Stockton motorbiker's outrage after being told to pay for stolen bike's storage (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Stockton motorbiker's outrage after being told to pay for stolen bike's storage
A CRIME victim has told of his outrage that he has to pay £150, plus £10 extra per day, to recover his stolen motorbike.
Stephen Riley, 55, of Stockton, had his Honda 125 motorbike stolen from the back of his house but it was later found by police.
The motorcycle was not insured as it was an off-road and the bike, which cost £500 two years ago, has been very badly damaged.
Mr Riley said police saw youngsters with the bike near a disused railway line near Darlington Back Lane on Monday, October 7. The youngsters ran off and the police officers wheeled the stolen vehicle about 150 yards to Hartburn Garage.
The next day he was told he had to pay to recover the bike.
He said: “It’s like I’m a victim of crime twice-over. It’s not morally right for the victim to pay for the crime. It’s not even like they had to go and recover it, which I would understand has to be paid for. I don’t see why the police can’t actually store these vehicles. It’s all been farmed out, and it’s at a cost to ordinary victims of crime.”
A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said: “It’s for this person to take it up with the garage. It’s not a police issue. Our job is to recover the vehicle. Thereafter it’s with the garage and it’s to be sorted out by them and the insurance company.”
Wendy Cowan, of Hartburn Garage, explained the garage had a contract with Cleveland Police to deal with recoveries.
*Police forces and garages across the country sign up to the Contract Vehicle Recovery Scheme, based on Home Office guidelines, which advises on the correct amount to charge the crime victim. Several police forces warn that if a vehicle owner only has third party insurance, it is unlikely the insurance company will pay. Even in more typical cases, the vehicle owner usually has to pay up front and wait to receive recompense from the insurance company.
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