More than 1,300 people have signed a Preston man’s petition to change the way vehicle thiefs are dealt with.
Martin Flowers from Ribbleton launched the campaign called ‘Vehicle thieves need to suffer as much as the victims do!’ after seeing friends targetted.
The 25-year-old customer services representative wants rises in insurance premiums to be passed on to the convicted thief, as well as them being responsible for the replacement of the vehicle, replacing property in the vehicle, paying for recovery costs, compensation and harsher community sentences.
He said: “I’m a member of a bike group on Facebook and every two to three days people seem to get their bikes stolen.
“They way they suffer is awful and all the thief seems to be told is to make one or two payments.
“But the owner has to go through all the stress, then if they get it back, recovery fees, storage fees and the insurance premiums. If you’re going to do the crime, you need to face the consequences.”
Martin also called on police to “reconnect with communities”, with a stronger presence on the streets. This echoes the thoughts of Lynda Lamb of Longridge Road, Preston, whose stolen bike was involved in a fatal crash.
Although she reported the bike’s whereabouts to the police and gave names to the police, the information was not acted upon. She claims she was told Lancashire Police have a policy of not pursuing stolen motorbikes due to the risk and lack of resources. But the force say this is untrue. A spokesman said: “We can do it but each case would be risk assessed.”
If Martin gets 100,000 signatures, he has vowed to organise a ride-out to the Houses of Parliament.