Earlier this month I shared five quick tips to beat car thieves this winter without for a moment thinking that I’d be the one needing the advice.
On Christmas day an opportunist tore off and stole the inner near side mirror (it’s the standard heated one with blindspot monitoring) from my fathers retirement gift – a Jaguar XF – and left us with a hefty repair bill.
I have handed in all the evidence available and have left this matter in the capable hands of officers at Ilford Police Station and I’m sure they will do whatever is possible to investigate. If you are able to assist with any information on this man then please get in touch with Ilford Police by ringing 101 or by e-mail at email@example.com
I am grateful to the local police force for being responsive and to Ajay Nair at the Ilford Recorder for running a short story about this particular incident. However, I am a little disappointed by some of the comments left by readers on Facebook such as: ‘he can just claim it back through expenses.‘ Another commentator wrote: ‘I think this article shows the councillor to be completely out of touch with reality to be honest. With the serious issues people in Redbridge face including poverty, benefits sanctions and homelessness, I feel his words could be seen as very insensitive.‘ As expected, us politicians are vilified as being expenses crooks and undeserving of any empathy if we ever bring up anything that happens in our personal lives. I have always been open about sharing my family’s humble beginnings and acknowledging the many sacrifices we made to save for the future.
It is so disheartening that not even six months into the ownership of a new car we have been targeted by vandals not once but twice. Only two months ago somebody stole all four silver wheel pressure valve caps which could have easily been purchased from eBay for just £4. Given the small cost of damage involved I didn’t think it was worth reporting to the police and wasting their time when it could be focused on more serious crimes. But if this is the trend of how things are proceeding four months in then what will be left of the car in a years time?
Unfortunately this isn’t an isolated problem. I regularly hear complaints from my residents of their cars (Audi, BMW, Mercedes and others) being vandalised even whilst parked on their driveway. Usually it is their registration plates or other exterior parts that go missing. Why is highlighting this genuine problem in our neighbourhoods seen to be ‘completely out of touch with reality‘? If it wasn’t my family that fell victim this time it probably would have been somebody else’s. It doesn’t have to be this way.