Becky Harrington found her dad’s stolen Jaguar after she “didn’t hear” from police
Harry Harrington, 73, had his car stolen overnight from the driveway of his Bournemouth residence. His daughter Becky, 32, claims the police were “pretty slack” when they reported the theft, so she took to social media with appeals to track it down.
Thanks to her sleuthing, Becky discovered the car abandoned with one of its doors wide open near several CCTV cameras.
She claims that when she asked the police when they were going to check the CCTV, they replied with “if we have the manpower”.
Earlier this week, a police watchdog report said most victims of burglary, robbery and theft in England and Wales are not being given the justice they deserve.
The stolen Jaguar
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Andy Cooke, said current low charge rates were “unacceptable and unsustainable”.
Becky said: “I just wanted to do something about it.
“Luckily we did. With all due respect if we were waiting for the police my dad would still be sat at home with no car.”
Becky’s dad’s Jaguar XF estate was stolen between 11pm on Saturday, July 23 and 6am the following day.
Unsatisfied with the police response, she took to social media and her post was shared over 200 times on one for sale page and Becky said it ended up in up 50 groups.
Harry Harrington, Becky’s dad
Becky said she was “buzzing” when she found the car and added: “I was ecstatic for my dad. He is 73 years old, he is not the biggest of blokes – I am not going to watch my dad struggling.”
Once the car was checked and made sure it was safe to drive, Becky told her dad to “get in the motor and get it back”.
After her heroic efforts, Becky applied to the Open University to study criminology and law.
Becky said the response from Dorset Police was “shocking”.
She said: “We didn’t hear from them really, pretty slack.
“I contacted them to let them know the car had been found and asked when they were going to check the CCTV and they replied with ‘if we have the manpower’.
“It took them over a week and a half for them to check the CCTV of where the car was found.”
The mess inside the car when Becky found it
Now the CCTV has been checked and sent to other forces to see if they can find the driver on their databases.
In a statement, Dorset Police said: “Dorset Police received a report relating to the theft of a motor vehicle from outside an address in Bournemouth between 11pm on Saturday 23 July and 6am on Sunday 24 July 2022.
“Local officers made a number of attempts to visit the victim and consequently made contact with the victim’s daughter, who then updated the police that the vehicle had been recovered.
“As part of the ongoing investigation, officers carried out house-to-house enquiries in the vicinity of where the vehicle was located and have successfully obtained significant evidence.”
The force said the investigation is ongoing.
It added: “Enquiries to identify the offenders are continuing and we are currently exploring further lines of enquiry available to us.”
A recent report released by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said police are not doing all they can to help victims when they report crimes.
The report highlighted that, in 71% of burglary reports examined, police personnel did not give victims any advice on crime scene preservation during the initial call.
It also said investigations are not being appropriately or thoroughly supervised, with a third of cases examined having insufficient evidence of proper supervision.
Reacting to the figures, Becky said: “It doesn’t shock me, with the communication and incompetence we have experienced with the police, no wonder the statistics are like that – people need to get their heads out of the sand.”