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Hi,

 

Recently I received a letter from the local force with an accusation of me going through a red light at a pedestrian crossing.

 

This letter was simply asking who was driving at the time.

 

However,

the very odd this about this letter was that it arrived within less than 32 hours of the supposed incident, 2nd class.

 

Of course,

I responded to say that I would have been driving at the time.

I then didn't hear anything further for 6-8 weeks,

until I got a call from an officer wanting to come to the house to discuss the incident.

 

Having spoken to the officer,

it turns out that he was the one who witnessed said offence while off duty but has a dash cam

(he tells me I actually braked for a yellow light and then took my foot off and went through on yellow).

 

Now,

to me it seems very odd that an off duty police officer witnessing and reporting an incident would also be the one dealing with it.

 

It very much feels like a conflict of interest and that he should be a witness only and that a different officer should progress it.

 

I also find it odd that the supposed offence was reported and a "who was driving letter" appeared so quickly.

 

To me this suggests that I did something other than go through a yellow light to upset the officer,

I suspect using the second lane of a dual carriage way to go round him (perfectly legal to do) could be the reason.

 

he came to the house to caution me and tell me that I should expect a court summons.

 

Does anyone feel that this is a conflict of interest and that the police officer is acting alone with an emotional response to something I'd done?

Is there anything I can do about it?

 

Also,

am I legally entitled to see the dashcam footage before pleading guilty/not guilty?

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Yellow means "stop, unless in doing do you would likely cause an accident or if you had already passed the stop line".

 

Have you received a summons / single justice procedure document?.

If so, what (exactly) is the alleged offence?. Ideally you should try and find out what is being alleged (red light or yellow light) as if the light was yellow you may have the defence of not being able to stop safely in time.....

 

It would be up to the CPS if they wished to rely on the dashcam footage, or just the police officer's testimony. The dashcam was the same as a dashcam that you or I would have, unlike the camera in an official police vehicle.

If they wished to enter it in evidence then the CPS would have to disclose it in the list of evidence they wished to rely on.

 

In terms of "should the same police officer investigate" and "he should be a witness only and that a different officer should progress it.", if another officer had to investigate every time an officer witnessed an incident, it'd be chaos. If the officer had been on duty and had stopped you there would be no doubt ; the same officer would be dealing with it, so this on its own is a non-starter.

 

What were the details of the caution he gave when " he came to the house to caution me and tell me that I should expect a court summons."?

 

I'd wait and see if a summons / SJP notice appears ... and then go from there.

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Hi Bazzas,

 

 

I haven't received a summons as yet but the "Who was driving" stated that I had gone through a red light at a pedestrian crossing". It was the officer who then told me that it was a yellow light and that I had braked for it and then unbraked and went through on yellow. I did suggest to him that if that was the case, its highly likely that I deemed that I couldn;t have stopped in time safely and therefore chose to take my foot off the brake, to which he responded "You'll have to take that up with the courts".

 

The dashcam was in his own personal car so must be a home use one. I guess I'll have to wait for the summons. In which case, will that letter state the evidence? And again, am I entitled to see a copy of that before making a plea? if so, how to I go about obtaining it before the court case?

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I think you should make an official complaint about the conduct of this officer.

They can't use dashcam from their private vehicle when they were off duty at the time.

 

The conduct of this officer should be questioned by Police and for them to justify it.

 

Don't wait until you get a summons.

We could do with some help from you.

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Hmmm, I'm not so sure about that one.

 

A police officer is a police officer 24/7 on duty or off.

 

 

Whilst the use of a (private) dashcam might be unusual it's certainly not unheard of,

ultimately the (alleged) offence has been witnessed by a police officer even if you discount the dashcam.

It most certainly wouldn't be any kind of misconduct.

Please note that my posts are my opinion only and should not be taken as any kind of legal advice.
In fact, they're probably just waffling and can be quite safely and completely ignored as you wish.

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I was told by a Police Officer that they have to be careful even on duty,

if they witness any offence while working alone.

 

The Officer would have to fully comply with their conduct rules in this situation and i don't believe private dashcam can be used in the way it was.

We could do with some help from you.

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I think you should make an official complaint about the conduct of this officer. They can't use dashcam from their private vehicle when they were off duty at the time.

 

The conduct of this officer should be questioned by Police and for them to justify it.

 

Don't wait until you get a summons.

 

 

Can't say I agree with you on that one. The CPS can use the footage from the camera same as they can use footage from CCTV cameras, ATM cameras, mobile phone footage of crimes. It's all the same thing.

 

What I do find strange is that the officer felt the need to come to your house personally to talk to you, especially after you already received a letter in the post about it. Were you given anything to sign? A process book or FPN? If not what was the purpose of his visit? Must be a tragic officer. Very strange for someone to go to all this for someone going though a yellow light when they were off duty!!

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The CPS can use the footage from the camera same as they can use footage from CCTV cameras, ATM cameras, mobile phone footage of crimes.

 

Indeed, dash cam footage was key in this prosecution: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-39706454/force-gains-first-dashcam-prosecution

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Yellow light, off duty officer, personal visit???

He's having a laugh.

Tell him that you recall the incident whereby a car (his) had been tailgating you and you couldn't have stopped safely at the yellow light.

I agree that a complaint should be made.

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The driver in that footage is a proper mug!

With so many dashcams about and people taking pleasure in screwing others, overtaking like that was a bad move and very dangerous too.

Imagine if the driver on the car turning left had not understood his intentions and turned...

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Tell him that you recall the incident whereby a car (his) had been tailgating you and you couldn't have stopped safely at the yellow light.

 

Let me see if I've got this straight in my own mind. You're advising the OP to (potentially) lie?

 

So that if it goes to court and if the dashcam footage is admitted as evidence, the OP could possibly be convicted of perjury instead of a minor traffic light offence.

 

That can't be right surely?

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Please note that my posts are my opinion only and should not be taken as any kind of legal advice.
In fact, they're probably just waffling and can be quite safely and completely ignored as you wish.

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Yellow light, off duty officer, personal visit???

He's having a laugh.

Tell him that you recall the incident whereby a car (his) had been tailgating you and you couldn't have stopped safely at the yellow light.

I agree that a complaint should be made.

 

You talk some crap sometimes.

Amber light. Its an offence to drive through it. Read here

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/light-signals-controlling-traffic

 

A cop is still a cop, on duty or off.

He witnessed a criminal offence, and when back in uniform, pursued it.

 

Dash cam is perfectly legal to use as evidence in ANY court proceedings or prosecution.

Whether the judge allows it is a different matter.

 

And finally, you state that he should lie, to a cop taking notes, on an official visit? Are you serious?

 

Maybe the personal visit was just to make a point,

and attitudes were not to his liking,

lessons were not being learned,

so the cop though, screw it, see you in court.

 

Essentially, the driver broke the law (if the cop and dash cam are to be believed) and he needs to deal with it if it goes to court.

 

To the OP, I would seriously ignore King.

 

Your defence could be on the grounds that you tried to stop and it was unsafe to do so,

but if they watch the cam footage and you clearly had plenty of time and slammed on and then went through anyway,

you might find this worse than running a red light.

Thats a bit of careless driving there.

 

 

Maybe even dangerous if other road users were close enough to be affected by your driving.

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Let me see if I've got this straight in my own mind. You're advising the OP to (potentially) lie?

 

So that if it goes to court and if the dashcam footage is admitted as evidence, the OP could possibly be convicted of perjury instead of a minor traffic light offence.

 

That can't be right surely?

 

Welcome to the world as king sees it.

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Thats a it of careless driving there. Maybe even dangerous if other road users were close enough to be affected by your driving.

 

Careless driving v. Driving without due care & attention relies on whether other road users being affected occurred.

 

Careless v. Dangerous driving doesn't rely solely on whether other road users were affected.

An individual could be charged with dangerous driving even if they were the only one exposed to danger.

 

Careless : below the standard of the carefully & competent driver.

Dangerous driving : far below the standard of a careful & competent driver [and it would be clear to a careful & competent driver that it would be dangerous]

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You can laugh, but eventually someone will be gullible enough to listen to your bulls**t and land themselves in more trouble. Whilst you sit back lolling at them.

 

Is anyone ever being convicted of passing an amber light?

Who can really judge if it is safe to stop or not?

Only the actual driver of the car can make that judgement in the split second it takes for the lights to go from green to amber.

I too think that this pc got upset for some other reasons and is after a personal vendetta, anyone with half a brain wouldn't care about a 50/50 non offence.

If it was a red light i would understand, but yellow is a bit strange.

Op, do you drive a nice car?

Some people are jealous of others and this might be the case.

You said you overtook him on double carriageway, did he show any form of anger at being passed?

Now seriously I would ask to see the footage in order to judge what's there.

I don't know if they'll let you have it or not, but it seems unfair that someone can be prosecuted for this.

What if you didn't remember the event?

Do they have to show the video to you before you enter a plea?

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More dangerous sometimes to stop suddenly on a amber light. You have to make a judgement call.

 

I can't see the Police backing the conduct of their officer in this case, if they have not gone through the correct process. Hence why a complaint should be made and a supervising officer can then see what has happened.

 

Shame that Oldbill does post to CAG very often, as he would know more about this.

We could do with some help from you.

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Hi All,

 

 

Many thanks for your responses...There's some questions in there so i'll answer them.

 

 

I actually don't recall the alleged incident, certainly nothing of note or consequence springs to mind.

I see a lot of bad and slow drivers on the stretch and so I can only think that I've simply used the 2nd lane to go around them (which me and many many other drivers do) and that he's taken offence at it.

 

 

I do drive a nice car yes.

 

 

The visit was to "have a chat" at which point he cautioned me and told me to expect a summons. Not sure if this is standard practice?!?

 

 

There's one question I could really do with understand though is if I do receive a summons, am I legally entitled to review the dashcam footage before entering a plea? I am wondering if he's chancing that I don't challenge it?

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Hi All,

 

 

Many thanks for your responses...There's some questions in there so i'll answer them.

 

 

I actually don't recall the alleged incident, certainly nothing of note or consequence springs to mind.

I see a lot of bad and slow drivers on the stretch and so I can only think that I've simply used the 2nd lane to go around them (which me and many many other drivers do) and that he's taken offence at it.

 

 

I do drive a nice car yes.

 

 

The visit was to "have a chat" at which point he cautioned me and told me to expect a summons. Not sure if this is standard practice?!?

 

 

There's one question I could really do with understand though is if I do receive a summons, am I legally entitled to review the dashcam footage before entering a plea? I am wondering if he's chancing that I don't challenge it?

 

Don't be put off by some of the negative comments above, about off duty Police and private dashcam evidence.

 

You seem to be waiting for the summons and then to respond. That is going to mean defending at Magistrates, when no doubt you can ask to see the Dash cam footage in advance.

 

If it were me, i would be challenging it now, by making a complaint. You might then have no summons to deal with.

 

Many years ago i had an issue with an officer over a driving offence ( only one in over 30 years driving). They had made a mistake with the information. I complained about it , spoke to the officer and it was withdrawn. Sonetimes if you go about these issues in the right way and are not intimidated, you will succeed.

 

You would be doing the Police a favour by complaining, so they can decide whether they want to pursue it or not and possibly save time and money.

We could do with some help from you.

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See, this is the problem I have. I'm a law abiding citizen but have very little faith in the police these days.

 

 

So I'm really here trying to gauge what my options are. I certainly don't believe I've done anything to endanger pedestrians or other motorists and don't believe that I could have gone through an amber light that was verging red. If I have gone through on Amber, I would have deemed it that it was safer to go through than to stop (The officer has said I braked for the yellow light but then took my foot off the brake and went through which surely would corroborate this)

 

 

So really what i'm trying to ascertain is, has the officer done anything wrong, out of the ordinary or unorthodox that I could make a formal complaint about?

Whether it be:

 

 

* Processing the accusation so quickly that he must have jumped the queue. In all likelihood, he went straight into the station at the time and opened the case

* Handling the case himself even though he is the witness while off duty

* Visiting my house

* Refusing me access to the video (I used the local police website to contact him and request a copy of it)

 

 

So at which point, can I make a complaint or is there anyone in the force I can speak to to understand if its being processed correctly? I'm also afraid that police forces can be like an old boys club where if you make a complaint against on, you end up with a target on your back.

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See, this is the problem I have. I'm a law abiding citizen but have very little faith in the police these days.

 

 

So I'm really here trying to gauge what my options are. I certainly don't believe I've done anything to endanger pedestrians or other motorists and don't believe that I could have gone through an amber light that was verging red. If I have gone through on Amber, I would have deemed it that it was safer to go through than to stop (The officer has said I braked for the yellow light but then took my foot off the brake and went through which surely would corroborate this)

 

 

So really what i'm trying to ascertain is, has the officer done anything wrong, out of the ordinary or unorthodox that I could make a formal complaint about?

Whether it be:

 

 

* Processing the accusation so quickly that he must have jumped the queue. In all likelihood, he went straight into the station at the time and opened the case

* Handling the case himself even though he is the witness while off duty

* Visiting my house

* Refusing me access to the video (I used the local police website to contact him and request a copy of it)

 

 

So at which point, can I make a complaint or is there anyone in the force I can speak to to understand if its being processed correctly? I'm also afraid that police forces can be like an old boys club where if you make a complaint against on, you end up with a target on your back.

 

I think you may come from a profession where you have tick x number of boxes before you can take certain actions.

 

Remember you are an ordinary member of the public and you are not required to know every aspect of Police procedures.

 

When i made a complaint, i simply spoke to a Sargeant at the local station and he put me in touch with the officer who stopped me. I then had a reasonable conversation with the officer and he withdrew it. I did say that if necessary, i would have to escalate the complaint to his supervisory officer and he said it was not necessary, as he was withdrawing it, because i had pointed out what the problem was.

 

You have made points in your last post, which you need to put to the Police. This is a very unusual situation and needs to be considered by the Police before they take it further.

We could do with some help from you.

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Weirdest point is that he visited your house.

He shouldn't need to do that in normal circumstances.

So you drive a nice car, regularly overtake from middle lane and let me guess... you are good looking.

I find the officer behaviour quite creepy and I would follow uncle's advice and complain .

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