On Thursday 28th May 2015, some despicable little scrote stole my mountain bike (value around £500) from outside the St. John’s Offices building in Leeds City Centre. From the start, I decided to stay constructive – I wasn’t about to see my property again, but I really, REALLY wanted to see said scrote answer for his crimes.
The traditional, law abiding method of doing this here in Britain is to involve the police, so that is precisely what I did as I trudged toward the railway station that evening. I’ve gave them chapter and verse about the bike, every detail I could think of. I also made damned sure they understood that this theft took place in front of the “LeedsWatch” cameras.
LeedsWatch are a separate agency from the police – probably part of the local authority – but the police naturally use them to gain access to the recorded footage of happenings within the city centre.
Imagine my surprise then, upon asking the police to gain the footage of my bike being taken, to be told that this was apparently not a reasonable use of police time. Really? Theft? £500? Having grilled the police a little more carefully, it seems they have a policy whereby they will not ask for footage unless the victim can specify when the offence occurred to within a tolerance of 15 minutes.
You read that correctly.
The justification offered is “We can’t have people viewing hours of footage” – to which my response is two-fold:
- Have the council staff at LeedsWatch do it, and
- It doesn’t have to take hours. Check cameras at noon – if the bike is there, it was taken in the afternoon. Check at 1430. If the bike is there it was taken late afternoon, if not it was taken early afternoon. Five or six times around this process and you should be staring at Mr. Scrote in glorious high definition.
You see, I’m more annoyed not by the loss of my bike (which has ticked me off somewhat to put it mildly), but by the failure to even begin to investigate the crime. I don’t demand results – those to be fair are beyond the control of the police – but I do expect them to a least try to investigate! A failure to do so is a plain invitation to other thieves to have a field day because, apparently, cycle theft isn’t worth bothering with in Leeds.
Finally, I have had to really chase both the Police and Leedswatch to get any sort of response out of them. Both have outstanding correspondence to address, but it’s clear to me now that they simply aren’t even going to extend the simple courtesy of a reply. I’ve tried to speak with a Sergeant or above to discuss this, but apparently the control room people don’t have the ability to talk to a specific officer unconnected with my case (the Sergeant who is connected with it was off duty).
I suspect your noses have gotten longer folks…