'Police refused to look at CCTV after my bike was stolen' says Chichester man

Mark Chapman, inset, said police refused to look at CCTV after his bike was stolen from the East Pallant car park
Mark Chapman, inset, said police refused to look at CCTV after his bike was stolen from the East Pallant car park

A resident has spoken out after he said police refused to look at CCTV when his bike was stolen.

Digital consultant Mark Chapman, from Hunston, had parked his bike at the cycle racks in the East Pallant car park so he could go to watch the rugby with his friends on Saturday, February 2.

When he returned to the car park a few hours later, Mark said ‘there was nothing left’.

“There doesn’t seem to be a safe place to leave bikes any more in Chichester and I don’t see the point in paying for CCTV if [police] are not able to use it when a crime is committed.

“For the police to say they won’t look at it is also a terrible precedent to set.

“It’s the message that it is sending out to people who steal – that the police aren’t going to follow up. If the CCTV can’t be used are the police just accepting that the bike thieves have won?

“We may as well hand over our bikes to any criminal that wants one.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: "There are no witnesses or lines of enquiry at this time. It has been explained to the victim that there is too large a time frame to making a search of CCTV a viable task in the circumstances. There is no hard and fast rule about when to search CCTV recordings and each case is assessed individually.

"We appreciate the cycle owner in this case may be disappointed, but we do have to manage our resources to prioritise the most serious types of crime affecting the public, such as crimes of violence and anti-social behaviour.

"We haven't seen any significant increase or decrease in the number of bicycle thefts in Chichester in recent months, nor is the number disproportionate to towns or cities of similar size.

"Sussex Police have worked with Chichester District Council over many years to deliver crime prevention advice and cycle marking events in the effort to educate, prevent thefts and increase the possibility of identifying stolen cycles. That work is on-going."

Anyone with information is asked to report online or call 101 quoting serial 967 of 02/02.