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04-22-07, 06:53 PM #1Banned
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Car theft victims pay police £105 to investigate
I find it an interesting concept.
On the upside, private forensic agencies could compete, offering the same service for say £90, thus costing the motorist less and taking load off the police.
On the downside, people with low value cars may choose not to bother, making them an even easier target. Expanding fee for service to other crime would create an even wider gap.
But then on the upside again, the victim of the theft would have some control over the investigation. If it became widespread enough "investigation insurance" would become available for a small fee, again granting people the choice of quality of service.
Car theft victims pay police £105 to investigate
MOTORISTS whose cars are stolen are being told they must pay the police at least £105 if they want them to recover their vehicle when it is found and check it for forensic clues.
The scheme — being implemented by forces across the country — has been attacked by angry motorists.
Only car owners who agree to pay the fee, which in theory is to cover storage, are assured their cars will be “forensicated” — which means dusted down for fingerprints or swabbed for DNA.
A police letter approved by the Home Office warns motorists who recover their own vehicles that the cars will not be checked for clues. It states: “[The police force will accept] no further responsibility and will be unable to take further action to identify the person who took it.”
Opposition MPs this weekend attacked the charges, which often cannot be recovered under car insurance policies, for penalising the victims of car crime.
David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said: “Taxpayers already pay twice for policing, through central taxation and council tax.
“It’s ludicrous to charge them a third time for the police to do their normal job when their cars have been stolen through no fault of their own.”
While victims of car theft will automatically be charged if they want the vehicle taken to a “forensic car pound” for tests, there are no similar fees for any other police services. Victims of burglary are not offered any optional fees to guarantee forensic tests when they report a break-in.
“This is an absolute scam,” said Don Astwood, 54, who is disabled and was levied with the £105 charge and a storage fee of about £100 after his car was stolen outside his home in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. “My car was found legally parked a few miles away where I could have picked it up, but they charged me to take it another 10 miles further away where they checked it for fingerprints.”
Chris Haslam, a travel writer from north London, said he was “flabbergasted” when he reported his Land Rover stolen last week and was told of the “new service”. The alternative was that he would be given the car’s location if it was found and he could “retrieve it himself”.
“That’s free, sir,” the operator told him. The number of cars stolen each year in England and Wales has more than halved in the past 10 years as manufacturers develop more sophisticated security systems. In 2005-06 203,600 cars were stolen, half of which were recovered.
04-22-07, 07:40 PM #2
Thats been happening for a long time. Some of the replies to the article seem to have misread it the charge is for recovery which is done by an outside agency not the police or council the scene of crime tests are part of the police service thats why if you are happy to open the door to your house they will do the tests for a burglary.
The cars have to be recovered for health and safety reasons the forensic officers/ scenes of crime/ crime scene investigators cannot work on a car on the street it has to be on private land away from other moving vehicle and for the best results kept in a building.
If people don't want their car recovered than they can collect it themselves. Fingerprinting and some other forensic tests could leave you with a valeting problem or damaged electrics.
04-22-07, 10:47 PM #3
It happens here too. If we find your stolen vehicle, and it's drivable, we call you and see if you want to come to the location. This is to save you tow/storage fees.
If you find your vehicle, we just ask you to call us so we can take it out of the system. Otherwise, we pull you out at gunpoint.Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.
Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
or otherwise distort statements of fact.FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
04-22-07, 11:47 PM #4
I personally think this is bullshit.
The county residents pay taxs to employ us.
i couldnt see them having to pay extra for us to do what we were hired, and sworn to do.
Obviously as many of you have stated, you are familier with this, as it happens around you.
first time i heard of this. it doesnt happen around here.and to be honest, dont think it will for some time.YEAH, IM THE BERRIES, AND CHERRIES IN YOUR REAR VIEW MIRROR.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog.
Eat it, Play with it, or piss on it, and walk away!
As smart as man is, we haven't been able to invent a machine that can smell drugs or tell us where a person has walked,” Dogs are sophisticated investigative tools!
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