I know the header is provocative, and I'm sure that the Police actually do their jobs, but I've now got your attention, so please let me elaborate a bit.
On the 4th Feb 08 MCN published an article saying that the Police wants £300 from you if your bike has been stolen. WHAT?!?! Why don't the offer free trips to the prison where they huddle up a bunch of thieves to kick you in the face too, no, why not have a mandatory charge for it!
Jeebus, I've had two bikes stolen from me, neither recoverd. So I'm kind of glad that I wouldn't be in a position where the Police has recovered my precious wonderful bike, now vandalised to a piece of junk, and on top of that I'd have to pay £300 to get it recovered?!?! What an insult to the injury.
The real fact is, that if the police would actually catch the thieves and put them in jail, bikes wouldn't get stolen. No more of this lallygaggin, fannying around; if you're a thief, you go to jail. Therefore my bike/car/garden furniture/DVD player/etc won't get stolen, and nobody would have to deal with this sh*t.
In the past I've actually advocated insurance companies to not provide insurance for theft; this in turn would put a huge pressure on the police force to prevent theft (and thieves couldn't "justify" their "career" with the simple line "They've got insurance anyway"). It would be a win-win situation, but naturally, living in a world where "The Economic Man" rules, no individual would want to put their precious possessions on the firing line. It's not going to happen.
Still the Police and whoever came up with this £300 fee should really look into removing it completely. Why not have their items stolen, vandalised, and then have them paying £300 to get them back..?! I'm sure that'd put things into a better perspective.
Best thing would obviously be to catch the actual thief, make him repair the item in question, including working to pay for parts, and fitting the parts.
Rant over... back to work..!