Tale of Police dealing’s of a stolen Leica instrument in Walthamstow

Jan 2, 2018 | News

When forming a new company there are lots of worries you have straight from the off. Getting enough work in, getting paid for such work, having to do everything yourself, making sure jobs go smoothly and without incident. All of these hurdles were handled quite nicely apart from the latter!

Walthamstow High Street (Vertex Surveys ltd’s first large project) had plenty of incidents.

We were asked to complete a full 3D topographical survey ( land survey) for a local council for an improved road network. No problems at all. The length of the road survey was pretty sizeable, 1400 meters of pedestrian only high street. The site was taken over Monday to Saturday by a market, therefore we commenced working on Sunday to ensure all features were visible. Four hours into the project our Leica instrument was stolen.

Not the best introduction to life as a new business owner with your main source of income is taken from you. Standard procedure when a theft occurs began with the police being called. I’m not sure how other surveys companies view the police’s handling of stolen survey equipment but my dealings with them were pretty poor. They took 2 hours to turn up, I took witness statements and wrote down the stolen vehicles licence plate and issued this to police over the phone. I assumed in this 2 hour window the registration plate would be in circulation and all marked police cars would be vigilant in finding the perpetrators. I was naive. When the officer turned up (2 hours after said call) she informed me the reg would only be circulated once she had registered the theft. As many business owners know, once these instruments are stolen they are immediatley placed in secure lock ups or shipped over the boarder. Being informed of this did not put me in a positive mood for retrieving my equipment.

I understand that the police are massively under staffed and funded, a stolen instrument isn’t top of their agenda, so as much as i was disappointed with the service i was given, i do not hold any grievances against our police force. In my opinion, i really feel the manufactures need to do more to help survey companies. There has been great technological advances making survey equipment is faster, more accurate and able to be operated by a single surveyor, but very little to aid the safety of equipment. Especially, as all these advances make the instrumentation massively more expenses. I have read articles from the top Survey manufactures saying how they doing everything in their power to increase the safety of these machines but theft of instruments are still rocketing in the UK.

Thank you anyone who has read this post and i would really appreciate any feedback or comments of similar experiences as well as views on what manufactures can do to help survey companies, as I’m sure, if this trend of stolen instruments continues, insurance companies will stop insuring us all together.

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