How to complain about bad driving.

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
thirdcrank
Posts: 26887
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Mar 2015, 2:57pm

LD

I expect shootist will be along in due course to answer for himself. In the meantime, I'd be interested to hear your own detailed suggestions on how to get a complaint of bad driving investigated by the police and I'm sure others would be too.

As I've posted more than once before, Martin Porter QC had to write personally to the then Director of Public Prosecutions, Queen's Counsel to Queen's Counsel before he got the police and CPS to take action on a complaint. I mention this to rebut in advance any suggestion that everything is OK in this regard.

Highkicker79
Posts: 136
Joined: 15 Apr 2012, 6:12pm
Location: UK

Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby Highkicker79 » 5 Mar 2015, 11:24am

Ok, so I tried to follow the instructions from the opening poster to report a recent very near miss. This may vary depending on the regional Police force you're in but I'm London so I'm specifically talking about the Metropolitan Police.

1. Assuming you have video evidence of the incident (prefereably from both front and rear cameras), ensure you have your own copies of the video on your PC and other locations. Ensure these are the full unedited copies.
2. Edit the video so they a cropped to show the incident only. Ensure you have sufficient video before and after the incident to give context (about a 1 minute either side should be more than enough).
3. Copy the edited video files onto a CD/DVD. Ensure the video file names have your name, date of incident and location in it (as this will ensure they match the report you will fill in later). Also, ensure the disc is written with the same information date of incident, your name and location.
4. Put the disc into a card board sleeve so it's protected.
5. As soon as possible (preferably same day, or at least the next day), go to a Police station and ask for a Self Reporting Form (Form 207). You can also download the form from here: Form 207
7. Filling in the form takes a few minutes so it's worth filling it there and then.
8. If it's a near miss then you only need to fill in section 4.
9. If it's clear in the video what happened then I'm fairly brief for question D. And for question G, I simply make reference to the included video.
10. Attach the disc using a paper clip to the form and give it to the police station.

The police station may give you a slip of paper with a number to ring to follow up and say you'll be informed in 10 working days. The number on the paper is 0207 7230 1199, however I found this next to useless as you get passed around to various people who don't seem to know who to speak to. After wasting 30 minutes on the phone, I think I managed to find the right department to speak to:

It's the Evidence and Review department. Who can be contacted on the numbers:
0207 230 1350 or
0207 230 1010

(again this is for the Met Police so this'll differ and hopefully a lot more straight forward if you have a different police force for your area).

If it's just a near miss, then it is indeed true that a Notice Of Intended prosecution must be sent to the driver within 14 days of the incident.

11. So after about 3 working days of submitting the form, contact the Evidence and Review department on the numbers above. If they've received your form then they'll be able to find it using your name, incident date and the location of the incident. If they haven't received it then ring the following day until they have.
12. Once they have received it, ask them for the reference number so you can make a note of this (easier to make reference to it in future).
13. Ask them if a NIP will be sent to the driver.

The person I initially spoke to was misinformed. They said that a NIP didn't need to be sent out and that they could be brought to prosecution any time up to 6 months from the incident. I specifically asked whether this was the case even for a near miss where there was no actual collision and they said with 100% confidence that this was the case and they had been doing their job for 20 years. After hearing this, I then posted on the forums here and was then told this was wrong by thirdcrank (thank you for the clarification). Armed with this information, I then rang the person back to then explain that they were wrong, when they continued to tell me I was wrong, I requested the name of his manager and spoke to the manager directly who confirmed that a NIP would need to be sent out in 14 days. I explained to them the misinformation I was given by the previous officer and the manager said they would inform correct that staff member's understanding.

My first attempt, I did not supply a CD, I simply gave the YouTube URL's to the video link. It was absolutely crazy but many days were wasted because there is only 1 PC in the whole department that has access to the Internet and even then, not everyone has access to use it. They need to get the specific people on that specific PC to download it to a disc so that it can be viewed by other officers on the other PCs (hence, including the discs with video footage with the report saves a huge amount of time for them). When I "lightly" moaned about how long the whole process was taking and it was at risk of then going over the 14 days for a NIP to be sent out, I was then told that it's because there are huge amounts of reports from people and due to budget cuts and whatnot, they struggle to keep on top of it all. Interestingly, I was told there's one or two cyclists who flood them with reports (I was told about 20 incidents a day)...seems like an exaggeration but who knows.

Anyway, in summary, if I was to report a near miss or other form of dangerous driving where no collision was involved I would do this:
1. Get the video on to a DVD
2. Fill in Form 207 and attach the DVD to the form
3. After 3 working days, keep chasing up until they confirm they are sending out the NIP or they feel there is insufficient evidence.

If a NIP is sent out, then there's no point stressing about it. They may not get prosecuted but the fact they have received a NIP could help buck up their ideas from trying something similar in future (in which case that's a success in itself).

Sorry if the above isn't quite explained very well. It's a mix of my own experience as well as my recommendations on what to do based off my own experience.

However, the thing I really do agree with is that there's no point capturing video evidence of an innocent if all you're going to do is moan on forums. Give the Police a chance to do what they can. It may not yield the result you want but the more people who report, the more it will send a message to the Police that more resourcing is needed to tackle these issues.

Also, I am strong believer that the more cyclists that use cameras, the more drivers become conscious that they might get caught doing something they shouldn't be doing. Rather than taking a risk knowing they'd get away with it, the effect is that drivers will drive like they should do according to the highway code. Therefore, riding with a camera is not just for your own safety but it also raises the safety for the whole cycling community.

Hope it helps.

irc
Posts: 4332
Joined: 3 Dec 2008, 2:22pm
Location: glasgow

Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby irc » 5 Mar 2015, 12:58pm

Lance Dopestrong wrote:For example, dangerous driving itself is not a criminal offence, it's a motoring offence,


Disagree. Motoring offences are criminal offences.

There is civil law and criminal law. The police don't enforce civil laws. As the govt website shows the Criminal Courts deal with most motoring offences (because they are crimes).

https://www.gov.uk/courts

niggle
Posts: 3200
Joined: 11 Mar 2009, 10:29pm
Location: Cornwall, near England

Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby niggle » 20 Jul 2015, 1:13pm

Just found this thread. I am in the process of complaining to the police about a severe left hook by a white van that happened last Tuesday afternoon. It is the first incident which I feel merits reporting since I got the camera about 5 months ago. Also it is a bit of a test to see what the attitude of Devon and Cornwall police is to this kind of thing.

I made a report on line that evening and have an appointment at Redruth Police Station at 6.30pm. I am going to take the camera with original micro sd card with me, with the full 30 minute recording, with an adaptor for the micro sd to fit in a standard SD card slot as found on most lap tops. I can also direct them to the uploaded edited version on Youtube, which is currently resricted to private viewing so only viewable via my log in. I don't have time to copy it to a CD- hopefully we will be able to view the full version in fast forward so they can see that there was no previous contact with the vehicle before the incident.

I will report back re the response from the police.

irc
Posts: 4332
Joined: 3 Dec 2008, 2:22pm
Location: glasgow

Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby irc » 20 Jul 2015, 9:05pm

A helmet cam incident ended up in court in Scotland. Not guilty.

http://www.magnatom.net/2015/06/my-day-in-court.html

Another 2 cases for dangerous driving got as far as court before being dismissed. One on the day, the other the day before.

http://www.magnatom.net/2015/06/the-fai ... stice.html

thirdcrank
Posts: 26887
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Sep 2016, 12:09pm


Shootist
Posts: 537
Joined: 20 Sep 2012, 8:50pm
Location: Derby

Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby Shootist » 10 Sep 2016, 6:40pm

I seem to have missed this and it's far too late for it to matter, but, just for the record... :roll: :roll:

Lance Dopestrong wrote:The original post is riddled with errors, technical, procedural, and frankly moral.
For example, dangerous driving itself is not a criminal offence,


It is a criminal offence. Have you studied the law?

Lance Dopestrong wrote: it's a motoring offence, although any particular individual act in this regard could be a criminal offence in its own right (eg, manslaughter).


What on earth are you trying to say? That is nonsense.

Lance Dopestrong wrote: When you give legal advice you're liable for the consequences,


Only if you are doing so as a professional. You really don't understand the way the law works. And you appear to be giving legal advice too.

Lance Dopestrong wrote:so unless you're a solicitor you shouldn't give it.


I don't give legal advice in any event, I give opinions on legal issues. Anyone who acts solely upon legal advice, including mine, obtained from a public internet forum is completely deranged. Or possibly a Freeman of the Land, which is much the same thing.

Lance Dopestrong wrote: If you're a punter you shouldn't take legal advice from anyone not qualified and without sufficient liability cover.


At last, something that is accurate.

Lance Dopestrong wrote:And sweeping generalisations about what police officers may or may not care about does nothing to engender us as a user group to the prosecution authorities.


So? endearing yourselves to prosecution authorities will make no difference whatsoever, neither should it. And what if they're true? Telling the truth about an incompetent organisation doesn't endear anyone doing so to that organisation. Does this mean that the truth may never be told?

Lance Dopestrong wrote:Another example... in court, the only evidence you should refer to is that presented by the prosecution and declared to the defence prior to the trial.


Not automatically true.

Lance Dopestrong wrote: You must ask the courts permission before referring to such material to refresh your memory, and they may decline that request (it does happen).


True, but the witness will more often be guided and told that they must not read any notes verbatim but only refer to them to refresh their memory.

Lance Dopestrong wrote: Ask the prosecution lawyer to be permitted to read your statement on the morning of the trial to try and avoid the need to refer to it while giving your evidence.


Good advice.

Lance Dopestrong wrote: Every single piece of evidence you retain must be declared as "unused material" on the case file MG6. This is a legal requirement, and if you don't you will sink the case and bring great discredit on the officer in the case.


Not quite. The police must declare unused material in most cases but there are exceptions. As the 'you' seems directed at the witness, the witness need declare anything unless asked to do so, and a failure to mention anything of consequence may bring discredit upon the witness, and neither will the omission by either the officer or any witness necessarily 'sink the case'. It would depend upon what was omitted and why.

Lance Dopestrong wrote:Factually incorrect on many points, and engendering unnecessary conflict on the other. Not a good start.


I obviously disagree, but, do tell, what would you offer by way of advice, or if you prefer, opinion? Or should us non police types just blindly accept what the police say and never discuss opinions upon the law because we're not worthy?
Last edited by Graham on 10 Sep 2016, 6:49pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: minor descriptive amendment.
Pacifists cannot accept the statement "Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.", despite it being "grossly obvious."
[George Orwell]

Shootist
Posts: 537
Joined: 20 Sep 2012, 8:50pm
Location: Derby

Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby Shootist » 10 Sep 2016, 6:44pm

One thing anybody reporting an incident to the police should be aware of is that when you telephone you are most unlikely to be talking to a police officer. It will much more likely be a civilian aid who has no training in the law and will often try to mark off a call in a manner least likely to require needing anything actually doing.
Pacifists cannot accept the statement "Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.", despite it being "grossly obvious."
[George Orwell]

reohn2
Posts: 30967
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby reohn2 » 11 Sep 2016, 4:18pm

Shootist wrote:One thing anybody reporting an incident to the police should be aware of is that when you telephone you are most unlikely to be talking to a police officer. It will much more likely be a civilian aid who has no training in the law and will often try to mark off a call in a manner least likely to require needing anything actually doing.


Thanks for that,which is pretty much kind of what I suspected having been fobbed off or nothing been done on more than one occasion.
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Shootist
Posts: 537
Joined: 20 Sep 2012, 8:50pm
Location: Derby

Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby Shootist » 13 Sep 2016, 8:55am

reohn2 wrote:
Shootist wrote:One thing anybody reporting an incident to the police should be aware of is that when you telephone you are most unlikely to be talking to a police officer. It will much more likely be a civilian aid who has no training in the law and will often try to mark off a call in a manner least likely to require needing anything actually doing.


Thanks for that,which is pretty much kind of what I suspected having been fobbed off or nothing been done on more than one occasion.

OK, it's not cycling, but here's a tale that shows indifference is not limited to cyclists.

http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/mum-left-petrified-after-police-tell-her-to-knock-on-door-of-suspected-thief/story-29708365-detail/story.html


A mum from Derby was left "absolutely petrified" when she tracked down a suspected thief, only to be told by police: "Knock on his door."
Sara Gration called 101 after an app on her mobile phone emailed her to say her iPad, stolen just hours before, had been switched on at a house in Osmaston Park Road in Derby.
But, when she told them about the "hot lead", police said they did not have anyone who could go and asked to her to go herself. The 37-year-old said: "I couldn't believe it, I was asked to turn detective myself and was sent to a house where I could have been put in danger. I appreciate that having your car broken into isn't exactly crime of the century and that it isn't a priority for them.

Superintendent Tracy Harrison said: "We apologise unreservedly to Ms Gration. The advice she received on Friday was wrong and further training will be given to the call handler who dealt with her call.
"We should never advise anyone to put themselves in a dangerous situation to recover stolen items. An officer should have been allocated to make the inquiries that Ms Gration was asked to do.
"We were made aware of this mistake on Sunday and since then have sent an officer to make inquiries. Unfortunately we haven't yet recovered the iPad."
Pacifists cannot accept the statement "Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.", despite it being "grossly obvious."
[George Orwell]

reohn2
Posts: 30967
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: How to complain about bad driving.

Postby reohn2 » 13 Sep 2016, 10:11am

^ Unbelievable! :?
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