Police Taking No Action - Advice Please

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
robertrabbit
Posts: 35
Joined: 27 Jul 2009, 10:03am
Location: Devon

Police Taking No Action - Advice Please

Postby robertrabbit » 8 Dec 2010, 9:23pm

Two weeks ago, Thurs 25th Nov, I was knocked off by a car. I was coming up on the left hand side of the car as he moved across to the left trapping me between him and a wall. I went over the bars and cracked my head on the wall causing a deep gash which needed gluing and stitching at A&E. The driver was more concerned with a scratch on the car caused when he turned into my pedal.

I was dazed by the accident and so didn't get his details although he got my mobile phone number. Later that day I went to the police station and reported the accident. I didn't expect to hear any more as I didn't expect him to report it.

I have now received a letter from the police saying that

Enquiries in relation to your case have been undertaken and the collision report reviewed with careful consideration of the circumstances and any available evidence for court purposes. As a result of there not being sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for an offence at court, the decision has been made to take no official police action at this time.

Our decision in no way precludes you from pursuing the matter through your insurers or legal advisor and does not prevent insurance companiesfrom dealing with the claims, establishing whom if anyone is at fault and settling liability.

For your information the particulars of the other parties involved are as follows : Vehicle 2 xxxxxxxxxx


My concern is the following; does this mean he is trying to pursue me ? As far as I am concerned it is cut and dried - he turned into me. Anybody know what this letter means ?

User avatar
Wildduck
Posts: 1161
Joined: 24 Oct 2007, 7:28pm
Location: Southampton

Re: Police Taking No Action - Advice Please

Postby Wildduck » 8 Dec 2010, 9:32pm

I remember a letter like this following an accident I had some years ago.

Its basically giving you the information to pursue a civil case for damages if you wish to do so (the burden of proof in a civil court is lower than that required in a criminal case).

Good luck in whatever you choose. However, you are still free to lodge a complaint with the police if you feel that your case was not dealt with correctly.
Trice Q 2007 in inky blue (Quackers)
Bacchetta Corsa 26 ATT (The Mad Weeble)
Cube SL Team Cross (Rubberduckzilla)
Homebaked tourer (The Duck's Dream)
MTB mongrel (Harold the Flying Sheep)

thirdcrank
Posts: 28686
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Police Taking No Action - Advice Please

Postby thirdcrank » 8 Dec 2010, 9:32pm

I'd say it's a standard letter.

There are two aspects to something like this. The first is the criminal law which the police are supposed to deal with. Briefly, this is about investigating alleged offences (including bad driving) and if appropriate sending a file to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration. If somebody is convicted. The result is usually some sort of punishment.

The second aspect is the civil law, which is a private matter for those affected. This is about seeking 'compo' from whoever they feel is to blame - usually in a driving case because they were negligent.

This letter is saying that the police are taking the criminal investigation no further, but this is not a bar to you taking civil action. The other party will almost certainly have received something similar.

Have a look at this http://www.cyclistsdefencefund.org.uk/w ... en-a-crash

kwackers
Posts: 14006
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Police Taking No Action - Advice Please

Postby kwackers » 8 Dec 2010, 9:34pm

As wilduck says it's nothing, just telling you they're not going to take it further.

If you were injured or the bike in any way damaged you should have put a claim through via his insurers. Still not too late.

(Oh! Thirdcrank beat me to it - have a look at his link though!)

aprildavy
Posts: 247
Joined: 3 May 2010, 11:48am

Re: Police Taking No Action - Advice Please

Postby aprildavy » 8 Dec 2010, 11:06pm

Unfortunately the key point in the police reply is "and any available evidence for court purposes"

Basically, if there are no independent witnesses it will be your word against his and the court will find it impossible to simply believe one or other party. The other party may invent a complete cock and bull story about how you were in collision with him and it will be impossible for a court to determine the truth.

It doesn't stop you claiming against his insurers but it is all cost and time. You have to weigh up if it is really worth it. In this case it sounds like the police have determined that there is little prospect of a conviction which they are not going to get unless they can PROVE he was driving dangerously or without due care and attention.

kwackers
Posts: 14006
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Police Taking No Action - Advice Please

Postby kwackers » 8 Dec 2010, 11:16pm

aprildavy wrote:Unfortunately the key point in the police reply is "and any available evidence for court purposes"

Basically, if there are no independent witnesses it will be your word against his and the court will find it impossible to simply believe one or other party. The other party may invent a complete cock and bull story about how you were in collision with him and it will be impossible for a court to determine the truth.

It doesn't stop you claiming against his insurers but it is all cost and time. You have to weigh up if it is really worth it. In this case it sounds like the police have determined that there is little prospect of a conviction which they are not going to get unless they can PROVE he was driving dangerously or without due care and attention.

If you can persuade a "no win no fee" solicitor to take your case then it'll only cost you a bit of time, if you can't then you've probably not a lot of chance of winning anyway so should probably walk away.
Whilst a positive result from the police would almost guarantee a win, their decision not to prosecute is a long way from failing to extract recompense from his insurance company.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28686
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Police Taking No Action - Advice Please

Postby thirdcrank » 9 Dec 2010, 8:23am

I'll offer another of my tales.

Almost 20 years ago, somebody who had been in a collision with an evasive and elusive driver wrote a letter to the police in Bradford expressing his disappointment that the police had not been able to lay their hands on the driver after almost a year. This was treated as an informal complaint and I copped for going to see him. A quick check revealed that the driver was either never in or never answered the door and all sorts of ruses by a very keen officer had failed to winkle him out or pin him down. Although he was locally quite well known, he had not been seen since the collision.

When I spoke to the letter writer, he was not complaining about the police at all, but frustrated that the system did not create powers for dealing with such people. He felt that the police should have been able to break the door down. He went on to explain that his insurance company had obtained an undefended judgment in the county court against the other driver - easy because he never replied to anything, and civil proceedings work in quite a different way to criminal cases. Of course, getting the judgment wasn't the same as getting the money because a judgment has to be enforced. Apparently the local solicitor instructed by his insurers was in the process of sending the bailiffs round. He seemed to get as much pleasure from the prospect of this happening as the hope of getting some money.

Incidentally there is a system for the MIB to cough up if the £££ cannot be recovered because a driver is uninsured or untraced.
http://www.mib.org.uk/Downloadable+Docu ... s+1999.htm

There's no substitute for professional legal advice. Anecdotes, including mine, are just anecdotes.

robertrabbit
Posts: 35
Joined: 27 Jul 2009, 10:03am
Location: Devon

Re: Police Taking No Action - Advice Please

Postby robertrabbit » 10 Dec 2010, 2:58pm

Thanks guys. I don't particularly wish to take any action against the other party. As far as I am concerned the bike wasn't damaged, I had the cut but it has healed with no lasting damage (as far as I know) and so am content to put it down to experience. My over-riding fear was that he was trying to blame me in order for his insurance to claim against me. I was cycling with another guy at the time who I met a couple of minutes earlier. I am going to try and track him down as he saw the incident (I did sit on the road for about 20 mins this morning as I have seen him a few times on the commute) and I am confident he will confirm the action that the driver took.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28686
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Police Taking No Action - Advice Please

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Dec 2010, 5:46pm

robertrabbit

Good luck with tracing the witness (and apologies for the detours off the beaten thread.) Good independent witnesses are invaluable but elusive. Some melt away from the scene because they don't want to get involved. Some give their details at the time then think better of it. Some turn out not to have been witnesses at all but like to feel important. In spite of some improvements, witnesses are still often treated very badly by the system and few who have gone through the experience once, are prepared to go through it a second time.

irc
Posts: 4637
Joined: 3 Dec 2008, 2:22pm
Location: glasgow

Re: Police Taking No Action - Advice Please

Postby irc » 11 Dec 2010, 7:26am

thirdcrank wrote: witnesses are still often treated very badly by the system and few who have gone through the experience once, are prepared to go through it a second time.


Yes, it's amazing when the police go to a a report of an assault in a crowded pub and find that every single one of the customers was in the toilet when the incident took place and didn't see anything.But the way the system treats witnesses it's not suprising.

http://nightjackarchive.blogspot.com/20 ... tness.html
No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

eileithyia
Posts: 7830
Joined: 31 Jan 2007, 6:46pm
Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Re: Police Taking No Action - Advice Please

Postby eileithyia » 11 Dec 2010, 7:53am

I agree the witness system is rubbish, I volunteered as a witness once, the hoops I jumped through, Had to make my statement 3 times to different parties, then i could not get the time off work.....
There were times I felt I was in the dock!
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

boris
Posts: 423
Joined: 5 Nov 2010, 1:58pm

Re: Police Taking No Action - Advice Please

Postby boris » 28 Dec 2010, 1:24pm

From what you have written it is unlikely that the insurance company would persuade a court that you were entirely at fault. Your injuries could have a monetary value applied as would happen if you were claiming compensation. It is likely that bodily injury comp would exceed the cost of the scratch on the car. The insurance clerks are likely to avoid provoking an argument that might well result in a sizable claim against them, although I have heard of cases where the injured victim got letters from the insurers intended to frighten him off claiming. An injury lawyer would be invaluable if there is a fight.

rower40
Posts: 385
Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 5:44pm
Location: Somewhere on the NCN

Re: Police Taking No Action - Advice Please

Postby rower40 » 30 Dec 2010, 12:07pm

boris wrote:An injury lawyer would be invaluable if there is a fight.

This suggests that the injury lawyers of your acquaintance have knuckle dusters, baseball bats and do evening work as nightclub bouncers. Lovely mental image! :mrgreen:
"Little Green Men Are Everywhere... ...But Mostly On Traffic Lights."

boris
Posts: 423
Joined: 5 Nov 2010, 1:58pm

Re: Police Taking No Action - Advice Please

Postby boris » 3 Jan 2011, 5:08pm

you can do a lot of damage with a fountain pen, one way or another.

spen666
Posts: 51
Joined: 23 Apr 2009, 10:54pm

Re: Police Taking No Action - Advice Please

Postby spen666 » 3 Jan 2011, 9:44pm

rower40 wrote:
boris wrote:An injury lawyer would be invaluable if there is a fight.

This suggests that the injury lawyers of your acquaintance have knuckle dusters, baseball bats and do evening work as nightclub bouncers. Lovely mental image! :mrgreen:



I've seen those PI boys - viscious b*st*rds