How to report an assault?

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Raph
Posts: 604
Joined: 13 Mar 2007, 8:14pm
Location: Banbury

Re: How to report an assault?

Postby Raph » 25 Jun 2020, 10:30pm

Dunno where the suggestion of lying has come from - I've said nothing along those lines. I can't make out I was distressed or alarmed cos I wasn't, and it's clear cos I continued riding in a perfectly straight line. My concern is that this guy is doing that habitually, and from his expression, he regarded it as some kind of victory and gave him such massive pleasure he'll definitely do some more. If he does it out of the side of a van, he'll also be doing other sh1tty stuff to random people. I don't doubt I sound like an old git but the world would be a nicer place without him, by the increment of 1 t0ssers'worth. Only a few million more to go then...

Anyway, I'm keeping all the original video of the entire ride - I don't think cropping down to a minute before and half a minute or so after counts as editing, especially the after bit as the van drove off and that was that - but if they want I can easily send them a dozen 4Gb files with a pointer as to where the incident is in the footage. They might need to know that there wasn't any previous altercation - especially as I know it's normal to take the slightest hint of an infraction or even slight rudeness or lack of respect by a cyclist as justification for pretty much anything up to murder by a motorist. I hope I'm over-dramatising!

Years ago a mate made a sarcastic grin at a driver that had deliberately shoved him off the road, and apparently that was the clincher in his not being able to get any action taken - a sarcastic grin from a cyclist considered equivalent to a driver ramming another human with a ton and a half of metal - no video but lots of witnesses, but no police action, it was deemed the cyclist had "brought it on himself" - words of the copper! Even though the lack of respect shown was AFTER he'd been shoved off the road and the driver was only still around cos he'd stopped to yell at him. But this was the Met in the 80s - I think things have changed. I hope...

Raph
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Location: Banbury

Re: How to report an assault?

Postby Raph » 25 Jun 2020, 10:33pm

thirdcrank wrote:There's certainly nothing to be gained and a lot to lose by telling anything other than the truth.

The police need the full evidence, especially unedited video footage. This can be compelling evidence so if it goes to court and is contested, the defence will try hard to have it excluded. Any suggestion of editing is a no-no. If you have made notes, make sure they are dated and signed and show them to the police. Notes made at the time or soon after an event can be used by the person making them to refresh their memory when giving evidence.


PS tomorrow is a phone interview - so I don't think there'll be any showing of anything, but I hope I'll be able somehow to email them the vids, either by wetransfer or similar, or hand a memory stick in at my local police station.

We'll see!

Raph
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Location: Banbury

Re: How to report an assault?

Postby Raph » 26 Jun 2020, 3:13pm

Thames police rang me this morning, I've emailed them still pics of the incident, face, number plate etc... cos apparently they don't have the facility to upload videos! They'll let me know if they can identify the guy.

The number plate came up as belonging to someone they're already familiar with! But might not help to identify the passenger with the horsewhip fetish.

I was asked whether I wanted to press charges or get an apology - I don't see what I'd gain from either, all I want is the guy to know something's gonna backfire on him if he has a habit of assaulting people.

Jdsk
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Re: How to report an assault?

Postby Jdsk » 26 Jun 2020, 3:23pm

Thanks for the update.
Raph wrote:I was asked whether I wanted to press charges or get an apology -

I'd guess that the former is more likely to protect other people. (In English law "pressing charges" isn't necessary, but the whole system is seriously overloaded.)

Jonathan

mikeymo
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Re: How to report an assault?

Postby mikeymo » 26 Jun 2020, 3:37pm

I've had the "we're already familiar with..." answer from the police. Figures I suppose. Most people are OK, but a small number are idiots, and the police may well know them.

If it were me I'd go for prosecution, an apology will mean nothing and won't stop it happening again.
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thirdcrank
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Re: How to report an assault?

Postby thirdcrank » 26 Jun 2020, 5:12pm

We don't know the nature of the reg keeper's earlier involvement with the police, but it doesn't seem to have deterred them from being involved in this incident.

De Sisti
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Re: How to report an assault?

Postby De Sisti » 26 Jun 2020, 5:47pm

mikeymo wrote: an apology will mean nothing and won't stop it happening again.

An apology from him means he'll be trying to save his skin.

thirdcrank wrote:We don't know the nature of the reg keeper's earlier involvement with the police, but it doesn't seem to have deterred them from being involved in this incident.

A driver is responsible for the actions of passengers in his/her vehicle.

Raph
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Location: Banbury

Re: How to report an assault?

Postby Raph » 26 Jun 2020, 6:04pm

Well yes - an incident I had years ago with a road-rage van driver who tried to crush me against bollards, got met with a softly-softly approach by the cops, again both front and rear videos... as far as I know nothing was done.

Totally agree about an apology - not worth the smirk it'll be expressed with!

About the vehicle though - the cop said today that quite simply if a vehicle is "involved in a crime" it can be seized. I don't know what the threshold for that might be, probably a lot higher than this, but in principle it's not out of the question.

Jdsk
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Re: How to report an assault?

Postby Jdsk » 26 Jun 2020, 6:06pm

In England: "Police Powers To Seize Vehicles"
https://www.pattersonlaw.co.uk/motoring-offences/police-powers-seize-vehicles/

Jonathan

fastpedaller
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Re: How to report an assault?

Postby fastpedaller » 26 Jun 2020, 6:13pm

Pressing charges is the only way anything will be done (until someone gets hurt badly), and you have the evidence. Presumably if you ask for the case to progress, the Police will find the means to review the video footage?

Postboxer
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Re: How to report an assault?

Postby Postboxer » 26 Jun 2020, 7:14pm

Presumably it was a close pass too so even if the driver didn't know what the passenger was up to, or can't remember who the passenger was :roll: , the police should also be at least having a word with the driver.

thirdcrank
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Re: How to report an assault?

Postby thirdcrank » 26 Jun 2020, 8:54pm

In a case like this there can be a lot of difficulties proving "beyond reasonable doubt" the identity of the assailant. So, unless they have changed something without telling me, if the investigation leads to the owner eg by details of the registered keeper, they are under no obligation to identify the driver, even less a passenger and indeed, if the driver did identify the assailant, their evidence would be treated with caution as the evidence of an accomplice.

It was to get round these problems that legislation was enacted to empower the police if certain conditions were met, to seize the a motor vehicle "used in manner causing alarm, distress or annoyance"

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/30/section/59

It's worth noting that Jdsk's link to this legislation is by a firm of learned friends offering to help anybody caught under this legislation.

This legislation was enacted way past my sell-by date so I have no experience of its operation. What I can see is that if the owner of a vehicle resists its seizure through legal action, then the police will need properly documented evidence of the improper use of the vehicle and, where applicable, the service of the requisite notice. Some vague note on the Police National Computer would be inadequate.

IMO, if the assailant can be identified, prosecuted and convicted, that's ideal, but in so many cases where that's not possible action under s59 is the next best thing. "Regular readers" may remember I've been banging on about this for years.

Raph
Posts: 604
Joined: 13 Mar 2007, 8:14pm
Location: Banbury

Re: How to report an assault?

Postby Raph » 27 Jun 2020, 12:29am

Is a vehicles registered keeper or owner responsible for who borrows it? After all, a vehicle can only be borrowed (at least for insurance) with the consent of the keeper (or owner??).

There used to be a loophole where a driver snapped by a speed camera could say they couldn't remember whether they were driving and didn't know who the driver was... that's been sewn up now, is it also the case for this kind of incident? The driver is liable unless they can identify who was driving?

As for conflicting evidence, if you saw the videos you wouldn't be in any doubt as to the evidence. That's definitely NOT the problem!

thirdcrank
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Re: How to report an assault?

Postby thirdcrank » 27 Jun 2020, 7:30am

The widely-used legislation empowering the police to require the identitification of the driver is here:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/section/172

IMO, the most relevant aspect in this discussion is that it only applies to the investigation of offences under the road traffic acts and similar legislation. This enactment is an exception to the human right not to be subject to self incrimination. AKA the right to silence. It's been tested all the way up to the European Court of Human Rights where it was accepted as a justified exception to that right. (There's a thread somewhere on here about this.)

In this case, where I understand there was no injury, the appropriate charge would be common assault, which is an offence under section 39, Criminal Justice Act 1988 ie not the road traffic acts etc.

I'm not saying for a moment that the occupants of a vehicle cannot be identified through other evidence such as the evidence of witnesses, DNA and fingerprints, which is why vehicles used in crime are often torched. Incidentally, this is one of the reasons for a prompt report because being caught in the vehicle soon after the alleged offence can be pretty good evidence.

Of course, resources are inevitably limited so the investigation of a murder will be much more thorough than for most common assaults.

As I tried to explain before, these procedural matters led to the section 59 Police Reform Act procedure I mentioned earlier.

I think it's worth pointing out that if you google about the requirement for the registered keeper to identify the driver, you will be swamped by offers from learned friends to represent you and from petrolhead forums recommending wheezes as "they can't touch you for it."

And as I posted before, the more convincing the video, the harder the defence will try to have it excluded completely in a trial.

=====================================================================================

PS For anybody who thinks I've exaggerated the subject of identifying suspects there's a little light reading in Code of Practice D, which now runs to some 57 pp. For Welsh speakers, it's slimmed down to only 53pp.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... d-2017.pdf

Raph
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Joined: 13 Mar 2007, 8:14pm
Location: Banbury

Re: How to report an assault?

Postby Raph » 27 Jun 2020, 1:54pm

Thanks for all that - very useful.

Not that I'm in a position to agree or disagree, but it does seem like it's not a road traffic issue, the vehicle is merely instrumental in finding the guy, and possibly in aiding the perpetrator.

If the incident had no vehicle involved, I'd still have the guy's arm motion very clearly caught on one camera and his cheerful face on another. The reg number helps to narrow down the search.

I'm not brushing off the annoyance, like a kid being bullied in the playground defiantly saying "didn't hurt!!" - but it really wasn't a big deal; the main point is what this person might do to others, which may not be enough of a reason to pursue it with any vigour. It wasn't an attempted knife attack, it wasn't potentially deadly, though it did show disregard for potential secondary consequences.


The remaining question - sorry to drag this on - is if at some point I get asked about pressing charges:

If I say no thanks, is that the end of the matter, the guy gets left alone with no consequences?

If I say yes please, what are the possibilities? Do I need to claim some kind of compensation for him to suffer any loss? I don't want anything - but I don't want there to be no consequence for the guy.