Motorist's shock at Weymouth and Portland Council bill for damage caused by thieves

Dorset Echo: Linda Sampson with her car, which was stolen Linda Sampson with her car, which was stolen

A SHOCKED motorist was landed with a massive bill from the council – for damage caused by thieves who stole her car.

Linda Sampson, of Springfield Road, received a letter from Weymouth and Portland Borough Council demanding £421.39 to pay for a road sign, which was destroyed by vandals as they attempted to steal her Citroen Saxo.

As the Echo reported, the car, which had a steering lock on the handle, was driven down Springfield Road and crashed into a nearby lamppost and road sign on April 13.

Mrs Sampson believes that unable to rip off the steering lock, the thieves shunted the car deliberately.

The Dream Cottages cleaner was told by the council to forward the invoice for damage on to her insurers.

Mrs Sampson, aged 51, said: “I can’t believe it.

“When I first got the letter, I called the council and the woman said: ‘It was your car that damaged the sign.’ “I said: ‘I wasn’t in the car at the time – it was stolen.’ “She said: ‘Well, someone’s got to pay for it.’ “What about the thugs who stole my car in the first place?”

Because the incident which led to the damaged road sign was a crime, Mrs Sampson’s insurers, the Post Office, will have to make further enquiries as to whether to pay the bill.

A spokesman for the company said: “The council should not, in any circumstance, have contacted Mrs Sampson directly.

“The responsibility lies with the person that had caused the accident, so in this case, the person who stole the car.

“If the police have been unable to find those involved, then the cost may be picked up by the insurance company, but not by owner of the vehicle.

“We have asked Mrs Sampson to send us all the correspondence she has received from the council so that we can get this matter resolved as quickly as possible.”

The council has now sent a letter of apology to Mrs Sampson for the mistake.

Coun Mike Goodman, chairman of the council’s management committee, said: “The borough council has sent a letter of apology directly to Mrs Sampson for wrongly asking her to forward an invoice to her insurers.

“This was a mistake and we are now looking at a number of other routes to recoup the cost of the damage to the road sign.

“This may include civil action against the person found responsible for taking the vehicle or making a claim through the council’s own insurance policy.”

Comments (25)

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12:28pm Sat 22 Sep 12

monkeydog says...

As a council W&P make a great stand-up comedian.
As a council W&P make a great stand-up comedian. monkeydog
  • Score: 0

1:06pm Sat 22 Sep 12

Weymouth resident 2012 says...

No shock or surprise needed, it's Weymouth council..... fairly normal for them really!!! Do they get much right?
No shock or surprise needed, it's Weymouth council..... fairly normal for them really!!! Do they get much right? Weymouth resident 2012
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Sat 22 Sep 12

bnaty12 says...

Why on Earth should she forward it to her insurers either? It was a criminal act and the criminal should pay. In all cases of utter stupidity like this, the Echo should find out and Name those responsible in the council.
Why on Earth should she forward it to her insurers either? It was a criminal act and the criminal should pay. In all cases of utter stupidity like this, the Echo should find out and Name those responsible in the council. bnaty12
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Sat 22 Sep 12

portland rebel says...

typical of this council full of fools lead by bigger fools.
typical of this council full of fools lead by bigger fools. portland rebel
  • Score: 0

1:30pm Sat 22 Sep 12

snowleopard says...

Been a warning about conmen preying on people, didn't realise it was the Council
Been a warning about conmen preying on people, didn't realise it was the Council snowleopard
  • Score: 0

2:28pm Sat 22 Sep 12

roger goss says...

I feel that a reply in the following context would be apt.
Get stuffed W@PBC.
I feel that a reply in the following context would be apt. Get stuffed W@PBC. roger goss
  • Score: 0

3:02pm Sat 22 Sep 12

Crabber says...

I would ring the Council and just say 'FOXTROT OSCAR'
I would ring the Council and just say 'FOXTROT OSCAR' Crabber
  • Score: 0

3:53pm Sat 22 Sep 12

TenBobDylanThomasHardy says...

So are you all happy for the repair-cost to come out of your Council Tax?
So are you all happy for the repair-cost to come out of your Council Tax? TenBobDylanThomasHardy
  • Score: 0

5:18pm Sat 22 Sep 12

portlandboy says...

It simply shows the level of intelligence within the council's legal department.
This was a case of "take the easy option", in the hope that the recipient was not clever enough to know what to do. Now they'll have do get the repair costs from the insurer, but that means communicating with a company who probably have a bit of savvy...could be awkward!
It simply shows the level of intelligence within the council's legal department. This was a case of "take the easy option", in the hope that the recipient was not clever enough to know what to do. Now they'll have do get the repair costs from the insurer, but that means communicating with a company who probably have a bit of savvy...could be awkward! portlandboy
  • Score: 0

7:35pm Sat 22 Sep 12

bnaty12 says...

TenBobDylanThomasHar
dy
wrote:
So are you all happy for the repair-cost to come out of your Council Tax?
You should work for the WPBC.

Nobody said about it coming out of the council tax, it should come out of the pockets and property of the criminal who did it.
[quote][p][bold]TenBobDylanThomasHar dy[/bold] wrote: So are you all happy for the repair-cost to come out of your Council Tax?[/p][/quote]You should work for the WPBC. Nobody said about it coming out of the council tax, it should come out of the pockets and property of the criminal who did it. bnaty12
  • Score: 0

10:23pm Sat 22 Sep 12

mrmagic says...

Mr Goodman should realise he is responsible for these muppets and as they have cocked up again then perhaps he should resign

Absolutely useless
Mr Goodman should realise he is responsible for these muppets and as they have cocked up again then perhaps he should resign Absolutely useless mrmagic
  • Score: 0

10:31pm Sat 22 Sep 12

old-mo says...

Let`s face it 99% of w&p council couldn`t hold a proper job...

Perhaps they could... Road Sweeper...

Do you remember them...?
Let`s face it 99% of w&p council couldn`t hold a proper job... Perhaps they could... Road Sweeper... Do you remember them...? old-mo
  • Score: 0

11:52am Sun 23 Sep 12

markerpen says...

I dont see why I as a taxpayer should have to pay for the cost of replacing any signs in circumstanses like this.

Insurance is there to do this, yes it's unfortunate that someone tried to steal her car but it happens.

I think the council have taken the appropriate action. If you own a car you are respnosble for it..

"Responsibility"..I know not heard much these days.
I dont see why I as a taxpayer should have to pay for the cost of replacing any signs in circumstanses like this. Insurance is there to do this, yes it's unfortunate that someone tried to steal her car but it happens. I think the council have taken the appropriate action. If you own a car you are respnosble for it.. "Responsibility"..I know not heard much these days. markerpen
  • Score: 0

12:09pm Sun 23 Sep 12

niceonecyril says...

Two things, firstly, for the criminal to pay, he/she would have to be caught first.
Secondly, I am humbled to be able to post along with people who have NEVER EVER made a mistake, you truly are a bunch of idiots.
Two things, firstly, for the criminal to pay, he/she would have to be caught first. Secondly, I am humbled to be able to post along with people who have NEVER EVER made a mistake, you truly are a bunch of idiots. niceonecyril
  • Score: 0

2:09pm Sun 23 Sep 12

bnaty12 says...

markerpen wrote:
I dont see why I as a taxpayer should have to pay for the cost of replacing any signs in circumstanses like this.

Insurance is there to do this, yes it's unfortunate that someone tried to steal her car but it happens.

I think the council have taken the appropriate action. If you own a car you are respnosble for it..

"Responsibility
"..I know not heard much these days.
Markerpen you are talking utter nonsense!

The lady car owner had not given permission to even touch the car let alone try to take it, she had no part in it and it was without her consent, therefore it is wholly the criminal to blame and to pay.

Really what is the matter with some people, common sense seems to be like a rare Gem these days.
[quote][p][bold]markerpen[/bold] wrote: I dont see why I as a taxpayer should have to pay for the cost of replacing any signs in circumstanses like this. Insurance is there to do this, yes it's unfortunate that someone tried to steal her car but it happens. I think the council have taken the appropriate action. If you own a car you are respnosble for it.. "Responsibility "..I know not heard much these days.[/p][/quote]Markerpen you are talking utter nonsense! The lady car owner had not given permission to even touch the car let alone try to take it, she had no part in it and it was without her consent, therefore it is wholly the criminal to blame and to pay. Really what is the matter with some people, common sense seems to be like a rare Gem these days. bnaty12
  • Score: 0

2:12pm Sun 23 Sep 12

bnaty12 says...

P.S markerpen why should the insurance pay for it?

Why should the lady get a claim on her insurance, probably putting her premium up or damaging her NCB, and also the add on effect to the overall hike in insurance for all of us.

No wonder society is in the state it's in, hit the criminal HARD!

make them pay, take away their income or property to pay for it!
P.S markerpen why should the insurance pay for it? Why should the lady get a claim on her insurance, probably putting her premium up or damaging her NCB, and also the add on effect to the overall hike in insurance for all of us. No wonder society is in the state it's in, hit the criminal HARD! make them pay, take away their income or property to pay for it! bnaty12
  • Score: 0

3:54pm Sun 23 Sep 12

Phaedrus says...

Presumably markerpen thinks that if someone steals a car and critically injures another person, the car owner should pay compensation?
Presumably markerpen thinks that if someone steals a car and critically injures another person, the car owner should pay compensation? Phaedrus
  • Score: 0

5:50pm Sun 23 Sep 12

chesilboy says...

niceonecyril wrote:
Two things, firstly, for the criminal to pay, he/she would have to be caught first.
Secondly, I am humbled to be able to post along with people who have NEVER EVER made a mistake, you truly are a bunch of idiots.
Well said.

The biggest shock here is that this story is even on the front page. Why? It has already been resolved - the insurance company has said they will deal with it and WPBC has admitted to, and formally apologised, for the mistake.

Everybody makes mistakes.

Is there not a cat up a tree somewhere?
[quote][p][bold]niceonecyril[/bold] wrote: Two things, firstly, for the criminal to pay, he/she would have to be caught first. Secondly, I am humbled to be able to post along with people who have NEVER EVER made a mistake, you truly are a bunch of idiots.[/p][/quote]Well said. The biggest shock here is that this story is even on the front page. Why? It has already been resolved - the insurance company has said they will deal with it and WPBC has admitted to, and formally apologised, for the mistake. Everybody makes mistakes. Is there not a cat up a tree somewhere? chesilboy
  • Score: 0

9:24pm Sun 23 Sep 12

Get a grip says...

W&P staff are in the main rubbish
W&P staff are in the main rubbish Get a grip
  • Score: 0

10:53pm Sun 23 Sep 12

oldbrock says...

markerpen wrote:
I dont see why I as a taxpayer should have to pay for the cost of replacing any signs in circumstanses like this.

Insurance is there to do this, yes it's unfortunate that someone tried to steal her car but it happens.

I think the council have taken the appropriate action. If you own a car you are respnosble for it..

"Responsibility
"..I know not heard much these days.
Doesn't the fact that the lady had LOCKED the steering count as responsibility in your little world then?
she obviously used her brain more than you did writing this.
[quote][p][bold]markerpen[/bold] wrote: I dont see why I as a taxpayer should have to pay for the cost of replacing any signs in circumstanses like this. Insurance is there to do this, yes it's unfortunate that someone tried to steal her car but it happens. I think the council have taken the appropriate action. If you own a car you are respnosble for it.. "Responsibility "..I know not heard much these days.[/p][/quote]Doesn't the fact that the lady had LOCKED the steering count as responsibility in your little world then? she obviously used her brain more than you did writing this. oldbrock
  • Score: 0

1:10am Mon 24 Sep 12

Taxpayinglocal says...

Very unfortunate incident, but dont forget, insurance covers THEFT, so this would under the THEFT part of the insurance, therefore as wrong as it sounds, the insurance has to pay for it.
Very unfortunate incident, but dont forget, insurance covers THEFT, so this would under the THEFT part of the insurance, therefore as wrong as it sounds, the insurance has to pay for it. Taxpayinglocal
  • Score: 0

11:03am Mon 24 Sep 12

stench says...

markerpen,chesilboy, niceonecyril & TenBobDylan...

Backward, Gumps!

That is all..
markerpen,chesilboy, niceonecyril & TenBobDylan... Backward, Gumps! That is all.. stench
  • Score: 0

2:15pm Mon 24 Sep 12

chesilboy says...

:-D

What is it like living under your bridge?
:-D What is it like living under your bridge? chesilboy
  • Score: 0

7:32pm Tue 25 Sep 12

bnaty12 says...

I have said it a thousand times, GET CCTV ON YOUR HOUSE! everyone should have it covering their property and the pavement/road in front of their property. It is cheap as heck these days, there is no excuse, if everyone did it, just imagine the amount of scum that will be caught?
I have said it a thousand times, GET CCTV ON YOUR HOUSE! everyone should have it covering their property and the pavement/road in front of their property. It is cheap as heck these days, there is no excuse, if everyone did it, just imagine the amount of scum that will be caught? bnaty12
  • Score: 0

10:32am Wed 26 Sep 12

portland rebel says...

bnaty12 wrote:
I have said it a thousand times, GET CCTV ON YOUR HOUSE! everyone should have it covering their property and the pavement/road in front of their property. It is cheap as heck these days, there is no excuse, if everyone did it, just imagine the amount of scum that will be caught?
cctv is only any good if the culprit is recognisable, 99% of the time all you will see is what they did.
why do you think we have more cctv in this country than any other, answer - fools buy it.
[quote][p][bold]bnaty12[/bold] wrote: I have said it a thousand times, GET CCTV ON YOUR HOUSE! everyone should have it covering their property and the pavement/road in front of their property. It is cheap as heck these days, there is no excuse, if everyone did it, just imagine the amount of scum that will be caught?[/p][/quote]cctv is only any good if the culprit is recognisable, 99% of the time all you will see is what they did. why do you think we have more cctv in this country than any other, answer - fools buy it. portland rebel
  • Score: 0

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