech says...

The police do not benefit from this, its the national protocol from the home office. Its the risk you take when you opt for cheap insurance. The difference in premium from third party to fully comp on this scooter is negligible. If you take the risk, don't blame others for your own losses!
The police do not benefit from this, its the national protocol from the home office. Its the risk you take when you opt for cheap insurance. The difference in premium from third party to fully comp on this scooter is negligible. If you take the risk, don't blame others for your own losses! freespeech
  • Score: -15

12:32pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Lfc.86 says...

Coppers r dicks
Coppers r dicks Lfc.86
  • Score: 0

12:43pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Lfc.86 says...

You have to remember its always at the police officers discretion whether to compound the vehicle, as seen on last weeks motorway cops on bbc1. And these coppers would have known nothing was going to happen as the cost of checks/fingerprintin
g/investigating outweighs the actual crime (ie- prob some kids messing about) again seen on motorway cops bbc1. So the police, of they had any common sense or decency should have knocked or registered keepers door, told him whats what and left it to him to decide whether he wanted it investigating or like coppers he would've thought the investigation/cost/h
eadache doesn't meet the crime so lets just leave it.... But coppers walking 30yards to knock on his door, hah- if pigs could fl..................
.........
You have to remember its always at the police officers discretion whether to compound the vehicle, as seen on last weeks motorway cops on bbc1. And these coppers would have known nothing was going to happen as the cost of checks/fingerprintin g/investigating outweighs the actual crime (ie- prob some kids messing about) again seen on motorway cops bbc1. So the police, of they had any common sense or decency should have knocked or registered keepers door, told him whats what and left it to him to decide whether he wanted it investigating or like coppers he would've thought the investigation/cost/h eadache doesn't meet the crime so lets just leave it.... But coppers walking 30yards to knock on his door, hah- if pigs could fl.................. ......... Lfc.86
  • Score: 3

1:41pm Thu 28 Aug 14

wolfspeak says...

I thought the police took an oath to serve the community not their Tory paymasters.
I thought the police took an oath to serve the community not their Tory paymasters. wolfspeak
  • Score: 3

2:31pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Tinybantam says...

wolfspeak wrote:
I thought the police took an oath to serve the community not their Tory paymasters.
Here we go again. An idiotic statement, but you Labour loonies have to blame the government for something...next you will be blaming Cameron for knicking the scooter. Twonk! By the way Labour politicians and councils do commit wrong doings.....Have you heard about the Rotherham child abuse scandal?
[quote][p][bold]wolfspeak[/bold] wrote: I thought the police took an oath to serve the community not their Tory paymasters.[/p][/quote]Here we go again. An idiotic statement, but you Labour loonies have to blame the government for something...next you will be blaming Cameron for knicking the scooter. Twonk! By the way Labour politicians and councils do commit wrong doings.....Have you heard about the Rotherham child abuse scandal? Tinybantam
  • Score: -1

3:24pm Thu 28 Aug 14

justjustice says...

With so many complaints to the IPCC which have to be investigated, pretty soon they'll be adding a charge to those as well!

Nothing in this "democracy" is fair or just, not even justice is fair, you have to pay for it, and if the other person has more money to keep the trial going for longer, they can force the other person to close the case cos they cannot afford it!
With so many complaints to the IPCC which have to be investigated, pretty soon they'll be adding a charge to those as well! Nothing in this "democracy" is fair or just, not even justice is fair, you have to pay for it, and if the other person has more money to keep the trial going for longer, they can force the other person to close the case cos they cannot afford it! justjustice
  • Score: 2

3:40pm Thu 28 Aug 14

llos25 says...

If you think you live in a democracy think again .
If you think you live in a democracy think again . llos25
  • Score: 1

3:58pm Thu 28 Aug 14

mikess says...

many people do not understand these charges are being abused by the police. I think these rules were introduced to enforced so vehicles abannded by whatever means and not removed the police have powers to clear the highway until the owners can recover them. Unfortunately as some of the comments. motoring is a very lucrative business and the biggest beneficial are the police and local authorities . both of these have campaigned to create laws ,legislations to gain revenues and as in this instance unnecessary financial penalties passed on to the driver.
many people do not understand these charges are being abused by the police. I think these rules were introduced to enforced so vehicles abannded by whatever means and not removed the police have powers to clear the highway until the owners can recover them. Unfortunately as some of the comments. motoring is a very lucrative business and the biggest beneficial are the police and local authorities . both of these have campaigned to create laws ,legislations to gain revenues and as in this instance unnecessary financial penalties passed on to the driver. mikess
  • Score: 2

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