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Bordtea
Hi all

Slightly odd situation here which I personally think is quite wrong, so just looking for the legal side of things for this scenario.

Basically my car is parked on the road outside terraced houses, perfectly legal to park there etc. I hadn't used the car in a couple of weeks but went to go to the post office yesterday evening (30/10/2013) and found that the car wasn't there. I therefore phoned the police to report it stolen and when the guy from Leicestershire Police ran a check on it, it came back saying that the vehicle had been recovered by the vehicle recovery team and therefore it wasn't stolen. I probed him for more info but he said he didn't have any and to phone back tomorrow and ask for the vehicle recovery unit who would be able to give me more information.

I therefore phoned and asked for the vehicle recovery unit this morning (31/10/2013) who basically told me that the car had been reported as 'Abandoned Insecure' and had therefore been towed away. When he looked at the pictures on the incident report he said that the car had a smashed passenger side window and the radio was missing, so obviously the car had been broken into, someone reported this and the police towed it away.

Now comes the issue of vehicle removal/storage costs. As it's done by a private recovery company, there are charges for this 'service' and as of today (31/10/2013) those charges are at £190, increasing by £20 per day until I go and collect it. It was reported to the police and recovered on Tuesday (29/10/2013). Now from my perspective this is absolutely ******* ridiculous, surely the correct procedure by the police should have been to contact me and tell me my car had been broken into and I could go and sort it out. I've had some quotes for replacing the window and they're around £70, and with a replacement radio maybe a total cost of £120. But by the police towing away my vehicle they've effectively tripled the cost to me! They've done more damage to my bloody finances than the vandals did!

Now if the car had been stolen and dumped I could maybe understand them getting the vehicle recovered, however it was parallel parked on the street as it has been for the past 2 weeks, the only difference is that it now has a broken window. How is this grounds for the police to remove my car!? There was no hazard to anyone nor was it causing any obstruction. As far as I'm concerned I haven't entered into any form of contract with the police or the recovery company so why on earth should I be expected to pay £190 to recover my vehicle!?

As the situation stands now I haven't yet collected my vehicle but I do plan on doing that tomorrow. From my limited knowledge of civil law I know this would make any legal process harder, however cost-benefit type scenario a case like this could take god knows how long with a fee of £20 each day accumulating and if I lost a case I wouldn't be able to afford the fees.

In summary:
- Went to car to find it was missing, reported it stolen
- Police tell me it wasn't stolen, it was broken into with the passenger side window smashed and the radio missing
- Car wasn't dumped, it was parallel parked on the street not causing obstruction or hazard to anyone
- Police recover the vehicle and take it to compound
- I'm now expected to pay a £190 release fee

So my question basically is is there a case here to recover my costs? As far as I'm concerned it seems ridiculous that I should be expected to pay this when I never asked for my vehicle to be taken? And I was never even informed about it!

Thanks
Dan
clark_kent
I wonder how much more it would have cost you if it was left there insecure? rolleyes.gif
Bogsy
When you recover your vehicle asked them to confirm the legislation removal was pursuant to and then post here all documents they give you.
StuartBu
QUOTE (clark_kent @ Thu, 31 Oct 2013 - 18:48) *
I wonder how much more it would have cost you if it was left there insecure? rolleyes.gif

Hmmm!!
Since when did the Cops become so concerned about cars getting broken in to. What you hear is that they dont even come out to reports of such break ins so why the concern here . It's not clear how near to OP s home the car was but on the assumption it wasn't far and that DVLA have his current address why not call at his home and ask about it. I think the OP has every right to be miffed about what happened!!
Mad Mick V
No doubt the police have given you a crime number so you can report it to your insurers. Ask your insurance company what their view is and whether they will pay for the tow and pound charges. I suspect like you they will be appalled at the actions taken.

Would it be possible to seek advice from their legal people?

Mick
hcandersen
Bogsy is correct, you must establish under what legislation the vehicle was removed and who authorised it. Your starting point is the police - forget the towing company, they're merely a contractor.

You have no justifiable reason to not recover your car at the earliest opportunity, so do it, otherwise you might be held liable for part of your costs.
Bordtea
Thanks to everyone for your replies.

QUOTE (MAD MICK V @ Thu, 31 Oct 2013 - 21:00) *
No doubt the police have given you a crime number so you can report it to your insurers. Ask your insurance company what their view is and whether they will pay for the tow and pound charges. I suspect like you they will be appalled at the actions taken.

Would it be possible to seek advice from their legal people?

Mick

For now I want to stay outside insurance as much as possible. I'm a young driver and claiming on insurance will skyrocket my premiums for future years so for now I'm going to deal with costs outside of them. I also was not given any crime number, but two seperate 'incident' numbers (apparently they're different to crime numbers), one for when the vehicle was reported by the traffic warden and one for when I phoned the police originally thinking it was stolen.

QUOTE (hcandersen @ Thu, 31 Oct 2013 - 21:25) *
Bogsy is correct, you must establish under what legislation the vehicle was removed and who authorised it. Your starting point is the police - forget the towing company, they're merely a contractor.

You have no justifiable reason to not recover your car at the earliest opportunity, so do it, otherwise you might be held liable for part of your costs.

Thanks. I've just phoned Leicestershire police and they gave me a few more details. Apparently it was a traffic warden who reported that the car was broken into and it was the council that authorised the removal of the vehicle. Council is closed at the moment so I'll give them a ring tomorrow.

QUOTE (StuartBu @ Thu, 31 Oct 2013 - 20:08) *
QUOTE (clark_kent @ Thu, 31 Oct 2013 - 18:48) *
I wonder how much more it would have cost you if it was left there insecure? rolleyes.gif

Hmmm!!
Since when did the Cops become so concerned about cars getting broken in to. What you hear is that they dont even come out to reports of such break ins so why the concern here . It's not clear how near to OP s home the car was but on the assumption it wasn't far and that DVLA have his current address why not call at his home and ask about it. I think the OP has every right to be miffed about what happened!!

The car was parked a couple of streets away from my house, however I'm a student so my registered address for the vehicle is back home (not within Leicestershire Police's jurisdiction) as I'm only keeping the car up here for a couple of weeks so that may explain that, however I am registered for council tax, bills etc at my Leicestershire address so it would not have been difficult for them to find that out. No attempt was made to contact my home address however a letter was sent on 30/10/2013, not sure whether that was from the police or from the recovery company though.
Bogsy
Do you know if your vehicle contravened any parking restrictions while parked?
Bordtea
QUOTE (Bogsy @ Thu, 31 Oct 2013 - 21:55) *
Do you know if your vehicle contravened any parking restrictions while parked?

As far as I'm aware, no. It's not a residents zone or anything and wasn't parked on single or double yellow lines. All the residents park their cars on the road.
Bordtea
Just seen this page after a bit of googling, Leicester council's policy on abandoned vehicles which is what it was reported as:

http://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council-s...doned-vehicles/

My car comes under none of those categories, it's taxed MOT'd insured etc and I wouldn't class a broken window as 'significantly damaged', the only other that could be applicable is that it's been there for a long period of time but the time I last used it was 2 weeks tops which is not unreasonable.

cieranc
OK, so the statutory removal fees are all fixed price now.
Vehicle other than a 2 wheel vehicle, on road, not substantially damaged = £150.
Storage is £20 a day which starts 24 hours after the owner is notified that the vehicle is in storage. As soon as we've been passed owner details from the police, we (police contractor) send our letters out 1st class recorded delivery (signed for). Parking starts 24 hours after the next day.
So if we put a letter in Mondays post, we expect a Tuesday morning delivery and start parking charges from 12pm Wednesday. That allows a clear 24 hour period.

First off, get your vehicle back, now you're aware it's there, the storage will go up £20 a day until you collect (or dispose of). The letter that's back home will be from the recovery company, informing you that the vehicle is in their storage facility and what the current charges are. You won't need that letter to release the car, but you will need proof of ID and proof of ownership of the vehicle. If they've recovered the vehicle on Tuesday, it appears they've applied the parking from Wednesday.

Second, you need to get the info required above (under which regulations the vehicle was removed), and also ask for a breakdown of the bill.
There is no £190 removal fee on the current schedule. If the recovery company had added additional charges (skates, winching, hiab etc), they have no right to do so, they can only charge the statutory fee and any additional costs must be absorbed by the recovery company. There is no VAT to be paid on police jobs.

Third, research your position legally, with regards to having your correct address on the vehicle V5. It's no good blaming others if they've tried to contact you at your registered address, if your registered address is not your current address. Perhaps the police ran a PNC check which gave them your previous address, and they did try to contact you there, to no avail? And based on that, if you were a policeman who came across a car that had a smashed window, the radio missing, appears to be abandoned and is registered to a person in a different county, who they can't contact, well wouldn't you suspect it was stolen?


PM me the name of the recovery company - there are good and bad and I've dealt with them all! The good companies will do everything by the book and won't rip you off. The bad may adjust the charges/procedures to suit their needs.
nimh999
QUOTE (Bordtea @ Thu, 31 Oct 2013 - 18:31) *
however it was parallel parked on the street as it has been for the past 2 weeks, the only difference is that it now has a broken window.



QUOTE (Bordtea @ Thu, 31 Oct 2013 - 20:52) *
The car was parked a couple of streets away from my house,


Sounds like you left your car outside someone elses house for two weeks. They couldn't unload their shopping. Window got smashed. They thought it was abandoned and reported. Council towed.
Bordtea
QUOTE (cieranc @ Thu, 31 Oct 2013 - 22:19) *
OK, so the statutory removal fees are all fixed price now.
Vehicle other than a 2 wheel vehicle, on road, not substantially damaged = £150.
Storage is £20 a day which starts 24 hours after the owner is notified that the vehicle is in storage. As soon as we've been passed owner details from the police, we (police contractor) send our letters out 1st class recorded delivery (signed for). Parking starts 24 hours after the next day.
So if we put a letter in Mondays post, we expect a Tuesday morning delivery and start parking charges from 12pm Wednesday. That allows a clear 24 hour period.

First off, get your vehicle back, now you're aware it's there, the storage will go up £20 a day until you collect (or dispose of). The letter that's back home will be from the recovery company, informing you that the vehicle is in their storage facility and what the current charges are. You won't need that letter to release the car, but you will need proof of ID and proof of ownership of the vehicle. If they've recovered the vehicle on Tuesday, it appears they've applied the parking from Wednesday.

Second, you need to get the info required above (under which regulations the vehicle was removed), and also ask for a breakdown of the bill.
There is no £190 removal fee on the current schedule. If the recovery company had added additional charges (skates, winching, hiab etc), they have no right to do so, they can only charge the statutory fee and any additional costs must be absorbed by the recovery company. There is no VAT to be paid on police jobs.

Third, research your position legally, with regards to having your correct address on the vehicle V5. It's no good blaming others if they've tried to contact you at your registered address, if your registered address is not your current address. Perhaps the police ran a PNC check which gave them your previous address, and they did try to contact you there, to no avail? And based on that, if you were a policeman who came across a car that had a smashed window, the radio missing, appears to be abandoned and is registered to a person in a different county, who they can't contact, well wouldn't you suspect it was stolen?


PM me the name of the recovery company - there are good and bad and I've dealt with them all! The good companies will do everything by the book and won't rip you off. The bad may adjust the charges/procedures to suit their needs.

Thanks for your reply. Firstly the fee breakdown so far seems to be £150 statutory charge and then 2 days worth of storage. A letter was apparently sent to my home address on Wednesday (30/10/2013) so by how your company does it, if I collect tomorrow before 1200 only the statutory charge should apply? The woman on the phone from the recovery company earlier said if I collect by 12 tomorrow the charge will be £190.

On your second point, as far as I understand the situation now it seems to be an abandoned vehicle case which was authorised by the council rather than the police though I seem to remember the guy from the police saying that there wouldn't be any VAT applicable so hopefully I won't be charged for that.

On your third point, the correct address is already on the vehicle V5 as that is my home address (I'm a student so it's about 50/50 where I'm living) and it is classed as my permanent address. I only intended to have the car up here for a couple of weeks so as far as I'm concerned that was correct. My parents live at my home address and other than that letter being sent (which as far as I'm aware hasn't yet been received) there was no attempted contact made to that address.

I'll PM you the company name now.

Thanks for your help

QUOTE (nimh999 @ Thu, 31 Oct 2013 - 23:09) *
QUOTE (Bordtea @ Thu, 31 Oct 2013 - 18:31) *
however it was parallel parked on the street as it has been for the past 2 weeks, the only difference is that it now has a broken window.



QUOTE (Bordtea @ Thu, 31 Oct 2013 - 20:52) *
The car was parked a couple of streets away from my house,


Sounds like you left your car outside someone elses house for two weeks. They couldn't unload their shopping. Window got smashed. They thought it was abandoned and reported. Council towed.

I did think this initially however I later discovered that it was a traffic warden who reported it abandoned. My girlfriend saw the car on Monday morning and said it looked fine so it can't have had the window broken for long before it was removed.
Bogsy
It's important we see all the paperwork once you get it, including the letter sent to your parents address.
Bordtea
QUOTE (Bogsy @ Thu, 31 Oct 2013 - 22:18) *
It's important we see all the paperwork once you get it, including the letter sent to your parents address.

I'll post it all on here once I've obtained it all.
cieranc
OK thanks. On the most part local councils use the government statutory system for fees, same as the police. I believe from threads on here that some London councils charge what they like, sorry, use their own scales. Hence why I reference Police fees, these are likely to be the same as the council fees.

Google The Removal and Disposal of Vehicles (Traffic Officers) (England) Regulations 2008 wink.gif

And then The Removal and Disposal of Vehicle Regs 1986. There should be a PDF copy available on the legislation site, memory serving.

PM inbound regarding the recovery op.

Edit: Do that to investigate the 24 hour grace on storage. On reflection, this may just be our company policy, it may not be law that such grace is given.
Bordtea
QUOTE (cieranc @ Thu, 31 Oct 2013 - 23:18) *
OK thanks. On the most part local councils use the government statutory system for fees, same as the police. I believe from threads on here that some London councils charge what they like, sorry, use their own scales. Hence why I reference Police fees, these are likely to be the same as the council fees.

Google The Removal and Disposal of Vehicles (Traffic Officers) (England) Regulations 2008 wink.gif

And then The Removal and Disposal of Vehicle Regs 1986. There should be a PDF copy available on the legislation site, memory serving.

PM inbound regarding the recovery op.

Edit: Do that to investigate the 24 hour grace on storage. On reflection, this may just be our company policy, it may not be law that such grace is given.

After reading through those two pieces of legislation I get the impression that the local council had the right to authorise removal without telling me in advance, as long as they contacted me afterwards then it's ok by law (the letter sent to my home). The two issues as far as I see it are now

a) Why they considered my vehicle to be abandoned when I believe a reasonable person would have recognised that it had been broken into rather than intentionally abandoned
b) Regardless of whether my vehicle could be legally deemed abandoned, at what point did I enter into any contract to pay this release fee?
cieranc
As it was the council who recovered it, they won't have had the facility to do an immediate PNC to get owner details, hence why they never contacted you first. If the police were involved, they may have done a PNC check and made an effort to contact you first, though they're not obliged to. This is where, in my opinion, your argument with the council should be focused.

With point A, this is a double edged sword. If the traffic warden hadn't arranged recovery as an abandoned vehicle and acknowledged it was broken into, they wouldn't have had it recovered by the council. Rather, they'd have reported it to the police, who would have recovered it as 'suspect stolen/used in crime'. Ultimately the same recovery op, the same administration chain and the same removal/storage fees.

And with point B, you didn't enter into a contract to pay the release fee, but then this isn't dealing with private companies where a contract needs to be forged. The way the law currently stands, the vehicle was removed legally and you're liable for the costs (in the statute mentioned above). That said, I believe the vehicle should only have been removed as a last course of action, where all other avenues had been explored.

First and foremost, get the car back to stop the storage charges going up further. Then follow Bogsys advice and get the paperwork posted up here, with all personal and identifiable info removed. We'll see what we can do to help then.
hcandersen
a) Why they considered my vehicle to be abandoned when I believe a reasonable person would have recognised that it had been broken into rather than intentionally abandoned.

Whether a vehicle appears abandoned to an objective observer would depend on a number of factors. For example, was it taxed, how old was it, its general condition etc? Add to this the fact that it had remained stationary for at least 2 weeks, that a window was broken and that it had been vandalised internally (at present you do not know what its condition is because you haven't seen it) then appearing to be abandoned is hardly an unreasonable conclusion to reach.


b) Regardless of whether my vehicle could be legally deemed abandoned, at what point did I enter into any contract to pay this release fee?
This has nothing to do with contracts as you'll see if you read the legal references posted earlier.
Bordtea
Hi all

Went to pick up my vehicle this morning, here are some pictures of the car I took immediately after it had been driven out of the inpound. I've also posted photos of the documents I was given.

I think it's clear from the photos that the vehicle was not 'abandoned' and it was clearly broken into. An attempt was obviously made to steal the car as you can see where they've tried to gain access under the steering wheel.





















The last two images are of the card that was in the window when it got given to me.

The only documentation other than that was a simple card payment receipt.




QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 1 Nov 2013 - 07:46) *
a) Why they considered my vehicle to be abandoned when I believe a reasonable person would have recognised that it had been broken into rather than intentionally abandoned.

Whether a vehicle appears abandoned to an objective observer would depend on a number of factors. For example, was it taxed, how old was it, its general condition etc? Add to this the fact that it had remained stationary for at least 2 weeks, that a window was broken and that it had been vandalised internally (at present you do not know what its condition is because you haven't seen it) then appearing to be abandoned is hardly an unreasonable conclusion to reach.


b) Regardless of whether my vehicle could be legally deemed abandoned, at what point did I enter into any contract to pay this release fee?
This has nothing to do with contracts as you'll see if you read the legal references posted earlier.

Yes the car's taxed, it's 2003 reg and it's in above average condition. The time stationary was no longer than 14 days.
Bogsy
It's not very clear to me but was your vehicle removed pursuant to powers under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 or the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978? It's important to know. I'm also curious to know why the receipt relates to the Police when you said the vehicle was removed and held by the council.
Bordtea
QUOTE (Bogsy @ Fri, 1 Nov 2013 - 15:39) *
It's not very clear to me but was your vehicle removed pursuant to powers under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 or the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978? It's important to know. I'm also curious to know why the receipt relates to the Police when you said the vehicle was removed and held by the council.

This is what I'm trying to clarify. When I phoned the police they told me the council authorised it yet when I spoke to the girl at the inpound she said the police authorised it and there was a police officer at the scene when my car was towed. Gonna ring the council now and see what knowledge they have of it.

Here also is the letter sent to my home address which was received today (01/11/2013).





From the wording of the letter it seems to me that it was removed under the road traffic act, but I'll phone and confirm.

Bogsy
The letter confirms that removal was pursuant to s.99 RTRA 1984 which means the Removal and Disposal of Vehicles Regulations 1986 has effect. Was the vehicle removed from within a civil enforcement area? In other words, does the council employ civil enforcement officers to serve penalty charge notices on vehicles that are parked in contravention?
Bordtea
QUOTE (Bogsy @ Fri, 1 Nov 2013 - 16:49) *
The letter confirms that removal was pursuant to s.99 RTRA 1984 which means the Removal and Disposal of Vehicles Regulations 1986 has effect. Was the vehicle removed from within a civil enforcement area? In other words, does the council employ civil enforcement officers to serve penalty charge notices on vehicles that are parked in contravention?

I think that would be the case yes, there's an area right at the end of the road that has a single yellow line with restrictions and double yellows at the other end. It was also a traffic warden who reported it 'abandoned' so my best guess would be yes.

Just phoned both the police again and the council, spoke to the police first.

Got the same old rubbish from them really and doesn't seem like I'm going to be able to get much more out of them until I can speak to the investigating officer who was apparently at the scene when the car was removed. He's in tomorrow so I can speak to him then. I did question about the whole abandonment thing and he was saying that it was regarded as abandoned because it had a smashed window and the radio removed, didn't mention anything about it being obstructing etc so I think we can presume that it was just sat where I'd parked it, the steering lock isn't broken so I don't think they could have pushed it into the road or anything.

I then phoned the council and explained the situation and the girl on the phone seemed surprised that my car had been removed as it was taxed etc. She also couldn't find any records on the system relating to my vehicle or anything on that street and she said that the usual process is if there's a burnt out/obviously abandoned vehicle then the police pass the information on to the council cleansing department who then arrange for it to be removed. She said the recovery company who dealt with my car is not used by the council so I think we can conclude that it was the police who removed it. She did say she'd pass on my details to the cleansing department who will contact me on Monday but I don't think anything will come up as it seems to be a police matter.

dry.gif
Bogsy
Was your vehicle within the limits of the city of Leicester when removed?
Bordtea
QUOTE (Bogsy @ Fri, 1 Nov 2013 - 17:05) *
Was your vehicle within the limits of the city of Leicester when removed?

Yeh pretty much city centre
Bogsy
Then as far as I can tell, regardless that your vehicle was removed by the Police, the reg below should apply as your vehicle was found in a civil enforcement area and you were made to pay an amount on recovery under s.101A RTRA 1984

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/3482/part/4/made

Were you informed of any appeal process?
cieranc
Ok, well the only argument I can see with any merit, would be to argue that the council shouldn't have removed it, as abandoned, if it was involved in a crime the Police should have removed it (and may contacted you first).

If we now think the police recovered it, then I can't see an argument. Yes, it sucks, but it's been done legally and I can't see how you'll argue it shouldn't have been recovered.

I'm out.
Bogsy
QUOTE (cieranc @ Fri, 1 Nov 2013 - 17:23) *
If we now think the police recovered it, then I can't see an argument. Yes, it sucks, but it's been done legally and I can't see how you'll argue it shouldn't have been recovered.


Removal appears to be lawful but the fact that the vehicle was removed from within a civil enforcement area for parking contraventions muddies the waters.

When a vehicle is removed pursuant to the RTRA 1984 then there are two possible sections that enable removal and storage charges to be recovered. These sections are s.101A and s.102.

If s.101A applies then so must the right to appeal as prescribed under Part 4 linked above. If s.102 applies then there is no right to retain a vehicle until all sums are paid and it should be the local council (the enforcement authority) that recovers the charges, not the Police. Compare s.102(2) to s.102(2A) and also note the right to retain under s.102(4) only applies in places that are not civil enforcement areas.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1984/27/section/102
Bordtea
QUOTE (Bogsy @ Fri, 1 Nov 2013 - 17:22) *
Then as far as I can tell, regardless that your vehicle was removed by the Police, the reg below should apply as your vehicle was found in a civil enforcement area and you were made to pay an amount on recovery under s.101A RTRA 1984

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/3482/part/4/made

Were you informed of any appeal process?

No, at no stage during any of this have I been told about any way to appeal. From reading the legislation you've linked it seems that I should have and I agree with your interpretation.

I've just been on the phone to the police again, spoke to an operator with the intention of requesting photos of the scene. When I spoke to the vehicle recovery team yesterday the officer seemed to have access to some photos on the system. The guy I spoke to today however couldn't find any photos. He then asked if I'd ever reported the theft from the vehicle and I said no because I thought it would be recorded automatically. Apparently not (!?) and bear in mind I've spoken to around 5 different people from the police in relation to this and this is the first officer to have mentioned that...

So I got transferred to an officer who did a crime report who was actually extremely helpful and seemed to sympathise with my situation when I explained it to him. I now have a crime reference number and after the report was done I asked him how I go about appealing the original decision to remove the vehicle and he said he wasn't sure but his advice was to write, presenting a case, to the chief constable. Due to the uncertainty regarding the wording of the relevant legislation here, I think this may be a good place to start at? I'll speak to the investigating officer tomorrow and record the voice conversation and basically gain from him exactly how the vehicle was when it was removed e.g. was it in the road causing an obstruction, why he considered it to be abandoned/what his reasons for removing the vehicle were, and also why he didn't attempt to contact me before removing it.

That I believe is possibly the best course of action to take to start with at least but I'm nowhere near convinced on that, so opinions please?


Bogsy
Unfortunately it seems you need to write to the Chief Constable, maybe even in the form of a formal complaint.

The letter served at your home address is the notice required to be sent under regulation 12 of the Removal and Disposal of Vehicles Regulations 1986. You recovered your vehicle before the stated period expired and so you recovered your vehicle pursuant to regulation 14 "before it can be disposed of" and not pursuant to regulation 16 "before it is disposed of" which applies only once the stated period expires. The whole point of the notice is to establish whether the vehicle is, despite appearances, truly abandoned. As you recovered your vehicle "before it can be disposed of" you should have been charged pursuant to s.102(2A) RTRA 1984 as your vehicle was removed from within a civil enforcement area for parking contraventions. This means the Police should not have levied any charges as s.102(2A) only permits the "enforcement authority" to do this. Furthermore, the Police had no right to retain your vehicle until you paid all sums as the right to retain until all sums are paid is not extended to civil enforcement areas.

Even had it been correct to charge you under s.101A RTRA 1984 you would then be entitled to make representations pursuant to Part 4 of the regs I linked you to in a previous post as your vehicle was removed from within a civil enforcement area. You were not informed of your right to make representations.

Get writing.

hcandersen
IMO, this has nothing to do with the local council as enforcement authority, but only in their capacity as waste disposal authority by virtue of which they are the council which must provide facilities for the receipt of vehicles delivered by the police and waste collection authorities.

The contractor at the pound and the council are passive in this matter IMO. As the papers make clear, the vehicle was removed by the police and payment ultimately is made to the police.

The references in the regs are always to ...civil enforcement area or under regs made under reg 99, and that's what's happened: there is a constant them which runs through the regs of ...or the police.

You need to pursue the police.

I'm not aware of any rights of appeal in this matter, and if you want your money back then you'll need to claim against the Chief Constable of **** Constabulary, ultimately in the county court.

It can be done - I've done it successfully against the CC of Sussex Constabulary but the circumstances were slightly different.

So get writing, yes. But not to the council, write to the CC of Police and state that you were required to pay £***** to recover your vehicle which you believe had been removed unlawfully by them because you are the owner and you had not abandoned it. You have recovered the vehicle and as the photos make clear it does not resemble an abandoned vehicle. In the event that they reject your claim, require them to provide you with their policy on determining abandoned vehicles, what checks they carried out to determine whether the vehicle had been abandoned by its lawful owner and why they chose to deal with the matter rather than pass the matter to the local authority in whose area it was located.

I'm doubtful as to whether you'll be successful because a vehicle with a broken window and which has been vandalised internally could, not unreasonably, be considered as abandoned. Your hope might be in whether the police followed their own procedures in making that determination.
Bogsy
I agree HCA that the OP should start with a letter to the Police and include as a primary point what you advise but it should (I believe) also include what I have raised. As I understand it the vehicle was removed by the Police (via contractors) and delivered to the local authority (the council). This is an arragement that s.100(3) RTRA 1984 enables. For the purpose of s.101(3)© RTRA 1984 the council are then the "competent authority" and are required to serve notice pursuant to regulation 12 of the 1986 removal & disposal regulations. The notice served is not from them.

The fact that the vehicle was removed from within a civil enforcement area cannot be ignored, it is key. If made to pay an amount under s.101A RTRA as the OP seems to have been, then Part 4 of the 2007 Appeal Regs requires the OP to be informed of their right to make representations. The OP was not. The application of Part 4 is not dependent on a penalty charge having been paid.

Ever since "civil enforcement areas" came into existence the whole removal process pursuant to RTRA 1984 has been botched with authorities simply continuing as they did prior to these areas coming into existence. Such as retaining possession until all sums are paid. This thread seems to indicate that the Police have also fallen foul of what the law prescribes. Perhaps if removal had been pursuant to the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 then maybe this mess could have been avoided, although I don't think the Police have any removal powers under this Act.
Bordtea
Thanks to both of you for your replies. I will address both points in my writing to the CC. I'm currently trying to decide what slant to put in the writing, for example do I take a formal approach telling them they made errors and demand recompense, or take a more compassionate, informal language type approach but at the same time making it clear I have knowledge of relevant legislation?

Bogsy
You also need to think about whether you want your letter treated as a formal complaint or not. Perhaps read the Police website and see what the process is for complaints and their conclusion and then decide. Ultimately you need to take action that gives you the best chance of getting some money back. You can also complain to the council since it was they that took possession of your vehicle pursuant to s.100(3) RTRA 1984 and did not then comply with their duty to serve notice on you pursant to s.101(3)© RTRA 1984 and inform of your right to make representations in accordance with Regulation 11 of The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007.
hcandersen
Whereas the powers vested in the police and authorities are kept separate through s99, 100, 101, and 101A, IMO, by virtue of section 101B, the Chief Constable was obliged to notify you of your rights of appeal as follows:

(2)The regulations may make such provision in connection with the rights conferred as appears to the Lord Chancellor to be appropriate, and may in particular make provision—
(a)requiring the authority to give a person notice of the rights conferred by the regulations,

I cannot find any separation of duties in 101B, unlike the preceding sections. Perhaps it's in the regs themselves, but I don't have a full copy of these - can anyone point me to a copy?
cieranc
Just to add - when we recover vehicles for the council, they've always got notices plastered on them, usually several over a period of a few weeks. The councils give plenty of notice and opportunity to move the vehicle yourself.

Police jobs, if the vehicle is insecure, they nearly always just ring it in straight away - recovered immediately.
Bogsy
QUOTE (cieranc @ Sat, 2 Nov 2013 - 19:06) *
Just to add - when we recover vehicles for the council, they've always got notices plastered on them, usually several over a period of a few weeks. The councils give plenty of notice and opportunity to move the vehicle yourself.

Police jobs, if the vehicle is insecure, they nearly always just ring it in straight away - recovered immediately.


Notices fixed to the vehicle is a requirement under reg 3(5) The Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1978/3/section/3

These regs don't apply to Police so they won't bother with any notice.
hcandersen
Bogsy, thanks. It's the Removal and Disposal etc regs which I need, not the Appeals regs.
Bogsy
QUOTE (hcandersen @ Sun, 3 Nov 2013 - 10:15) *
Bogsy, thanks. It's the Removal and Disposal etc regs which I need, not the Appeals regs.


Oh OK. I thought from your post you wanted the regs made under s.101B RTRA 1984. I'll attach the 1986 removal regs that I have.
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