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To expect the police to care about this?

(52 Posts)
FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Thu 24-Jan-13 12:29:37

My bike was stolen a couple of weeks back and has now popped up on eBay. I called the police to let them know, and after a battle of trying to be put through to my officer (we can't put you through madam, he can call you back) I eventually got through to one of his colleagues. He couldn't have cared less that my bike is on bloody eBay, doesn't want the link, doesn't want to do anything about it, has said my officer might call me about it tomorrow.

AIBU to think they should be recovering my property that was stolen from me? And reasonably urgently to prevent the bike being sold?

IamtheZombie Thu 24-Jan-13 12:30:56

Have you notified eBay?

YorkshireDeb Thu 24-Jan-13 12:31:19

No, YANBU. My dp had his bike stolen recently & the police told him to keep an eye on eBay & gum tree incase it popped up for sale. X

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Thu 24-Jan-13 12:38:09

eBay seem to only want to deal with the police, not me. Is v frustrating!

BiteTheTopsOffIcedGems Thu 24-Jan-13 12:43:44

I think you can report items stolen on Ebay. There's a link on the listing.

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Thu 24-Jan-13 12:46:13

Doesn't that then remove the listing and keep me further from my bike?

Pantah630 Thu 24-Jan-13 12:47:16

Go to the Police Station dealing with it in person, if they still put you off, ask for their badge no. and details of Chief Constable, then get writing.

Also contact the buyer and say you're local and would like to view bike and arrange a time, don't give them your real name and address if asked, if you're lucky they've put a mobile no on the ad so you can't be traced back through your ebay id.

Personally and probably against the law to do so I would arrange to view, taking a couple of heavy looking friends with me and retrieve said bike myself grin

Good luck

TheFallenNinja Thu 24-Jan-13 12:48:22

Why not bid on it, win it and go to collect it?

Be absolutely sure it's yours though.

CwtchesAndCuddles Thu 24-Jan-13 12:48:54

Bid on it - is it collection only?

Once you win it you can provide the police with the address !

5Foot5 Thu 24-Jan-13 12:51:45

This might be a stupid question but how can you be sure it is your bike and not just one that looks like it?

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Thu 24-Jan-13 12:53:54

I was considering bidding on it - he's got it for delivery (at £25) only.

I wish eBay would make it compulsory to list frame numbers when bikes are listed - then I could check (though I guess a bike thief would just make one up).

I would have thought the police would have procedures in place for this.

moomoomar Thu 24-Jan-13 12:57:27

I would message to see if you can collect it. Then bid and when you win forward their address to the police. I would use a new ebay account though.

Tiredtrout Thu 24-Jan-13 13:00:48

From the sounds of it the original officer is not on today or dealing with something else. Take screen shots of everything, when does the sale end? Is there full details of the seller on there?

From experience ebay can be a nightmare to deal with (as are banks and mobile phone companies) and there are a lot of legislative hoops that police have to jump through in our streamlined times that people aren't aware of

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Thu 24-Jan-13 13:01:24

The police don't give a flying fuck about that sort of thing. We've been told that when we find out who stole our bike and where the bike is we can ring them back with the info... We did and they did nothing so we retrieved our property ourselves angry

Tiredtrout Thu 24-Jan-13 13:42:48

Actually they do care because normally it's a means to catching the 'baddies' but I don't know if you've seen but there's a huge shake up going on, lots of personnel cuts, pay cuts, worse pay and conditions and an extension in service, plus whatever nonsense about the minority of officers is put out in the press. Morale is at an all time low.

There isn't enough officers to do everything that is expected of them

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Thu 24-Jan-13 13:55:55

Since when is it the victims job to find the criminal, the stolen property and then retrieve it?

Ilovefluffysheep Thu 24-Jan-13 14:03:38

Thank you Tiredtrout, for sticking up for the police! Do you work for them? I do, am not ashamed to say I am a police officer.

I very much doubt that its that they don't care. However, do you have any idea how difficult it is to get information from ebay? Even as the police, we can't just ring them up and get it, there are procedures in place, forms that have to be filled in etc etc. Then once that has been done, it can take 45 days to get the information back.

And yes, I do know this for a fact, as I work in the fraud department, and deal with a lot of ebay stuff.

How can you say it is definitely your bike?

What is it exactly you want the police to do? Because if they go ahead and do what I've said above, thats going to take up to 45 days to get the information, by which time it sounds like the bike will have been sold, which will then further complicate matters as the police will then need to get the buyers details, possible they live in another force area, etc etc. And at this point, unless there is something you haven't said, there is still no way of knowing it actually is your bike?

And without trying to sound rude, is this really the best use of public money? As tiredtrout says, budgets have been cut, officers have been cut, there is only so much the police can do with limited resources, and with the best will in the world, perhaps recovering "possible" stolen bikes just isn't the best use of much needed resourses.

fuzzypicklehead Thu 24-Jan-13 14:09:55

I take your point, fluffy, but that really sucks. If that really is the case, then I would second the idea of bidding on it and turning up to collect with a couple of large, hard looking blokes. At least then you get your bike back.

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Thu 24-Jan-13 14:12:00

Ours had several unique marks on it so there was no doubt it was ours.... Where do you draw the line on what is the best use of limited resources though? Is it the monetary value of the item, the sentimental value, does someone have to have been injured? Should we just accept that our possessions, once stolen are irretrievable and thus only ring the police for a reference number since they don't have the time...

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Thu 24-Jan-13 14:12:22

They could have told me that, Ilove and I'd be a bit less fed up. To have to battle to give information (when I've been told, like YorkshireDeb to keep an eye out for it) isn't particularly impressive. All I want them to do is care and not fob me off. It's very distressing having things stolen from your home, and to be ignored when you have information (and yes, almost certainly my bike due to some markings on it) is further upsetting.

Part of the problem with bike theft in London is that the thieves aren't sanctioned. In fact, when your bike is stolen you're quizzed to the nth degree about how you locked it - mine were properly secured and were still taken - what should be more of an issue is some little toe-rag taking something they know isn't theirs. Insurance premiums will pay out, so it seems unnecessary to prevent and solve the crimes.

I do know there are limited resources, but how many of those resources would it have taken to give me an email address so I could send over the link?

Ilovefluffysheep Thu 24-Jan-13 14:21:10

I agree, there is no excuse for bad communication. Its possible the officer you dealt with was on rest days, on holiday, off sick etc, but you should have been provided with an email address.

Each force sets their own way of how they deal with things. In my particular force we have rules surrounding ebay frauds - for example, if it is less than £300 we don't look into it, if you have gone outside paypal etc. Its not easy explaining to people, as I would certainly be upset if I had been defrauded on ebay and told that the police weren't looking into it. However, I try and be as honest as possible whilst showing empathy, and it is quite often as frustrating for me as it is the person I'm speaking to, although obviously they have suffered the loss and not me.

Anyway, as I said, you should have been communicated to in a better way and can totally understand why you're not impressed. Was just trying to give some kind of input as to why this may not be looked into.

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Thu 24-Jan-13 14:27:41

We did get a rather patronising phone call telling us how we could improve security to prevent it happening again, this is apparently a follow up call, a follow up on what I'm not sure since they did fuck all... The guy was quite shocked to hear that we were already doing most of the things he suggested, he then mumbled something and hung up. Always seem to be dissatisfied with the police blush

Pantah630 Thu 24-Jan-13 14:33:49

This is so depressing, we're going to end up with private corrupt security force rather than an Independant Police Force at this rate. Yes its not drugs or murder but theft has got to be one of the most common, and most solvable crimes, that affects most of us at some time. £300 is a lot of money to the majority of the population. Especially when the theft leaves a trail through ebay, its so frustrating that there isn't a dedicated team to deal with these minor but prolific crimes. I feel your frustration fluffy maybe things need to be changed from within rather than waiting for the CPS or whichever idiot is in charge in Whitehall, to lay down the targets. Isn't this the sort of thing that CSO's could deal with, only sending in the big guns for the arrest?
fffs I think it may be worth emailing your new commissioner on something like this, might give him/her something to do smile

Tiredtrout Thu 24-Jan-13 14:37:25

I am an officer too ilove, things could have been better communicated I agree. I work a lot of hours in my own time trying to keep on top of things as do a lot of others but it seems that a lot of issues are that people have unrealistic expectations at times of what we are able to do as we have to work within legislation. 45 days is quite quick for eBay sometimes.

When I say unrealistic expectations I mean that things should be simple but due to accountability things are not as simple as they should be

Tiredtrout Thu 24-Jan-13 14:38:31

Still the best job in the world when you have a good shift though

Pantah630 Thu 24-Jan-13 14:39:16

oops too many f's

As an aside fluffy am I right to assume the Police would become incredibly interested and alert if they knew the victim was going to go round with a couple of heavies to retrieve stolen goods? I really do hope the spits DM isn't correct confused

CelineMcBean Thu 24-Jan-13 14:40:39

I think you are unreasonable to demand to speak to someone immediately about a stolen bike. Much better to call you back. The poor plod could've been having a wee or dealing with something else that might be just as important to that victim as your bike.

That said, yanbu to expect there to be better procedures in place to deal with eBay related crime. There is no reason for eBay to take so long. Where crime is suspected things like the Data Protection Act allow for swift information sharing. Be cross with eBay and cross that nothing's being done about them.

Hope you get your bike back.

EuroShagmore Thu 24-Jan-13 14:41:15

They should, OP, but in my experience they don't.

I was mugged a few years ago. I found out the next day that a couple of hours afterwards, someone had tried to use my credit card in a nearby nightclub. Most nightclubs have CCTV behind the bar, so I offered to go and view the CCTV. The police could not have been less interested. And this was a big aggressive man who physically attacked two women. It very much distressed me that despite my best efforts there was nothing I could do to help keep him off the streets. He's probably still out there, giving other women nightmares.

I don't dislike the police, but I don't understand why they seem to have a limited interest in solving crimes and keeping our streets safe.

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Thu 24-Jan-13 14:41:30

We're London so we don't have a newly elected commissioner. Maybe I should hassle Boris about it.

We had nearly £2k worth of bikes taken, so it is a lot of money's worth. The insurance excess will take enough of a chunk that we'll have to dip into our savings to be able to replace them with similar models (we take cycling very seriously in the FFS house). It's just galling. and let's not get started on the management committee stalling on the cctv

Pantah630 Thu 24-Jan-13 14:45:40

tired is that the real problem, too much paperwork and accountability? Should we be calling for a return to the old ways or do you think on balance that too much corruption/mishandling went on then and we have to compromise with things as they are? I'm comparing how things happened in the 60/70's, with now? Known criminals allowed to sue for not handcuffing them comfortably type thing, rather than being allowed to clip a young thief round the ear, give them and their parents a good talking to and hope they don't reoffend? I'm in awe of Police Officers today, I think my BP would go through the roof if I had to deal with half the rubbish they do.

WowOoo Thu 24-Jan-13 14:48:14

I'm cross on your behalf.
Please don't go there yourself - these could be nasty people.

I was mugged in London years ago. I was asked if the guy was black, around 18 years old and 5ft 4 ,wearing casual clothes by this Policeman who was pissing himself laughing. They did nothing. I complained but only got some token letter in response.

I hope you can get your bike back. Yes, write to Boris and your local politician too.

Tiredtrout Thu 24-Jan-13 14:52:12

There is a lot more bureaucracy and it increases each time someone says that it is reduced. We are stuck with it because of the past. We just have to work with it, but things like info requests from eBay take so long because Internet based companies are not necessarily based here. The new pcc's are just another political level to add their own agenda for each force other than the met and btp which is silly because we are supposed to be non political

Pantah630 Thu 24-Jan-13 14:55:06

ffs do they have lots of other bikes for sale under their name on ebay? If so it may be a gang of them, in which case I would assume the Police would be more interested.

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Thu 24-Jan-13 15:00:47

There are two bikes at the moment, but his selling history is almost entirely second hand bikes. I would have thought the police would have been interested in that too. Maybe I just got a distracted/new one when I called.

Pantah630 Thu 24-Jan-13 15:00:48

Maybe if the Police Federation lobbied on cutting the bureaucracy there might be a chance at change.

Agree about the commissioners, neither asked for or wanted by the country. Pretty sure the majority of us would prefer more bobbies on the beat, dealing with this sort of crime and drug related problems if asked, rather than more levels of management, not really doing anything for the community on the streets.

Apologies OP for derailing your thread.

fuzzypicklehead Thu 24-Jan-13 15:02:40

This thread has really depressed me. Being a victim of theft is awful, and mugging even more so. So to hear that the police are too overworked to even follow up evidence is just so sad.

I know that some would argue they are just "things" but when something is stolen, that sense of violation stays with you for ages. Sorry they were bloody thieving bastards, op. Hope karma pays them a visit.

Pantah630 Thu 24-Jan-13 15:06:30

I hope so OP, I would take all the information you have and call in to your local station, it's got to be better dealing with it in person rather than on the phone.

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Thu 24-Jan-13 15:08:38

No need to apologise, Pantah you make a very valid point. We could say the very same thing about the NHS, or indeed any part of the civil service - less bureaucracy can only be a good thing!

fuzzypicklehead am sending out hate vibes to the thieving scum who stole our bikes, I'm sure karma will bite them on the arse hard. It's not like they will get arrested.

I'm massively over thinking about the theft today, and the criminals would have had to walk past about 30 other bikes to get to our lockers, which are well out of sight of the road, which they were equipped to get into. They then managed to leave the gated compound with two bikes (you need a code). It's someone who comes here, or lives here, isn't it.

Ilovefluffysheep Thu 24-Jan-13 15:24:29

Unfortunately us "bobbies on the ground" don't set the agenda for what is/isn't dealt with, thats set my high up management, who haven't been out on the street in years, and are so far removed from what policing actually involves they are clueless.

They set the policies, but it is who have to tell the poor disgruntled "customers" that no, we can't look into their ebay crime for them, as it doesn't fulfil our criteria. Or no, if you've had some kind of fraud involving your bank card and the bank has refunded you, then no, we don't investigate it.

And I hate to say it, but my experience with the Met Police has not been great, and thats me as an officer trying to get them to take on crimes that have happened in their force area but reported to us. They don't want to know, and I also happen to know they are not at all interested in ebay crimes (know this from trying to pass some over).

Honestly, the hoops we have to jump through and paperwork we have to do to find anything out from anyone is ridiculous. Its not just data protection, there is other legislation as well. And did you know, for example, that we (the police) are often charged for information, particularly from mobile phone companies. So again, that can have a bearing on how a crime is investigated, as at the end of the day, rightly or wronly, everything boils down to money.

Pantah630 Thu 24-Jan-13 15:25:39

Probably a friend of someone who lives there, sorry OP. Can you take your new bikes, or old ones if you manage to retrieve inside? I know you shouldn't have to but if thieving scum have access to a gated compound then its going to happen again. I think I would be keeping up a stink at the management meeting if I was you. sad

Pantah630 Thu 24-Jan-13 15:27:54

That's incredibly depressing fluffy

OverlyYappyAlways Thu 24-Jan-13 15:31:46

My Dc bikes were stolen, I had 3 visits and 5 phone calls and they found both bikes, then the Officer asked me out on a date, so I have no idea if he was planning this all along, he also complained of the paperwork, and the fact that there are only 2 cars patrolling a 4 car area around here, last I heard he was signed off with stress.

He was a little bit strange, he collected teddy bears and displayed them on his window ledge, I think that's a little bit strange for a 39 yr old man.

If it was my local ebay I would buy the bike not involve the police and go take the bike and get my money back. If the police took no notice, they generally do around here, thankfully.

WowOoo Thu 24-Jan-13 15:45:50

Overly - I don't think it would be as simple as getting your bike and money back.
If you've knicked something your not going to say 'Oh yeah, sorry. Have it back' confused

Isn't there a special division that deals with this type of crime? There really should be. They need more funds and more staff.
I hear stories like this often. So unfair and shit and frustrating for decent people.

WowOoo Thu 24-Jan-13 15:46:27

your = you're
Ooops.

OverlyYappyAlways Thu 24-Jan-13 15:49:26

Yeah I guess you're right some shouting may be involved. I ran after the boys who stole my dc bikes, sadly I cannot run as fast as I could, it became quite embarrassing by street 4. I found out who took them though.

WowOoo Thu 24-Jan-13 15:54:24

Bastards! I suppose they were on your bikes.
It's almost worse when you know who did it and where they are.

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Fri 25-Jan-13 08:29:04

I have now further pictures from the seller which show it is definitely my bike. I also have his name, and google has given me his location and place of work (miles from where he listed the bike, just down the road from me). I wonder if the police will care today?

Pantah630 Fri 25-Jan-13 09:10:10

I'm sure they will if you turn up at the station with all the evidence, if they're evasive ask to borrow a PCSO. It might help if they can corroborate everything and all the police need do is swoop in afterwards, bear in mind that this guy may have bought bike off the original thief. You should still get your bike back though. Wishing you good luck.

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Fri 25-Jan-13 12:58:36

I've given them the name, address (from Companies House), workplace and all manner of information. They said it might not be this guy, someone may have made up an email address with his name. Still worth a look, no?

Pantah630 Fri 25-Jan-13 14:17:06

Do you have any heavy looking friends? Think I'd be going with that option, you can obviously do no more the conventional way sad

OverlyYappyAlways Fri 25-Jan-13 14:42:46

Wow Yes one of them was on my Dads bike my DS had borrowed it this one was found dumped locally, the other bike I found the child on and took it off him and gave the police his name and rough idea of address (well known family) he was charged.

This sounds terrible that you have so many details and the police sound so uninterested.

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Fri 25-Jan-13 14:53:41

I've finally got through to them - they're going to do some surveillance and maybe some kind of swoop in a few weeks. I'm not seeing my beloved mountain bike again though as it'll be long gone by then. All it took was me doing all the work, pointing out a number of parallels and then tweeting half of London about the lack of care about bike crime.

Fortunately, the insurance company have been amazing and have paid out so I can get a new one and continue to cycle to school.

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