Police give Cwmbran man's stolen bike away in error

6:06am Wednesday 21st May 2014

A CWMBRAN man whose £1,500 mountain bike was stolen and then given away by Gwent Police after they failed to realise it was his is seeking compensation from the force.

Andrew Dickens, 44, of North Road, was playing squash at Cwmbran Stadium on January 7 but when he returned at 10.30am his locked bike had been taken.

When the keen cyclist reported it later that morning, the force admits a police call handler took down the wrong details so that when it was handed to Gwent Police, and after a 28-day waiting period had elapsed, they gave it to the person who had handed it in and not Mr Dickens.

He said: “I am amazed and really aggrieved. I just can’t believe I could have just reported something stolen and then not expected it back. It’s crazy.”

The situation got worse for Mr Dickens when he spotted what he said was his bike being sold on eBay in April.

He called the police, who said the only advice they could give him was to buy the bike back from the seller.

To add insult to injury, the police later informed Mr Dickens the person who had picked up the bike had left some parts of it with them they didn’t want.

Mr Dickens added: “Later they left me a voicemail saying: ‘We have got your pedals’. But then they said: ‘There is nothing we can do now because (the man who handed in the bike) has been given it’.”

A Gwent Police spokesman said: “We have apologised for not returning his bike and have explained the mistake was made when the full description of the bike was not logged by the person taking the original report.

“Gwent Police call handlers take hundreds of reports of incidents each day and unfortunately, on rare occasions, mistakes can be made.

“We have discussed the best way to rectify the situation with Mr Dickens and have given him advice about claiming compensation for his loss. We would be happy to meet with him again to discuss any further concerns.”

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