I have often heard and read “grouses” about the Police, re: Motoring in the Seventies. Indeed, I have often endorsed many of these comments. However, a recent personal experience has spurred me to put pen to paper in an effort to redress the balance of criticism in a positive direction.
This weekend my car, a 1969 TVR Vixen S2, which I have owned for only five weeks, was stolen. it was parked, locked (no alarm), outside my flat in Highgate at 2.15 on Saturday morning. Imagine my surprise and anger at seeing it gone at breakfast time the same morning. I reported the theft to my local Police Station (Holloway) at 9.30 the same morning.
The officer who interviewed me was extremely depressing with tales of total disappearances and vandalism. Thus, having duly informed the insurance company, I resigned myself to an uncertain future, transportwise.
At 10.30 on the Sunday night of the same weekend the telephone rang and a voice said “would you like to collect your car, sir”. To cut a long story short I was chauffeured the same night in a patrol car to fetch my own vehicle—undamaged but minus the cassette/radio and speakers. I feel that this one-and-a-half-day recovery time between theft and recovery must qualify as something of a record considering 200 cars a day are reputed to “disappear” in the Greater London area alone. Perhaps other readers have been as fortunate; it would certainly be interesting to hear of other people’s experiences
Lastly, may I say two final words of praise. Firstly, for the Police, their speed of action, politeness and helpfulness was really exemplary. Secondly, for TVR. My Vixen was chosen after very great deliberation after a year of Morgan +4 motoring and an MG-A before that. What a delight to drive, own and service it is, and economical too! One can only lament the fact that production has ceased. I for one would go straight out and buy a new one now if it were available.
Keep up the good work Motor Sport. London, W19 C. Marriott
[It is nice to hear words of praise for our wonderful policemen. It is essential in these days of riot and bombing, strife and trouble, to maintain the best possible relationship between Police, including the Judicial system, and the public, remembering that several millions of the latter are car owners and drivers. Only the other day we hear of two cases unlikely to foster much love between the impressionable young and the wise old sages of British Justice. In the first, a young lad could not afford a licence renewal for his aged van until he had saved for a while. He was under the impression, as so many people are, that he had 14 days’ grace before renewing. He bought and displayed a correct new licence disc on the 15th day without any reminder or intervention from the police. But they had observed that for 14 days no licence was displayed, so the boy was summoned, and, if we remember correctly, fined £3 and given an endorsement. Any sensible person would surely have thought a caution adequate. The other case concerned a young motorcyclist whose machine, devoid of any lighting equipment, got it MoTed. The next day he was charged, in daylight, with having no means of illumination. We think he is in the right. But, right or wrong, he is now faced with a no-doubt expensive defence. Is this the best way to encourage Law and Order in a disturbed and disturbing situation or to help recruiting for the Civil Guard we may one day have to enlist and for which healthy young riders and drivers could be ideal ma terial?—ED.]