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Not sure how to proceed after hit and run accident in private car park.


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Hi everyone, 

On monday someone hit my car whilst trying to park, causing a decent amount of damage on the bumper. Naturally I contacted the police and the people who managed the cctv for the site.

There was blatant footage apparently of an individual hitting my car multiple times, and even getting out to check before driving off. Now the issue is because it happened in a private car park, not accessible to the public, the police can't prosecute. 

The security company have a copy of the footage as do the police, I think. I'd rather not go through insurance as I dont want my premium increasing anymore, even if it is a non-fault claim, and the damage is purely cosmetic.

 

Because of GDPR, I'm unable to get any copies of the footage, and therefore have no idea who hit my car so cant contact them (I was not in the footage, my car was parked empty)

. Is there anyway I can make a small claim for the damaged caused to my car, and use a court proceeding to obtain the footage.

I honestly have no idea how to go about this, it's a bizarre situation.

Thanks in advance everyone

P.s, im not sure this is the right place to post this so if it isn't, many apologies.

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  • dx100uk changed the title to Not sure how to proceed after hit and run accident in private car park.

Who was it who is holding the copies of the footage? How did you attempt to get hold of it from them and what was the actual reply?

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Have you asked the police whether the footage shows the vehicle registration number? Once you have it ask the DVLA for the Registered Keeper details. You have "reasonable cause" to ask for them - "finding out who was responsible for an accident" is the first example in the list.

Request information about a vehicle or its registered keeper from DVLA - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Who has told you GDPR prevents details of the vehicle being given to you? 

 

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Thanks for both of your replies

1)a security company who manages the cctv for the site has copies which they’ve said they’ve saved. West Yorkshire police also have a copy, the security company sent it to them before the investigation was shut

2) I contacted both the police and the security company, via calling them. Both responses were because I’m not in the actual footage they can’t give it to me, because of GDPR and data protection. 
 

3) I did ask whether the footage actually shows anything, to both parties. The security company did tell me exactly what the person did and that they are identifiable, but that’s it. The police didn’t give me anything. 
 

4) The police and security company actually both told me they can’t give anything because of GDPR. But I actually also contacted the information commissioners office and they also said it would be difficult to get the footage because I’m not actually in it.

 

Ethel street the issue with the link you sent is that it is solely dependant on getting the registration plate of the vehicle you want, which I can’t get because no one will give it to me

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Do you know for sure whether the CCTV shows the registration number of the car that caused the damage? That seems a key question to me.

If the registration number cannot be read on the CCTV then even if you did get the recording you wouldn't be much further forward. 

I understand that the DVLA link only works if you have the registration number, hence my question about whether the CCTV actually shows it. I posted the link to show that if/when you do get the reg number it should be relatively simple to get from there to identifying the driver.

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First of all, the police are feeding you a line. Because it happened on private property is no reason to prosecute.

Why on earth do you believe this kind of stuff??? This is really what they told you?

You say that the driver hit your vehicle multiple times – how do you know?

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In response to Ethel street, yes im sure because the security company who’ve seen the footage 100% confirmed this and said the plate is clearly visible. 
 

In response to bankfodder I asked a lawyer who said the same thing the police said

ive also posted what I think it’s a relevant link, it’s what I first looked at

WWW.SLATERGORDON.CO.UK

 

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Who was the lawyer who gave you this unimaginative and unhelpful solution? I hope you didn't pay good money for this advice.

I think you should write to the police – you seem to be using the telephone, I have no idea why.

You should write to the chief inspector administration of that particular station and you should tell them that on such and such a day at such and such a time that such and such a location you with a victim of criminal damage contrary to section 1 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971.

It's clear that if at least the damage was not caused deliberately, it was caused recklessly because there were multiple strikes against your vehicle. You have already informed the police and they have declined to deal with it because they said that as it was on private property they had no jurisdiction.
Clearly this is not the case. Although you understand very well that the police are under resourced, this case has been supported by compelling evidence. You are the victim of crime, you want a crime reference number and also you want access to the footage or at least access to the registration number the vehicle which it you – and which you have been told by more than one source is clearly visible on the video.

Keep the letter polite – but maintain your position. Send the letter by special next day delivery so you have a full record of it having been sent and having been received.

Similarly, send a letter to the company which holds the footage and tell that you have been the victim of crime that in a car park at XX location on XX date XX time, your vehicle was struck multiple times by a vehicle which then drove off.
Tell them that the matter has been reported to the police but clearly the circumstances here are that GDPR does not apply and you would be grateful if they would supply with the vehicle registration number of the person who hit you as clearly they committed an offence under the criminal damage act 1971.

Of course the company will knock you back – but you may as well get it on record that you did request information.

 

And by the way, if you really want to be cheeky and get their backs up, you could tell them to apply the chief inspectors daughter's test

Who is the lawyer who told you that nothing could be done? Did you pay them money

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Agree the private land issue is not relevant, as the land is open to the public for them to drive their vehicles on to it to park.  

I can understand the GDPR issue, as you are not in any of the CCTV footage. But your car number plate is showing ? and the number is connected to your personal information data. The whole point of number plates, is so it is possible to trace the registered keepers and also find out which Insurance company insures the vehicle. So if the number is showing, then arguably a case could be made under GDPR ?

Speak to your Insurance company about this and see if there is any legal cover or help line under your Insurance policy.

Also the MIB are really worth speaking to, as they are experts in this area. Link below

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Thank you all for the replies. There is something I did forget to mention and I am sorry. In response to unclebulgaria, the land is actually not accessible to members of the public. It's a private apartment building with underground parking that is only accessible by a fob that opens a shutter. This was mentioned by the officer I spoke to on the phone; the fact that it was not really accessible to the public and only accessible to tenants of the apartment block seemed to be the dealbreaker. Again sorry for not mentioning this, it is incredibly relevant. Regardless though, criminal damage is still criminal damage surely?

You raise a brilliant point that I didnt think of, regarding my number plate being visible and therefore me being identifiable. 

In response to you bankfodder, I didnt pay a penny im clued in enough to not to do that this soon. I wouldn't even be able to tell you their name, just some generic motor lawyer I googled. 

Compelling evidence is an understatement apparently, it was about as black and white as a zebra

I know it was hit multiple times because that's what the security guy who saw the footage said, im basing it off of his word in essence. 

I'm using the telephone simply because it ensures I'm not fobbed off, they pick up and they speak and I give them what for. As opposed to sending emails and getting ignored or short responses. Also the police don't actually have an email I'm aware of so I have just been using 101.

 

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Nothing in what you have just posted changes my earlier advice in terms of writing and alleging that you are the victim of crime – criminal damage under the Criminal Damage Act. 

 

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Then in that case ill get to drafting a letter

I will post the letter here before I send it, in case I make any errors.

In essence I'm asking the police to investigate this matter, as it falls under the criminal damage act, and as such the laws of data protection are not applicable. Therefore I would like them to re-open their investigation, provide me with a crime reference number, and also provide me with the cctv footage that they have.

Thank you very much everyone who has commented thus far, you are very kind.

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Start working on that and then post it up again

To the chief inspector.docx

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Incidentally, it seems to me that taking this approach of making an allegation of criminal damage is probably the only way that you're going to get the information you need. However, it's not guaranteed that you will succeed – but I haven't seen any other suggestions which have a better chance of working.
It's not exactly a long shot – but it may still be difficult. You may have to write more than one letter – but we will see how it goes.

Have you taken pictures of your own damage? What is the value of your damage?

 

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Just wondering about the signage in this "private" car park...

Are there the usual disclaimers?

"We accept no responsibility for damage to vehicles parked here" sort of stuff?

If the signage isn't there, inadequate or the terms are unfair, it could be a way of pressuring the landowner to get the footage / reg of the other vehicle?

I'm sure the landlord would think twice before inviting a claim on themselves...

A letter would need to be worded appropriately, obviously.

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I don't think there will be much power to do anything but it could be worth a bluff.

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I'm sure there must be a reason for this, but as I don't think it's been asked, I'll ask now to satisfy my own curiosity if nothing else.

If the carpark your car was in is private and only accessible via fob, then surely someone else in that apartment building must either be responsible themselves, or at the very least they must know the driver, even if they're not themselves aware of what happened?

Are the spaces in the carpark numbered and assigned to individual apartments? If they are, could you not ask the security guys which space the car that hit yours was attempting to occupy, and then from that approach the apartment owner in the hope they might furnish you with the person's details?

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Lot of messages, thank you all, I'll try work through them one by one. 

Bankfodder, so I have taken pictures yes, at the time if the accident. If needed im happy to post these. In terms of costs, it's up in the air. Eyeballing I would say between £200-£500. Depends a lot on if the parking sensors on the front have been damaged. They seem fine but who knows

Nickyboy, I'll post a pic of the signage below. They do say something but its a separate one off sign, you will see. The official looking one is all over the car park. 

theberengersniper, you are absolutely right, 99% chance the one who's guilty lives in the flat. They are numbered spots but not assigned. I have a spot I park in but not because it was assigned, just because I like the location of it, it's convenient.

They wouldn't give me anything anyway even if it was relevant, gdpr would probably apply.

I have reposted the letter, hopefully it's ok now. In terms of where its getting posted, should it just be the nearest police station to the location of the crime?

 

To the chief inspector.docx IMG_8128.pdf

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Further to some suggestions on here too, I contacted the ICO and the idea that my reg is in the footage therefore I am eligible to acquire it didn't really float with them. I was told it would be incredibly difficult. 

In terms of GDPR exemptions, insurance was one, as was the police, and finally a court order.

I also made the reluctant decision to notify my insurance company. They said they've requested the footage from the security company and the police, but also said it may be several weeks before they get anything, if ever. However the 'claim' is currently on hold, so I am not liable for my own excess, and at any point I can cancel and retain all my bonuses thankfully. If the doing it myself route does not work for whatever reason I thought it prudent to have a fallback.

Regardless though, I don't believe they should get away with this, even if I go down the insurance route. I will most definitely want to pursue damages from this scummy individual.

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Quote

obtained a copy of the CCTV from the XXX (please name who’s holding the CCTV footage) but in the ...

Do you think should fill in the blanks?

And also give the name and address of the company holding the CCTV footage. If possible get a reference number and give that to the police as well.
Warn the company that the police are taking an interest. In fact send them a copy of this letter.

Once again, don't hold your breath. It's a bit of a longshot. If you don't get a response in about 10 days then come back here. We might as well keep on trying and I would say that the nesting would be a complaint to your MP with a copy of this letter.

Let's see how it goes.

Meanwhile, monitor the car park for a vehicle with signs of damage and even paintwork from your own vehicle

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Okay if it's gone through the insurance company – then in a few weeks time – whenever they get hold of the footage, you will be able to send them an SAR was will produce the CCTV that you need.

Give it a bit longer and the insurance company will probably have obtained the details of the culprit and they may disclose it to you – maybe

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Oh yes sorry I completely forgot to put in the details of that, I was probably being over cautious in redacting personal info.

I have been keeping a eye on cars coming in for any suspicious ones

I'll play a waiting game for now and ill come back once I know more, in the meantime I will post this the letter to the police  

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Can you ask the security guard (who knows who it is) to pass them a message?.

"abc246 is looking for who damaged their car. Since no-one has approached them they've asked for the CCTV.
I've told them it cant be released to abc246 (GDPR),  but they've said that that the CCTV should be saved, and they've said they are going to their insurers' and the police (telling the police that as it was hit repeatedly, it is criminal damage [as done recklessly]),
The police or insurers will be able to request the CCTV, which has been saved now we are aware there was an incident, so the CCTV will likely come out in the end.

Up to you what you do, but thought you ought to know ........ "

the security guard might not wish to get involved, but if you can persuade them it'll be a lot less hassle for all if it can be sorted informally, they just might, to come out of it looking better to all...........

Edited by BazzaS
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