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Police 'steal' From Unlocked Cars

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8220274.stm

It is not uncommon to find items stolen from unlocked cars but it unusual for the 'culprit' to be a police officer.

Officers in Richmond, south-west London, are entering unlocked cars to remove valuables, like handbags and laptops, leaving a note for the driver.

Supt Jim Davis admitted, "technically we are entering the vehicle" but he denied breaching any law.

But a leading lawyer said police could face civil proceedings for trespass if any items taken by them were damaged.

Orlando Pownall, QC, who lives in Richmond Hill, said: "It undoubtedly is a trespass but there could be civil proceedings if a person shows a damage or loss has resulted from the trespass.

"Police need to ensure that information on a computer or mobile is not looked at and kept in a secure place - otherwise it could be an intrusion.

"It might also be worthwhile for officers to take a photo like traffic wardens."

The new tactic, launched last month, is aimed at tackling thefts from cars in the area which rose by 40% until July.

Mr Davis, from Richmond upon Thames police, said officers on patrol are only targeting unlocked cars with a valuable item on display.

Officers try to contact the owner, failing which they remove the item and leave a note for the driver to retrieve it from Twickenham police station.

In 2008 1,300 thefts from cars were reported in the borough, of which 220 involved sat-navs. But the figure rose by 40% until July.

Mr Davis said: "We identified that 21% of thefts from cars were from unlocked cars, so no sign of forced entry.

"Technically we are entering the vehicle but we are not committing a crime. It's a common law duty to protect (people's) property.

"We don't want to take people's property as it is an awful lot of bureaucracy and hassle for us but we are doing this to make sure people take responsibility of their valuables."

Until now 25 cars were targeted but an item had to be removed in only one case. Mr Davis said the police received "no negative complaints" so far.

Richmond Council said it backed the scheme.

Towards the end of the soviet experiment, the police did very similar things to maintain their incomes. Anything unclaimed goes.......

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Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable

Helpful thoughtful statist scum?

Or lots of insurance jobs being pulled by motorists?

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There should be nothing unclaimed as the record will show the car from which it was taken. So long as the police take it on condition they have a duty to return it, not just hand over on claim, then the scheme as stated seems reasonable enough.

Certainly I prefer them doing this than getting the speeding offences statistics up, or stopping people expressing a point of view.

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How many people leave valuabes on show and leave their car unlocked? Call me Mr Sensible, but locking the car and making sure no valuables are on display are things I do pretty much every time I leave my car, to fail to do both would seem highly unlikely.

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There should be nothing unclaimed as the record will show the car from which it was taken. So long as the police take it on condition they have a duty to return it, not just hand over on claim, then the scheme as stated seems reasonable enough.

Certainly I prefer them doing this than getting the speeding offences statistics up, or stopping people expressing a point of view.

I dont. Why should my council taxes be wasted by police saving the property of idiots from getting stolen by scrotes. I have simply had enough of mt tax money being wasted to subsidise scrotes/wasters/feckless idiots/public servant. YET ANOTHER scam to spend my money on the whole politically correct state subsidy scheme.

More state intrusion. And ,the people that have to go the station to get their property back, will be entered on a database which could be used to show they are "not responsible" in the event of future insurance claims etc etc. The logical conclusion of this rubbish by the police is that we should be all be locked up to prevent to crime. Where do you draw the line ? surely if I choose to be iresponsible and or stupid and dont lock my car and some scrote nicks stuff then thats my fault.

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"Technically we are entering the vehicle but we are not committing a crime. It's a common law duty to protect (people's) property."

Wow, there is still a copper left that understands what their job used to be before becoming revenue collectors for the state. No doubt this dinosaur is due retirement soon.

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I dont. Why should my council taxes be wasted by police saving the property of idiots from getting stolen by scrotes. I have simply had enough of mt tax money being wasted to subsidise scrotes/wasters/feckless idiots/public servant. YET ANOTHER scam to spend my money on the whole politically correct state subsidy scheme.

More state intrusion. And ,the people that have to go the station to get their property back, will be entered on a database which could be used to show they are "not responsible" in the event of future insurance claims etc etc. The logical conclusion of this rubbish by the police is that we should be all be locked up to prevent to crime. Where do you draw the line ? surely if I choose to be iresponsible and or stupid and dont lock my car and some scrote nicks stuff then thats my fault.

I think you've missed the point. I would rather the police have a stance that they adhere to a common law duty of care than take the rules 'n' regs attitude that they notrmally do, and which you seem to support.

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I often leave the car unlocked - because when the scrotes want to get in, at least I won't need a new door if they can just use the handle. Obviously, I don't leave laptops and the like in there.

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Guest X-QUORK
But if they dont damage anything because he left the car open, he wont need to claim.

Think about it.

But if they steal the car, he won't be able to make a claim.

Think about it.

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Guest X-QUORK
If they steal the car who would tell them it was unlocked? The thieves?

Jesus you're dim. Once the car is eventually found there would be no sign of forced entry.

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Jesus you're dim. Once the car is eventually found there would be no sign of forced entry.

Insurance company says 'sorry we cant pay out there is no evidence of forced entry'

'Cool ill have my car back then'

Where is the loss?

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Insurance company says 'sorry we cant pay out there is no evidence of forced entry'

'Cool ill have my car back then'

Where is the loss?

The damage caused by the 'joyriders' :rolleyes:

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Guest X-QUORK
Insurance company says 'sorry we cant pay out there is no evidence of forced entry'

'Cool ill have my car back then'

Where is the loss?

Ripped out stereo and speakers, added mileage, trashed tyres from doing donuts, seats trashed with McDonalds remains, spunk all over the backseats, **** keyed into the paintwork.

Think about it.

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i also leave my car unlocked due to the fact that i have had my windows popped so many times and had to pay £75 a go and since i have left it unlocked i have not had to pay a bean...you will find out that people who steal from cars and car stealers are two different breeds and there a far more of the former than the latter..

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Guest X-QUORK
i also leave my car unlocked due to the fact that i have had my windows popped so many times and had to pay £75 a go and since i have left it unlocked i have not had to pay a bean...you will find out that people who steal from cars and car stealers are two different breeds and there a far more of the former than the latter..

You're taking a calculated risk which is fair enough providing you're aware of the possible consequences. Have you considered moving somewhere less crime ridden?

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i also leave my car unlocked due to the fact that i have had my windows popped so many times and had to pay £75 a go and since i have left it unlocked i have not had to pay a bean...you will find out that people who steal from cars and car stealers are two different breeds and there a far more of the former than the latter..

Makes sense in the right area. I stayed in Vancouver in Canada. Many people there do the same due to the massive number of smash and grabs from Crystal Meth junkies.

I did it myself after my van window was smashed for no reason. Just left it open form then onwards. The junkies know this as a 'sign' that there is nothing in the car. So they open, have a quick double check, then shut the door. Seems to work fine. If someone wants to steal your car and knows what they are doing - they will.

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**** keyed into the paintwork.

Think about it.

A friend of mines dad had this keyed in to his car in big letters down the side. It was completely unprovoked. The funny thing was that he was so embarressed having this etched in to the side of his car that he had to cause further damage changing the letters so that it said "cant" until he could go and get the damage rectified properly.

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Guest X-QUORK
A friend of mines dad had this keyed in to his car in big letters down the side. It was completely unprovoked. The funny thing was that he was so embarressed having this etched in to the side of his car that he had to cause further damage changing the letters so that it said "cant" until he could go and get the damage rectified properly.

Possibly even worse than C O C K P I S S P A R T R I D G E.

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There should be nothing unclaimed as the record will show the car from which it was taken. So long as the police take it on condition they have a duty to return it, not just hand over on claim, then the scheme as stated seems reasonable enough.

But how will you know if the police took it? What if you ring the station, and they don't have the record, because a computer system failure etc?

And when they do, is it not a crime? Would they not be liable for any resultant loss.?E.G. They steal a laptop from my unlocked car, and I miss an important meeting, deal etc.

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Do they have nothing better to do than prowl the streets looking for unlocked cars?

How about prowling the streets and looking for erm, criminals maybe? You know, getting in amongst the locals to glean infomation about serious crimes that have been committed recently . . . . or something, maybe?

Ahhh yes, that's what I mean, police work.

:rolleyes:

edit : to change a typo from 'nad' to 'and'. :lol:

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