A woman who flew a microlight over a travellers site to track down her stolen £9,000 caravan says she was “livid” when police refused to enter the camp to return her vehicle.
Helen Cox, 44, was devastated when her expensive Hobby Excellent caravan was stolen from outside her home in Ely, Cambridgeshire , last week.
After sharing a photo of her missing vehicle on dozens of Facebook sites, she received a number of messages saying the vehicle had been seen going into the travellers site last Thursday.
But police told the caravan owner they could not go into the camp to investigate as it was too dangerous for the officers.
Helen said: “I suggested the police might like to get a van of officers together, at which point the young girl [call handler] sniggered and said ‘and where do you think we’ll get a van full of officers from?’
“I was livid, I asked her if she thought it was funny, I said if you can’t get on the site, who the hell can?
“I suggested I should go myself at which point she said “I don’t recommend that”.”
But refusing to accept nothing more could be done, the victim soon turned detective and launched her own investigation into her stolen caravan.
Her mother even organised a microlight to fly over the camp and Helen managed to capture an image of what she was sure was her caravan hidden by some trees.
She said: “I then had a call from the police, saying they had been there for five hours and the travellers ‘wouldn’t let them into the site’.
“They also said they had flown a drone over but couldn’t see anything, and there was nothing more they could do.”
However following Mrs Cox’s relentless appeal on social media, the caravan was later dumped in a nearby field.
She added: “I had posted the stolen caravan all over Facebook and that is why I have it back.
“In the words of the PCSO who accompanied us to the caravan, ‘I’ve never seen a caravan returned to its owner in x number of years’.”
A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said: ‘Officers attended the location of where it was believed the stolen caravan was and also used a drone to look over the site, however these attempts were unsuccessful.
“Due to officer safety it was not safe or legal for them to enter the site.
“There was insufficient information for officers to be able to obtain a warrant to access the site, however the caravan has since been recovered and returned to its owners.”
But the force was blasted on social media after news of the caravan being found spread.
Karen Elizabeth Taylor said: “Pathetic! What’s wrong with them? They have never got involved with travellers affairs.”
Nazer Ali said: “Shame on police. Police are always against the decent and hard-working people but they are scared of trouble makers etc… what a shame.”
And Larry Locke said: “I would like to know what we are paying the police for if that had been in my house they would soon be in, even if I said you could not come in.
“Is there a law for one and not for another? They might as well tell them to do as they like as we will not interfere.”