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Advice please - accused of accident; no idea what it's about


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Grateful for any ideas/thoughts.

 

  • Got a letter from someone's insurance company claiming my involvement in an accident in a car park in Worcester on particular date/time. Wasn't in Worcester that day; haven't had an accident. Told them that in writing.
  • Then get Police notice of intended prosecution for not due care and attention in a supermarket car park in Cirencester on same date/time and Collision Accident Unit form. I was there at that date/time, but didn't have an accident, scrape, minor bump, road rage, nothing. I genuinely have no idea what I am supposed to have done. Told them all that in writing.
  • Then get letter from the same guy's Legal Insurers claiming involvement in an accident in Worcester, same date/time. Told them in writing I wasn't there and haven't had an accident.
  • Then get letter from my motor insurance saying same 3rd party claims involvement in an accident in a car park in Cirencester on same date/time, and enclosing a Claim Form for me to fill in. I replied in writing that I was there but didn't have any accident, don't know what it's about, declined to complete claim form (what would I put ?) and copied them all the other correspondence above.

Question - does anyone have any idea where I stand with the Police? Their form just asked me to confirm who was driving at the time (me) but gave no details at all about the reason for the not due care and attention and/or accident. Can/do they issue a Summons before they actually tell me the details of what it is I am supposed to have done ? And if they do, do I have no choice but to go to Court to defend myself against something I didn't do in the first place ? Or is there a step before a Summons where, having considered my reply (above) they either drop it or explain the details and take a a Witness Statement and only then decide on a Summons.

 

Regards, and thanks in advance for any advice, Mad Nick.

 

PS the only theory I can come up with is that I parked next to someone whose car was damaged by the previous occupant of "my" space, and he just assumes I was responsible.

Abbey £8370 settled 17 Apr 07

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It depends on the exact nature of the NIP/S172s you have received. some are quite tricky as they were drawn up with built in 'gotchas'. but you can respond with a stapled letter and write 'see attached' on the form. make sure to use staples though. denial for the ones you weren't there for of course. but you must supply the requested information to avoid any S.172 consequence so do it on a way that gives them what they want but denies the vehicle being there. That leaves two issues. the one where you car was there and three in one day from three locations. either you have been cloned multiple times of there is some data sharing going on in the world of dodgy insurance claims. Dodgy insurance claims is big business and I would not be surprise to find there is some degree of organisation involved. Fraud bells should go off with the police and the insurance companies. I would be tempted to send copies all three to to all three parties and tell them they can't all be right and that they need to talk to each other. plus a well worded letter to the fraud depts of all the involved insurance companies. and copy the lot to you own insurance companies fraud dept. Your case could be what they need to break a ring.

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Thanks. It says F705.doc bottom left and cites Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 : "without due care and attention" and "without reasonable consideration for other users of the road". Signed by "for the Chief Constable of Gloucestershire".

 

I doubt it's cloning. The Police quote Cirencester on a date/time when I was actually there, even if his insurance company and legal insurers say Worcester.

 

But what about the Police - basically, assuming they don't drop it based on my written reply that I was driving at the time but don't know what they're talking about, do they invite me in for a chat before they decide on whether to issue a Summons ? Should I go (would they just be fishing) ? Can I insist on details of the alleged incident in writing first ? That sort of aspect.

 

Regards

Abbey £8370 settled 17 Apr 07

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Hi Mad Nick,

 

The police will just be in the investigation phase at the moment. One of the first things they need to find out is the identity of the driver alleged to be involved.

 

You have not been charged with any offence yet. The police are likely to further their investigations, which may involve interviewing you.

 

It will be at the conclusion of their investigation that the decision to charge will be made. If they decide to, you will receive a summons.

 

It does appear that there has been some sort of confusion here which may be down to cloned plates, witnesses misreading number plates or fraudulent activity.

 

It may be worth reporting this to your insurance and possibly the police.

Warning: Freemen of the Land Operate here. Think twice before accepting 'legal advice'.

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Let the police work at their own pace, but it would be worth talking it over with the insurance company as suggested above. You are their customer after all and they should want to help.

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I would have thought that if a 3rd party is claiming you car damaged theirs the onus of proof is on them. If the police are involved have they asked to see the CCTV footage, if you have legal protection on your insurance they should take this up

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Thanks - that's all reassuring. I think I'll ask the Police Collision Administration Unit what is their intended next step. And while I'm at it, I'll point out that more than 14 days passed between the alleged incident (7 Jun) and the date on the NIP (30 Jun) which, I understand from a bit of Googling today, means they can't prosecute anyway. Not that I did anything !

 

Regards, Mad Nick

 

PS What's ironic about this is that about 2 years ago, I was the victim of a hit and run. I even had a witness. Although his insurance company coughed up to repair my car, he wasn't prosecuted - presumably because (I now realise) the Police Collision Admin unit (even more ironic, it's the same one !) didn't send him the NIP within 14 days. They've obviously "administrated" this one just as (in)effectively ! Note to self - if someone ever runs into me again, make damn sure the Police issue the other guy with a NIP within 14 days.

Abbey £8370 settled 17 Apr 07

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Dates were above - definitely >14 days. Yeah - I did confirm it's my car and I was driving but I declined to fill in their accident form and attached a note explaining why (ie I wasn't involved in an accident). Thanks everyone - all's clear now. Regards.

Abbey £8370 settled 17 Apr 07

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not sure they even need to serve a NIP where there has been an accident.

 

Quite correct, they don't.

The requirement of Section 1(1) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (to issue an NIP), does not apply in relation to an offence if at the time of the offence or immediately after it an accident occurs owing to the presence on a road of the vehicle in respect of which the offence was committed.

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Quite correct, they don't.

The requirement of Section 1(1) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (to issue an NIP), does not apply in relation to an offence if at the time of the offence or immediately after it an accident occurs owing to the presence on a road of the vehicle in respect of which the offence was committed.

 

No, this is not always so. Especially when it is a minor accident.

 

"This exemption applies only to an accident of which at the time the defendant was aware and so did not need a notice or warning to bring the circumstances likely to give rise to prosecution to mind." Halsbury

 

Bentley v Dickinson [1983] RTR 356:

 

The defendant, who reversed his car out of the drive of his house and collided with another vehicle parked in the roadway, was unaware that the accident had occurred. A police constable interviewed the defendant two-and-a-half hours later but did not give him either an oral or a written warning that he would be reported for the consideration of prosecution for any offence pursuant to section 179(2)(a) of the Road Traffic Act 1972 . Four days later he was seen by the same constable in relation to the same occurrence and was given an oral warning that he would be reported for driving without due care and attention contrary to section 3 of the Act of 1972. At his trial for contravening section 3 the justices were of opinion that, since the defendant was unaware of his involvement in an accident, compliance with the requirements of section 179(2) was necessary and because no summons and no notice of intended prosecution had been served within the 14 days as required section 179(2)(b) and © , they dismissed the information.

Warning: Freemen of the Land Operate here. Think twice before accepting 'legal advice'.

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Obliged mm69.

I have merely quoted Section 2(1) of the RTOA 1988 in its entirety.

The facts would of course be decided by the Court on the individual merits of a particular case, as they were in your quoted case.

 

It would be best practice for the police to ensure NIP's are served in every case within the 14 day period, accident or not.

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  • 1 month later...

I thought I'd update - might be useful for others. I was left until mid Sept not being given any clue about what I was actually supposed to have done (just the Police 'due care and attention'). I was then told, when they arranged the interview under caution that "they had it all on CCTV and they had two witnesses" but they still wouldn't say what "it" was. I only found out the morning of the interview when my insurance company told me - basically that I'd hit an empty car when I parked next to it.

 

I won't bore you with all the details, but don't believe a word they tell you and think carefully about what/who actually saw what - did they just have a general view or did they actually see the point of impact.

 

Turns out they only had one witness (a bloke who'd obvioulsy objected to my two attempts to reverse park) and was on the 'wrong' side actually to see any impact - he was just assuming I caused the dent on the adjacent car door. And ditto the CCTV - the stills just showed me parking nowhere near the other car and, again, were on the 'wrong' side to see any actual contact. The Police Officer hadn't actually seen the moving image and he couldn't say whether they'd checked the CCTV tape from the point the other car parked - because I'm convinced another car did it entering that space before me. Lo and behold, they've decided to drop the 'due care and attention' charge - I bet they've inspected the tape properly and are now after the actual offender. Which just leaves the insurance company - I just worry they'll settle regardless of what I say. We shall see.

Abbey £8370 settled 17 Apr 07

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Police will often be very difficult to deal with during interview.

 

It makes the decision whether to opt for a no comment interview or not a lot harder.

Warning: Freemen of the Land Operate here. Think twice before accepting 'legal advice'.

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Police will often be very difficult to deal with during interview.

 

It makes the decision whether to opt for a no comment interview or not a lot harder.

Which is why I would only rarely recommend that anyone voluntarily attends an interview. Genuine, entirely truthful people find themselves being verbally backed into corners when there is actually no evidence to prove that they deserve to be there. The OP was fortunate that the CCTV was as useless as it was, from the police perspective.

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