Couple hit with car towing bill after dramatic storm rescue in Milford-on-Sea

Bournemouth Echo: FUMING: Gregory Pepper received a hefty bill for recovery of his vehicle, which was left undrivable by the storms FUMING: Gregory Pepper received a hefty bill for recovery of his vehicle, which was left undrivable by the storms

A COUPLE who were rescued from a seaside restaurant in Milford-On-Sea during the Valentine’s Day storm have hit out at the police after being handed a hefty bill for the cost of recovering of their “abandoned” vehicle.

Following their terrifying ordeal, Gregory Pepper and his partner Jane Hopkins were shocked to find their storm-battered car had been towed away from outside The Marine eatery, without their knowledge or consent.

To add insult to injury they then received a notice from Hampshire Police demanding they pay £150 for the cost of recovering the vehicle.

“We went down the morning after and that was when the police officer told us to leave the cars where they were so we left it,” Mr Pepper explained.

“But when we went back later that day it was gone. I was parked on a single yellow line which you can do. They just took it,” he added.

The couple were among 41 staff and diners who were rescued by emergency services after the restaurant was engulfed by waves.

“By the time I got down there [the garage] on the Monday morning I had already received the notice from the police saying we had to pay £150,” Mr Pepper continued.

“We won’t have to pay the money because it will be covered by insurance but that’s not the point,” he added.

The police’s response

Hampshire Police said two cars were removed from the area because they were not fit to drive.

The statement said: “The cars were not drivable, and even if they had been it would have been impossible for the owners to recover them because of a substantial amount of debris strewn across the entire area as a result of the tidal surge.

“We would reassure the owners that Hampshire Constabulary has a long-standing agreement with the Association of British Insurers which asserts, where the police have acted in an emergency and used their statutory powers as in this case, insurers will normally accept the prescribed recovery costs as part of a legitimate claim and we would strongly advise them to add this to the insurance claim for their badly damaged vehicles.”

Comments (24)

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6:37am Mon 10 Mar 14

Phixer says...

“We won’t have to pay the money because it will be covered by insurance but that’s not the point,” he added.

So why are you expecting me, my neighbours, the pensioner across the road and other taxpayers to pay for your vehicle recovery?

If you had shown any common sense, you wouldn't have been in a shingle beachside restaurant in the height of a vicious storm, the outcome of which was widely predicted.
“We won’t have to pay the money because it will be covered by insurance but that’s not the point,” he added. So why are you expecting me, my neighbours, the pensioner across the road and other taxpayers to pay for your vehicle recovery? If you had shown any common sense, you wouldn't have been in a shingle beachside restaurant in the height of a vicious storm, the outcome of which was widely predicted. Phixer
  • Score: 63

6:45am Mon 10 Mar 14

user_name says...

Why does everyone expect everything to be provided and payed for now? There is no responsibility by some people. It's your car. Sort it out and stop whining,
Why does everyone expect everything to be provided and payed for now? There is no responsibility by some people. It's your car. Sort it out and stop whining, user_name
  • Score: 54

7:06am Mon 10 Mar 14

billy bumble says...

Surely the real questions here are

1- Why did this person think he should go to the Echo with such a relatively trivial matter?

and

2 - Why did the Echo think it was newsworthy?
Surely the real questions here are 1- Why did this person think he should go to the Echo with such a relatively trivial matter? and 2 - Why did the Echo think it was newsworthy? billy bumble
  • Score: 68

7:24am Mon 10 Mar 14

hooplaa says...

Start the week as you mean to go on! 2 re run stories and this rubbish!! There is no story here
Start the week as you mean to go on! 2 re run stories and this rubbish!! There is no story here hooplaa
  • Score: 29

7:44am Mon 10 Mar 14

Lord Spring says...

Where is the car now ?
Where is the car now ? Lord Spring
  • Score: -2

8:04am Mon 10 Mar 14

user_name says...

How about this headline instead- ' Shock as couple have to pay for service provided for them!'
How about this headline instead- ' Shock as couple have to pay for service provided for them!' user_name
  • Score: 40

8:42am Mon 10 Mar 14

we-shall-see says...

They won't have to pay, so what is the problem?!!! Yet another riveting week at Echo towers ....... zzzzzz
They won't have to pay, so what is the problem?!!! Yet another riveting week at Echo towers ....... zzzzzz we-shall-see
  • Score: 18

8:47am Mon 10 Mar 14

trolley says...

Is this for real? Try paying out 250 quid for storage because pond life stole my motorbike,not covered by insurance,welcome to the real world,police now charge and have done for years
Is this for real? Try paying out 250 quid for storage because pond life stole my motorbike,not covered by insurance,welcome to the real world,police now charge and have done for years trolley
  • Score: 9

9:02am Mon 10 Mar 14

Dave2207 says...

This looks like a good money-spinner for Mr. Plod - knowing that the insurer will pay, because the insurer takes Plod's word that the towing was necessary. However, Plod is not an independent witness in this matter as he stands to make his share of the £150 towing fee (assuming that the garage pays commission or finder's fee) - or does Plod do this sort of thing for free? I suspect that a local farmer would have used his tractor to remove the car for a lot less than £150!
This looks like a good money-spinner for Mr. Plod - knowing that the insurer will pay, because the insurer takes Plod's word that the towing was necessary. However, Plod is not an independent witness in this matter as he stands to make his share of the £150 towing fee (assuming that the garage pays commission or finder's fee) - or does Plod do this sort of thing for free? I suspect that a local farmer would have used his tractor to remove the car for a lot less than £150! Dave2207
  • Score: -19

9:51am Mon 10 Mar 14

muscliffman says...

Phixer wrote:
“We won’t have to pay the money because it will be covered by insurance but that’s not the point,” he added.

So why are you expecting me, my neighbours, the pensioner across the road and other taxpayers to pay for your vehicle recovery?

If you had shown any common sense, you wouldn't have been in a shingle beachside restaurant in the height of a vicious storm, the outcome of which was widely predicted.
As there is ample evidence that the public were comprehensively warned by the authorities not to go anywhere near the coast before and during this storm can we be sure any of those who were voluntarily caught up in all this by their own actions will be covered by their Insurers - usually there is something in the small print that excludes 'wanton stupidity' on the part of the policyholder!
[quote][p][bold]Phixer[/bold] wrote: “We won’t have to pay the money because it will be covered by insurance but that’s not the point,” he added. So why are you expecting me, my neighbours, the pensioner across the road and other taxpayers to pay for your vehicle recovery? If you had shown any common sense, you wouldn't have been in a shingle beachside restaurant in the height of a vicious storm, the outcome of which was widely predicted.[/p][/quote]As there is ample evidence that the public were comprehensively warned by the authorities not to go anywhere near the coast before and during this storm can we be sure any of those who were voluntarily caught up in all this by their own actions will be covered by their Insurers - usually there is something in the small print that excludes 'wanton stupidity' on the part of the policyholder! muscliffman
  • Score: 17

10:17am Mon 10 Mar 14

The Liberal says...

Why is everyone being so harsh on this couple? Surely the point is that they were told by the police to leave their car there and it was then towed away?
Why is everyone being so harsh on this couple? Surely the point is that they were told by the police to leave their car there and it was then towed away? The Liberal
  • Score: -21

10:17am Mon 10 Mar 14

Mamma Troll says...

i like it ! wanton stupidity, yes thats what you get for endangering your life and car by parking up by a shingle beach in the middle of the worst storm in years. be grateful your still alive .
nobody likes a whinger.
i like it ! wanton stupidity, yes thats what you get for endangering your life and car by parking up by a shingle beach in the middle of the worst storm in years. be grateful your still alive . nobody likes a whinger. Mamma Troll
  • Score: 17

11:19am Mon 10 Mar 14

smhinto says...

I wonder if the 'diddleys' - oops sorry travellers - will get a charge if the Police decide to tow their vehicles off public land ??
I wonder if the 'diddleys' - oops sorry travellers - will get a charge if the Police decide to tow their vehicles off public land ?? smhinto
  • Score: 12

11:31am Mon 10 Mar 14

NONCOM says...

Hampshire Police said two cars were removed from the area because they were not fit to drive.
The statement said: “The cars were not drivable, and even if they had been it would have been impossible for the owners to recover them because of a substantial amount of debris strewn across the entire area as a result of the tidal surge."

What on earth is this car owner complaining about.
1. According to Hampshire Police, the car was not recoverable or drivable by the owner.
2) Police recovered the car, saving the owner the inconvenience and expense of getting it done himself.
3) Police have an arrangement with insurers so that the car owner is reimbursed.
No problem, nothing to complain about and certainly no story!
Hampshire Police said two cars were removed from the area because they were not fit to drive. The statement said: “The cars were not drivable, and even if they had been it would have been impossible for the owners to recover them because of a substantial amount of debris strewn across the entire area as a result of the tidal surge." What on earth is this car owner complaining about. 1. According to Hampshire Police, the car was not recoverable or drivable by the owner. 2) Police recovered the car, saving the owner the inconvenience and expense of getting it done himself. 3) Police have an arrangement with insurers so that the car owner is reimbursed. No problem, nothing to complain about and certainly no story! NONCOM
  • Score: 14

11:42am Mon 10 Mar 14

The Liberal says...

The Liberal wrote:
Why is everyone being so harsh on this couple? Surely the point is that they were told by the police to leave their car there and it was then towed away?
I should have read the story properly. It seems the cars weren't fit to drive, so fair enough.
[quote][p][bold]The Liberal[/bold] wrote: Why is everyone being so harsh on this couple? Surely the point is that they were told by the police to leave their car there and it was then towed away?[/p][/quote]I should have read the story properly. It seems the cars weren't fit to drive, so fair enough. The Liberal
  • Score: 8

11:57am Mon 10 Mar 14

Hessenford says...

The storm was well reported before it happened, anyone with a single brain cell would have cancelled their booking in a restaurant on the beach in that weather, it your fault and no body else's so pay your own recovery fee, why should my premiums increase every year because of your stupidity.
The storm was well reported before it happened, anyone with a single brain cell would have cancelled their booking in a restaurant on the beach in that weather, it your fault and no body else's so pay your own recovery fee, why should my premiums increase every year because of your stupidity. Hessenford
  • Score: 12

12:04pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Letcommonsenseprevail says...

Tough break. But at least you haven't lost everything like many people have. Suck it up.
Tough break. But at least you haven't lost everything like many people have. Suck it up. Letcommonsenseprevail
  • Score: 11

1:25pm Mon 10 Mar 14

MotorbikeSam says...

just don't pay it !! if you feel it is unjust do not pay.
it will be up the sender to prove you owe it in court.
same thing happened to me, a neighbour phoned the fire and
rescue service because my cat was on my house roof, I was at work at the time but later I received an £89 bill .. I refused to pay I suggested they
redirect it the to person who called the service.. never heard from them again
( mind you I rather hope I never get a fire) lol
just don't pay it !! if you feel it is unjust do not pay. it will be up the sender to prove you owe it in court. same thing happened to me, a neighbour phoned the fire and rescue service because my cat was on my house roof, I was at work at the time but later I received an £89 bill .. I refused to pay I suggested they redirect it the to person who called the service.. never heard from them again ( mind you I rather hope I never get a fire) lol MotorbikeSam
  • Score: -7

3:41pm Mon 10 Mar 14

speedy231278 says...

The point is that the car was removed without warning and the owners charged for it. The Police said they removed an 'abandoned vehicle', which was 'abandoned' because they told the owner to abandon it in the first place! It it was deemed unroadworthy, the owners could have arranged to have it recovered, and they may even have had recovery on their insurance anyway. Instead, the Police have made themselves a nice little earner, using the excuse that the owner won't be out of pocket because their insurance would be paying anyway. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is becoming more common. Too many stories about stolen vehicles being found by the Police, and charges for recovery and storage when the owner could have collected it or had it recovered by their own means.
The point is that the car was removed without warning and the owners charged for it. The Police said they removed an 'abandoned vehicle', which was 'abandoned' because they told the owner to abandon it in the first place! It it was deemed unroadworthy, the owners could have arranged to have it recovered, and they may even have had recovery on their insurance anyway. Instead, the Police have made themselves a nice little earner, using the excuse that the owner won't be out of pocket because their insurance would be paying anyway. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is becoming more common. Too many stories about stolen vehicles being found by the Police, and charges for recovery and storage when the owner could have collected it or had it recovered by their own means. speedy231278
  • Score: -5

6:39pm Mon 10 Mar 14

O'Reilly says...

Lord Spring wrote:
Where is the car now ?
Dave Wells.......oh, hang on he doesn't do cars anymore.... ;-)
[quote][p][bold]Lord Spring[/bold] wrote: Where is the car now ?[/p][/quote]Dave Wells.......oh, hang on he doesn't do cars anymore.... ;-) O'Reilly
  • Score: 0

12:13pm Tue 11 Mar 14

jquain says...

At least he hasn't got his arms crossed in the photo!
At least he hasn't got his arms crossed in the photo! jquain
  • Score: 1

3:19pm Tue 11 Mar 14

thevoiceofreason1 says...

we-shall-see wrote:
They won't have to pay, so what is the problem?!!! Yet another riveting week at Echo towers ....... zzzzzz
copy and paste brigade strike again....read this quick as any critisism is almost immediately removed!
[quote][p][bold]we-shall-see[/bold] wrote: They won't have to pay, so what is the problem?!!! Yet another riveting week at Echo towers ....... zzzzzz[/p][/quote]copy and paste brigade strike again....read this quick as any critisism is almost immediately removed! thevoiceofreason1
  • Score: 0

3:21pm Tue 11 Mar 14

thevoiceofreason1 says...

The Liberal wrote:
The Liberal wrote:
Why is everyone being so harsh on this couple? Surely the point is that they were told by the police to leave their car there and it was then towed away?
I should have read the story properly. It seems the cars weren't fit to drive, so fair enough.
amazing that the police have suddenly become mechanically qualified....maybe they could work on studying the law in future?
[quote][p][bold]The Liberal[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Liberal[/bold] wrote: Why is everyone being so harsh on this couple? Surely the point is that they were told by the police to leave their car there and it was then towed away?[/p][/quote]I should have read the story properly. It seems the cars weren't fit to drive, so fair enough.[/p][/quote]amazing that the police have suddenly become mechanically qualified....maybe they could work on studying the law in future? thevoiceofreason1
  • Score: 0

6:00pm Tue 11 Mar 14

poolebabe says...

So basically, they didn't technically get hit with a bill? Just a photocopy to the insurance then. Instead of complaining, where is the thanks to the emergency services that rescued this lot, who had ignored the severe weather warnings? I'm glad the police can charge insurance for these things, but in the end, we all pay for some peoples stupidity, one way or the other.
So basically, they didn't technically get hit with a bill? Just a photocopy to the insurance then. Instead of complaining, where is the thanks to the emergency services that rescued this lot, who had ignored the severe weather warnings? I'm glad the police can charge insurance for these things, but in the end, we all pay for some peoples stupidity, one way or the other. poolebabe
  • Score: 0

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