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ACPO's FPN vs. Court Summons guidelines being ignored?, Summons for doing 64mph in 50 zone
TaxDonkey
post Tue, 21 Oct 2014 - 20:42
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Hiya,

I've got a court summons for doing 64mph in a 50mph zone (dual carriageway, spotted by laser-wielding London Met cop). In the officer's 'witness' statement he states 'Traffic conditions were moderately light Weather conditions were good with excellent visibility."

My understanding is that ACPO have released guidelines regarding how the police deal with this offence:

Speed limit: 50 mph
ACPO charging threshold: 57 mph
Summons: 76 mph

It also states: Note that these are guidelines and that a police officer has discretion to act outside of them providing he acts fairly, consistently and proportionately.

If I look up the ACPO definitions of fairly, consistently and proportionately ( http://www.acpo.police.uk/documents/unifor...safer-roads.pdf ) the only explanation I can see for receiving a summons rather than a FPN is in the 'Consistency' section, 7.3:

"For instance, it might be appropriate to issue a summons for exceeding a speed limit at relatively low speeds over the relevant limit on roads near schools at certain times of day or when there are
adverse weather conditions, whereas a similar offence committed in the middle of the night might merit the issue of a fixed penalty notice"

Now, fair cop, I was speeding. But as the weather was fine and there are no stated reasons for aggravating circumstances in the officer's witness statement, why wasn't I just sent a FPN, rather than being summonsed, which is contrary to ACPO guideline recommendations? The fines are higher, there's a huge amount of hassle filling out their MC100 form and just dealing with the paperwork.

Are summons instead of FPNs, against the ACPO guidelines, a regular occurrence? Is the officer needing to fill some kind of quota of court summons? Can I complain to the London Met and maybe have a FPN issued instead?

Thanks in advance!

This post has been edited by TaxDonkey: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 - 12:53
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post Tue, 21 Oct 2014 - 20:42
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southpaw82
post Wed, 22 Oct 2014 - 14:55
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Anecdotal evidence from the thousands of speeding cases on here suggests they are normally followed. You can write to the police and ask but you can't force them to issue an FPN.


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Jlc
post Wed, 22 Oct 2014 - 15:36
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A FoI request could be made to get some overall statistics if the question(s) is asked correctly.


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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StationCat
post Wed, 22 Oct 2014 - 15:56
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Unfortunately, your only 'right' is to a court hearing. Both the Speed Awareness Curse and the Fixed Penalty options are at the discretion of the police - their is no entitlement in law to either.


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"Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things" - Isaac Newton
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squaredeal
post Wed, 22 Oct 2014 - 18:37
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QUOTE (StationCat @ Wed, 22 Oct 2014 - 16:56) *
Unfortunately, your only 'right' is to a court hearing. Both the Speed Awareness Curse and the Fixed Penalty options are at the discretion of the police - their is no entitlement in law to either.

Having said that, for an August offence within the SAC eligible threshold, the automated process should result in the SAC option. In the circumstances, it would be reasonable to ask the reason for the resultant summons rather than the lesser options.
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StationCat
post Wed, 22 Oct 2014 - 21:09
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QUOTE (squaredeal @ Wed, 22 Oct 2014 - 19:37) *
QUOTE (StationCat @ Wed, 22 Oct 2014 - 16:56) *
Unfortunately, your only 'right' is to a court hearing. Both the Speed Awareness Curse and the Fixed Penalty options are at the discretion of the police - their is no entitlement in law to either.

Having said that, for an August offence within the SAC eligible threshold, the automated process should result in the SAC option. In the circumstances, it would be reasonable to ask the reason for the resultant summons rather than the lesser options.

Indeed, a large number of forces / partnerships are using the national database system called Pentip which would automatically generate the SAC option. Does seem odd that it went straight to summons. Definately worth an enquiry to ask why.


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"Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things" - Isaac Newton
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TaxDonkey
post Wed, 29 Oct 2014 - 12:57
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QUOTE (squaredeal @ Wed, 22 Oct 2014 - 19:37) *
QUOTE (StationCat @ Wed, 22 Oct 2014 - 16:56) *
Unfortunately, your only 'right' is to a court hearing. Both the Speed Awareness Curse and the Fixed Penalty options are at the discretion of the police - their is no entitlement in law to either.

Having said that, for an August offence within the SAC eligible threshold, the automated process should result in the SAC option. In the circumstances, it would be reasonable to ask the reason for the resultant summons rather than the lesser options.

Thanks for the advice. Have sent an email to the CJU asking for an explanation of why I've been sent a summons rather than an FPN.

Quite a few of the (other) people on this board who have responded to my post seem to think 'discretion' is a synonym for 'whim' ;-)
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southpaw82
post Wed, 29 Oct 2014 - 13:46
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No, quite a few of the people don't agree with you that "guidelines" means "rules".


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The Rookie
post Thu, 30 Oct 2014 - 08:52
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It's plain English surely, a Guide tells you something you should, or would be advised to, do, a rule is something you MUST do.


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There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
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Council PCN's
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Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

PPC PCN's
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666
post Thu, 30 Oct 2014 - 09:46
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Thu, 30 Oct 2014 - 09:52) *
It's plain English surely, a Guide tells you something you should, or would be advised to, do, a rule is something you MUST do.


Not according to the Highway Code. where some rules are MUST and some are SHOULD.



This post has been edited by 666: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 - 09:47
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The Rookie
post Thu, 30 Oct 2014 - 10:59
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Did you have a point, that is a code, not a guide......so are you agreeing or disagreeing with me - I can't be sure. Or do I assume you are Captain Barbosa and a code becomes a vague guideline when it suites you?

This post has been edited by The Rookie: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 - 11:00


--------------------
There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
Rookies 1-0 Kent

Council PCN's
Rookies 1-0 Warwick
Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

PPC PCN's
Rookies 10-0 PPC's
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