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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

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