I am both a recovery operator (Police Approved) and a biker.
I support the rights of the individual, and I can't abide unjustice, BUT: The £160.00 fee incurred to Mr Wheatley is unfortunately correct and lawful.
It is NOT the fault of the local Constabulary nor the fault of the local recovery firm.
The fees are leveled by Parliament: The Road Traffic Act 1984 and the Removal and Disposal of Vehicle Regulations 1986 (The Removal, Storage and Disposal of Vehicles Regulations 2008) (eg - Vehicles that have broken down, been involved in accidents, been stolen and have been abandoned and / or causing an obstruction).
Each approved recovery operator is carefully selected and assessed before they are granted a licence by the local Constabulary (and inspected each year).
They have to abide to strict guidelines and rules, and respond, recover and safely store any vehicle as requested.
The fees are set by Parliament and are standard, with ONLY a small cost being retained by the recovery operator (eg -£20.00 per day storage for cars up to 3.5 tonnes, approximately £1.00 is retained by the nominated company!).
The majority of the fees are unfortunately passed back to the Government.
Mr Wheatley I feel has blown this out of ALL proportion: He has "kicked and screamed like a spoilt child" upon the safe recovery of his uninsured stolen bike.
If it had not been recovered, how much would he have to pay to replace it? The fact that he appears to have behaved in an inappropriate manner by constantly emailing the recovery company only high lightens his apparent stupidity.
The longer he refuses to pay the charges, the more they will increase. Eventual, leading to the destruction of his bike?
The choice is his: Accept it. Secure it and get it insured! It would all work out cheaper in the long run.