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Not a happy chappy

Car crushed without my knowledge or consent!

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Hi all,

I’m in need of some advice please……..here goes…..

 

My car was parked in a private off road parking area; it was declared sorn to the DVLA. On Thursday 17th June 2010 I discovered that it had vanished and reported it to the Police as stolen. Having questioned various neighbours one of them owned up to having phoned a company to have it removed as she believed it to be abandoned and could not establish who owned it also stating that the car was parked on her property. Including my house and 2 others nobody in any of the properties were ever approached by anyone enquiring about the car even though they knew it belonged to me. The car park has no sign's to state that any illegally parked cars would be clamped or removed.

I phoned the removal company who advised that they had removed the car on Wednesday 16th June 2010 with consent from my neighbour and that I should take the issue up with her. I asked them to return the car back to me as they did not have my consent to remove it, they advised that they had already crushed the car. I am still in possession of the V5 so I asked how they could have crushed the car without it. I also asked them for a copy of the photo ID and a signed consent form from the person who authorised the removal which they do not have and said that it was a verbal agreement with my neighbour.

The Police have just rang me to advise that my neighbour took all measures to establish ownership of the car, and that it is a civil matter?? I’m lost for words now as it seems that the Police are not interested and I’ve been left without a car so would appreciate all the help and support you guys have to offer.

 

 

Thanks in advance!

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They crushed it after just 24 hours?

 

How much is the car worth?

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I think they crushed it on the day that they collected it as their website states that it is normally crushed within 2 hours of collection.

 

The car had a fault with the alternator, I have had an estimate to repair it for £150, various popular used car websites are selling them between £1700-£2300.

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I called the removal company to see if they paid any money to my neighbour to which he responded in a very aggressive and hostile manner 'I thought you were going to get your solicitor to sort this out?' after which he abruptly hung up on me!

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Hi and welcome to CAG.

 

As I see this your claim (if any) would be against the removal company as they are the ones who actually took your car. I'm not sure the police should not be involved because this COULD be a case of taking without the owner's consent. However, I think we need a bit more info;

 

1) How long had the car been parked there?

 

2) Was it parked on your neighbour's poperty?

 

3) Was the company who removed it a licenced clamping firm or simply a scrap merchant?

 

__________________

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my scales at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice usefull.


Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Silly question - was it actually on your neighbours land? How long had it been there? Did the neighbour leave any note on it, would you have seen it if she had?

 

I would also suggest that "reasonable enquiries" would include asking DVLA who the car belongs to, and that if your neighbour is not registered with DVLA to check registration, the company that took the car should have been. I am assuming that the car is registered at your address?

 

I am actually amazed that the police would say it is a civil matter.

 

 

As for the payment issue - get someone to ring the company up and say they have an abandoned car on their private land, see what the company says... if you want, I will happily do that, it would be rather fun :)

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Hi and welcome to CAG.

 

As I see this your claim (if any) would be against the removal company as they are the ones who actually took your car. I'm not sure the police should not be involved because this COULD be a case of taking without the owner's consent. However, I think we need a bit more info;

 

1) How long had the car been parked there?

The car was parked up for about 13 months, the neighbours only moved in about 3 months ago so they wouldn't have known how long it was parked there.

 

2) Was it parked on your neighbour's poperty?

The neighbour does believe it to be her property but having spoken to the previous owners of the property they don't think it does belong to them. I have asked another neighbour who is going to check his deeds as he believes that it possibly belongs to him.

 

3) Was the company who removed it a licenced clamping firm or simply a scrap merchant?

I believe that they are a scrap merchant, they don't sell parts from the vehicle, they simply take it away and dispose of it at a licensed recycling centre and either email or post the destruction certificate to the owner.

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Silly question - was it actually on your neighbours land? I'm currently looking into this, having spoken to the previous owners of the property, they believe that it doesn't and another neighbour is having his deeds checked as he possibly thinks that it's his property. How long had it been there? approximately 13 months, I've owned it since April this year and the neighbours moved in about 3 months ago. Did the neighbour leave any note on it, would you have seen it if she had? If they had left a note, which they didn't I would definately have noticed it as I have some space allocated to me near where the vehicle was parked and use it on a daily basis.

I would also suggest that "reasonable enquiries" would include asking DVLA who the car belongs to, and that if your neighbour is not registered with DVLA to check registration, the company that took the car should have been. I am assuming that the car is registered at your address?

The car is registered to me at my home address.

 

I am actually amazed that the police would say it is a civil matter.

So am I! :eek::lol:

 

As for the payment issue - get someone to ring the company up and say they have an abandoned car on their private land, see what the company says... if you want, I will happily do that, it would be rather fun :)

Now that would be interesting...:lol:

The company actually offer to pay a minimum of £50 "for any whole scrap car,non runer,no mot,smashed,crashed"

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This is not a civil matter no matter what the police say and I would go back to them and insist on a theft docket being opened. Neither the company or the neighbour checked to see who was the legitimate owner or made extensive inquiries regarding the owner. Worst case scenario is that you commmited trespass by having the vehicle on their land which is the crux of the matter. Who profited from the removal of the vehicle?

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I find this rather scary, I thought that to get a car crushed would require rather more than me ringing the company up and saying "there is this car, right, and I think it might be on my land, so please come and crush it".

 

It sounds to me like the neighbour sold the car to the scrap company, so I suspect that you would therefore have to take action against the neighbour.

 

Was the car insured?

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I find this rather scary, I thought that to get a car crushed would require rather more than me ringing the company up and saying "there is this car, right, and I think it might be on my land, so please come and crush it".

I did point this out to the company expecting them to surely establish ownership of the vehicle before acting on some instructions given to them, they simply said that they didn't need to do anything? Having looked into this abit further I'm informed that any salvage yard would require the V5 (log book) the only exception to this rule being that the owner sign a consent form declaring that the vehicle belongs to them and provide ID.

 

It sounds to me like the neighbour sold the car to the scrap company, so I suspect that you would therefore have to take action against the neighbour.

 

Was the car insured?

It was not insured as I was going to get the fault fixed with it and start using it next month.

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I would not be too sure that this would be Taking a conveyance.

 

However surely the police should consider something along the lines of criminal damage?!


Warning: Freemen of the Land Operate here. Think twice before accepting 'legal advice'.

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Ok, as the 'removal firm' are not licenced to tow a vehicle and there are no signs indicating that clamping/towing is not in force where you were parked, the matter is theft of a motor vehicle... it's as simple as that.

 

If the car was parked on private land, the land owner is within his rights to have it removed but ONLY after giving the owner of the vehicle reasonable notice (which is normally 28 days) by A) Placing a warning notice on the vehicle itself and b) placing a notice in a local newspaper relevant to the area concerned. If the land owner cannot demonstrate that he/she hasn't taken these steps, then they can be held jointly liable along with the person who they instructed.

 

Contact the police again and report the car as stolen or taken without your concent and without official authority. Advise them that you require it to be recorded as a crime because you need a crime number. Then tell them that you have become aware who took the car and you wish to press charges against them as they have destroyed your property.

 

This is deffo a police matter in my opinion.

 

__________________

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my scales at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice usefull.


Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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I had a SORNed vehicle stolen just recently. I reported it as theft and the police are following up. It was sold to a scrap metal dealer the day after they alf inched it and crushed for the princely sum of £116. The individual who sold it is a scrot known to the plod and they will be trying the victims compensation route should they get it to court.

 

In this case it sounds as though their has been a criminal act and definitely a civil wrong. I would definitely go back to the plod and suggest to them that this is a matter of TWOC and that they should be prosecuted.

 

In my case the car was worth 200-300 in running order. In your case I would suggest that you have both a civil claim and a victim of crime compensation claim. Given the average award for the latter is normally pretty small you would have scope to sue your neighbour for the value of the car. If they own the land they may be able to counter-claim damages for trespass (assuming they can show an actual loss).

 

I'd definitely persue both avenues. BTW you should also have a read of the clamping guide as their is a criminal act committed if the person removing it isn't licensed. It is also a criminal act to employ someone who isn't licensed.


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This does not constitute legal advice and is not represented as a substitute for legal advice from an appropriately qualified person or firm.

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Wow, you guys are the bee's knees! I cannot thank you enough for your reponses and advice, without it I would be absolutely lost and hope that I can help others in the way you lot have helped me! Thanks again!

 

So now I will be phoning the Police to tell them that I would like them to proceed with prosecuting the company insisting that they should view it as a TWOC.

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Wow, you guys are the bee's knees! I cannot thank you enough for your reponses and advice, without it I would be absolutely lost and hope that I can help others in the way you lot have helped me! Thanks again!

 

So now I will be phoning the Police to tell them that I would like them to proceed with prosecuting the company insisting that they should view it as a TWOC.

 

Personally, I would go to the police station in person.

 

__________________

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my scales at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice usefull.


Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Personally, I would go to the police station in person.

 

Yep, think in person is the only way to do it.

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Hi all, Maybe a little off topic, but i am sick and tired of hearing (and being involved in ) the authorities calling everything a "Civil Case". Here we have a blatent criminal act--removing without owners permission, yet the law officers are trying to get out of their responceabilities. I have the same problem with trading standards---everything is a civil case--not within our remit. My question is, why do we need both TS and the police to do criminal cases??? Surely the police are the correct people for this job!

When the public are wronged, who then are they supposed to turn to for help?? We can't all afford a lawyer, and anyway they are too slow and frequently can't get the required results. Big question is, who can we report these problems to, in order that the "Authorities" are made to do their job?

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Hi all, Maybe a little off topic, but i am sick and tired of hearing (and being involved in ) the authorities calling everything a "Civil Case". Here we have a blatent criminal act--removing without owners permission, yet the law officers are trying to get out of their responceabilities. I have the same problem with trading standards---everything is a civil case--not within our remit. My question is, why do we need both TS and the police to do criminal cases??? Surely the police are the correct people for this job!

When the public are wronged, who then are they supposed to turn to for help?? We can't all afford a lawyer, and anyway they are too slow and frequently can't get the required results. Big question is, who can we report these problems to, in order that the "Authorities" are made to do their job?

 

Even more off topic but along the same lines. I once had a push bike stolen several miles from my home. Several months later I was very surprised to see it being ridden down my road. I apprehended the rider and called the Police who duely arrived. The rider obviously denied stealing it and the Police told me it was a 'civil matter' as he claimed to have bought it 'off a man in a pub' and allowed him to cycle off on MY bike without even bothering to investigate the matter. :mad:

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Whilst I agree that police play the 'civil matter' card too often, I suspect that they will look at a case like this from the point of view that it is unlikely to result in a prosecution - CPS will likely decide that a prosecution will not be in the public interest because the people who took the car will plead that they had no reason to think that the person who asked them to take it had no right to do so. The person who asked them to take it will say that she thought it was her land and the car had been abandoned. Whilst ignorance of the law is no excuse, I doubt that CPS would put resources into bringing it to court. Furthermore, a criminal prosecution will not get you compensation for your car.

 

I think the only thing you can do is to sue the neighbour and the disposal company for the value of the car.

 

There may be an issue over the destruction of the car without the V5 - has the company now provided a Certificate of Disposal?

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It cannot be TWOC as for that offence the vehicle must be used by the taker as a conveyance.

 

It is also probably not theft or fraud as nobody acted dishonestly.

 

It may be criminal damage, but I agree with the poster above that a prosecution would achieve little and would not be in the public interest. Take them for compensation instead.


Post by me are intended as a discussion of the issues involved, as these are of general interest to me and others on the forum. Although it is hoped such discussion will be of use to readers, before exposing yourself to risk of loss you should not rely on any principles discussed without confirming the situation with a qualified person.

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Whilst I agree that police play the 'civil matter' card too often, I suspect that they will look at a case like this from the point of view that it is unlikely to result in a prosecution - CPS will likely decide that a prosecution will not be in the public interest because the people who took the car will plead that they had no reason to think that the person who asked them to take it had no right to do so. The person who asked them to take it will say that she thought it was her land and the car had been abandoned. Whilst ignorance of the law is no excuse, I doubt that CPS would put resources into bringing it to court. Furthermore, a criminal prosecution will not get you compensation for your car.

 

I think the only thing you can do is to sue the neighbour and the disposal company for the value of the car.

 

There may be an issue over the destruction of the car without the V5 - has the company now provided a Certificate of Disposal?

Absolutely no sign of the destruction certificate which I'm sure I will require at some point to prove to the DVLA that I no longer have the car.

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TS have a statutory duty to e enforce various Acts. I think they keep a list of them on their site somewhere. For some acts they (or their 'boss' the OFT) are the enforcers. Worth digging out that list. Don't forget that breached of CPUTR can create action under the Enterprise Act. http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/parking-traffic-offences/164651-problems-ppcs-face.html

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Big question is, who can we report these problems to, in order that the "Authorities" are made to do their job?

 

Apply for Judicial Review.

 

:cool:

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