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Requested evidence not received
martinj66
post Wed, 9 Mar 2011 - 16:11
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Hi,
My daughter (aged 17 and been driving since Aug 2010) has been sent a summons to appear in court for the alledged offence of driving at 84 mph in a temporary speed limit of 50mph. I have also received a summons to attend due to her age. This was imposed due to ongoing roadworks.
The date of the offence was 28/12/2010. The NIP arrived on the 7th Jan 2011, dated 5th Jan. She replied under s172 and confirmed that she was driving the vehicle. The summons arrived on the 10th Feb 2011, including the police officers statement (see below) and several pages relating to the HIghways Dept and the validity of the reduced speed limit.
She was not stopped on the date of alledged offence and is adamant that she was not driving at 84mph or indeed anything much more than 50mph. The officers staement is consists of 2 pre-printed pages with various bits crossed out or circled and was signed and dated on the 29th Dec 2010 (the day after).
I/She have written to the CPS requesting their evidence to support their proposed prosecution (copying in both the Norfolk Constabulary and the Magistrates court) these letters were sent by recorded mail and received by all three on the 23rd Feb 2011.
The letter was this........

Dear Sir/s,
I confirm receipt of the Summons issued to me to attend Norwich Magistrates Court at xxxxxam on the 15th March 2011. I also confirm that I will attend and bring with me a completed ‘Statement of Financial Circumstances’.
With reference to the above prosecution, and the decision of the Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary to pursue this matter in Court, then I respectfully request the following information, as is my right for the preparation for my defence in a court of law. My requests include information that should have been recorded as per the recommendations of the Association of Police Officers (ACPO) and the Home Office.

Under the provisions of the Criminal and Investigations Act 1996 (CPIA), you are obliged to supply the information listed below as ‘primary disclosure’ of evidence prior to a plea being made at a Court of Law.

1. A copy of the Certificate of Competence for the use of the Kustom Prolaser for PC xxxx xxxx as required by ACPO, and the Home Office, to use this type of equipment.
1(a). Copy certificate and/or evidence that PC xxxx xxxxx was a member of a Road Policing Unit on the date of the alleged offence as per Norfolk Constabulary Policy Statements for Specialist Operations.
2. A copy of the video and/ or ALL pictures of the alleged offence for independent analysis.
3. The type of radio transmitters / receivers used by the Norfolk Police in the course of their duties. (Type of signal)
4. A copy of the Dynamic Risk Assessment performed by PC 1xxxx xxxxx on the date of the alleged offence, based on the Forces Vehicle Patrol Duties risk assessment as required under Norfolk Constabulary Policy Statements for Specialist Operations, which must be carried out prior to the commencement of a speed detection check.
5. A copy of the Annual Calibration Certificate issued by the manufacturer or his appointed agent, for the Kustom Prolaser, Serial No PLxxxxx. As stated in ACPO Section 5 sub sections 8.1 & 8.2 which should be available for inspection by the Home Office.
6. A copy of the notes of PC xxxx xxxxxx, stating that the correct calibration of the equipment was conducted both before and after operation at the site in question. ACPO Section 9, sub section 9.1.
7. A copy of the operators notes stating how many various sites on the day for the purpose of obtaining speeding evidence.
8. A copy of the operators notes stating the number of the Police Officer and the unit number of the Police Vehicle with a Certified Calibrated Speedometer at the commencement and completion at each site.
9. The name and number of the Police Officer and the Patrol Car used for to check the calibration of the Kustom Prolaser on the alleged offence date, both before and after operation at this site. ACPO Section 9, sub section 9.1 Also, ACPO Section 12 sub section 12 i.
10. A copy of the Certified Calibration Certificate for the speedometer of the Police Vehicle used to check the equipment at this site. ACPO Section 9, subsection 9.1



The scheduled Court date at Norwich Magistrates Court is the 15th March 2011. Therefore, I require ALL the information listed above no less than 7 days prior to the court date as stated by the Crown Prosecution Service CPIA 1996, to prepare my defence, and to allow time for independent evaluation of the evidence.

I thank you for your co-operation




Yours faithfully

We have received 2 letters so far, the first on the 25th Feb confirming receipt of our letter and that it was being forwarded to the Head of Criminal Justice, and a second letter on the 3rd March from the HEad of the CJS/CPS stating he was dealing with the request. So far (today 9th March 4pm) no evidence has been supplied. I have called the Magistrates Court to request an adjournment and been asked to call the CPS and also write to the Magistrates Court which I am about to do now.

My question is this...

Q - If the CPS/Court does not agree to an adjournment what should we do if we attend on the 15th March (evidence of course may arrive between now and then!).

PS She has not entered any plea so far. We have requested that the officer attend court to present his evidence.

Your help is much appreciated
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post Wed, 9 Mar 2011 - 16:11
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Pancras
post Wed, 9 Mar 2011 - 23:36
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QUOTE (martinj66 @ Wed, 9 Mar 2011 - 16:11) *
1. A copy of the Certificate of Competence for the use of the Kustom Prolaser for PC xxxx xxxx as required by ACPO, and the Home Office, to use this type of equipment.

Fair request.

QUOTE (martinj66 @ Wed, 9 Mar 2011 - 16:11) *
1(a). Copy certificate and/or evidence that PC xxxx xxxxx was a member of a Road Policing Unit on the date of the alleged offence as per Norfolk Constabulary Policy Statements for Specialist Operations.

Flawed request. While the officer in question almost certainly was on the RPU, this is of no consequence IF the officer has the certificate of competence as required in (1), that is all the court will require.

QUOTE (martinj66 @ Wed, 9 Mar 2011 - 16:11) *
2. A copy of the video and/ or ALL pictures of the alleged offence for independent analysis.

Fair request, however bear in mind that there may be no photographs and a lack of them will not cause the prosecution to fail on it's own.

QUOTE (martinj66 @ Wed, 9 Mar 2011 - 16:11) *
3. The type of radio transmitters / receivers used by the Norfolk Police in the course of their duties. (Type of signal)

A daft question, because every police force in Great Britain uses the same system - "Airwave" - a terrestrial trunked radio system. A better question would have been that the officer had his airwave radio set to "TX Inhibit" mode at the time of the enforcement.

QUOTE (martinj66 @ Wed, 9 Mar 2011 - 16:11) *
4. A copy of the Dynamic Risk Assessment performed by PC 1xxxx xxxxx on the date of the alleged offence, based on the Forces Vehicle Patrol Duties risk assessment as required under Norfolk Constabulary Policy Statements for Specialist Operations, which must be carried out prior to the commencement of a speed detection check.

Of no relevance to the outcome of your daughters case. The police need not prove to the court that they have done anything other than to establish that your daughter was speeding.

QUOTE (martinj66 @ Wed, 9 Mar 2011 - 16:11) *
5. A copy of the Annual Calibration Certificate issued by the manufacturer or his appointed agent, for the Kustom Prolaser, Serial No PLxxxxx. As stated in ACPO Section 5 sub sections 8.1 & 8.2 which should be available for inspection by the Home Office.

Fair question

QUOTE (martinj66 @ Wed, 9 Mar 2011 - 16:11) *
6. A copy of the notes of PC xxxx xxxxxx, stating that the correct calibration of the equipment was conducted both before and after operation at the site in question. ACPO Section 9, sub section 9.1.

Fair question

QUOTE (martinj66 @ Wed, 9 Mar 2011 - 16:11) *
7. A copy of the operators notes stating how many various sites on the day for the purpose of obtaining speeding evidence.

I don't understand this question. Are you asking where else had the operator conducted speed checks? If so I am not sure what relevance the question is, because all that needs to be proved is your daughter's speed.

QUOTE (martinj66 @ Wed, 9 Mar 2011 - 16:11) *
8. A copy of the operators notes stating the number of the Police Officer and the unit number of the Police Vehicle with a Certified Calibrated Speedometer at the commencement and completion at each site.

Again of no relevance. Your daughter was alleged to have been speeding with a laser gun, therefore the calibration of the speedometer on the vehicle and the vehicle's "unit number" is of no consequence.

QUOTE (martinj66 @ Wed, 9 Mar 2011 - 16:11) *
9. The name and number of the Police Officer and the Patrol Car used for to check the calibration of the Kustom Prolaser on the alleged offence date, both before and after operation at this site. ACPO Section 9, sub section 9.1 Also, ACPO Section 12 sub section 12 i.

No cross check with a patrol car is required. The ACPO guidelines are expired/withdrawn, and therefore this is of no relevance
QUOTE (martinj66 @ Wed, 9 Mar 2011 - 16:11) *
10. A copy of the Certified Calibration Certificate for the speedometer of the Police Vehicle used to check the equipment at this site. ACPO Section 9, subsection 9.1

See above.

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martinj66
post Thu, 10 Mar 2011 - 10:16
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Thanks for your constructive comments so far,

Spoke to the Courts and CPS today who have confirmed that the case will be heard by the Youth Court as you all suggested.

Proposing to attend and enter a NOT guity plea, gain whatever evidence we can and then review the position.

If I may return to the issue of indiscriminate targeting, is this line worth exploring by questioning the officer in court about his actual actions on the day in regards to how he conducted the speed test. His statement says he "estimated the speed of the offender's vehicle to be excess of 50 MPH" he then conducted a speed check using the KP3 etc etc. If he 'estimated the speed' prior to using the device he did it BL**DY quickly as the vehicle would have passed him with a few seconds after coming into his sight.

Just trying to plan ahead, any guidance would be welcome

Thanks
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CuriousOrange
post Thu, 10 Mar 2011 - 10:24
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If someone throws you a ball, you do a lot of mental mechanics pretty bloody quickly to catch it.

Watching an empty road for a while, if a car finally appears then it can be quite tricky to judge whether it's exceeding 50 mph or not.

Watching a road with car after car doing 50 mph, then even if there's a bit of a lull beforehand a car doing even a few mph over will be recognised as going faster within a fraction of a second. It's the way we're wired.

If the car was travelling in excess of 80 mph, as alleged, it would be recognised as exceeding the limit even more readily.
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Logician
post Thu, 10 Mar 2011 - 10:26
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I suspect the reaction to that in a magistrats' court would be along the lines of "So what? Her speed was still measured at 84mph" and if you question the officer he will agree that his experience enables him to carry out these checks very quickly.


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Pancras
post Thu, 10 Mar 2011 - 10:28
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QUOTE (martinj66 @ Thu, 10 Mar 2011 - 10:16) *
If I may return to the issue of indiscriminate targeting, is this line worth exploring by questioning the officer in court about his actual actions on the day in regards to how he conducted the speed test. His statement says he "estimated the speed of the offender's vehicle to be excess of 50 MPH" he then conducted a speed check using the KP3 etc etc. If he 'estimated the speed' prior to using the device he did it BL**DY quickly as the vehicle would have passed him with a few seconds after coming into his sight.

As has been said before, the officer can actually be viewing the traffic through the viewfinder of the device to form his opinion. Having done so he pulls the trigger, and the result is given within 3/10ths of a second. You can ask him about it, sure. But expect a response along those lines. He will tell the court his driving qualifications, and experience which add credibility to his ability to estimate if a car was speeding or not. Obviously he is alleging that your daughter was doing 84, which is 34 miles per hour above the posted limit, so it is not a marginal case as if the vehicle was doing 55 say.
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Aretnap
post Thu, 10 Mar 2011 - 10:44
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QUOTE (martinj66 @ Wed, 9 Mar 2011 - 17:33) *
"A disqualification on the hand will, in defiance of all logic, not trigger the New Drivers Act at all, although it will not help her insurance premiums"


Six points triggers revocation of a new driver's license and their reversion to learner status but for some reason (presumably an oversight in drafting the legislation) a ban doesn't. So it is arguably, if bizzarely, better for a young driver to be caught doing 84 in a 50 (likely result: a few weeks ban, then back on the road as before) than, say, 74 (likely result: 6 points, license revoked, off the road indefinitely, new driving test, and possibly more lessons needed).

However, it doesn't automatically follow that if your daughter is convicted she will get a ban. 84 in a 50 would normally result in one, but the magistrates have the option of imposing 6 points instead, and may choose to do so if they think she would benefit from a bit of re-education. The magistrates' guidelines don't specifically address this issue, but what they say about some similar situations leans towards suggesting that they should consider it.

p186

QUOTE
An offender liable for an endorsement which will cause the licence to be revoked under the new drivers’ provisions may ask the court to disqualify rather than impose points. This will avoid the requirement to take a further test. Generally, this would be inappropriate since it would circumvent the clear intention of Parliament.


And p185 (though relating to totting bans rather than new driver revocation, so not quite the same situation)

QUOTE
In some cases in which the court is considering discretionary disqualification, the offender may already have sufficient penalty points on his or her licence that he or she would be liable to a ‘totting up’ disqualification if further points were imposed. In these circumstances, the court should impose penalty points rather than discretionary disqualification so that the minimum totting up disqualification period applies (see paragraph 7 above).


This post has been edited by Aretnap: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 - 10:44
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martinj66
post Thu, 10 Mar 2011 - 13:46
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Thanks Aretnap,

If after receiving the evidence, and reading the advice given here of trying to establish the true facts and questioning the officer's actions (believing that we do that she was not travelling at such a high speed). If she decides to enter a guilty plea before the trial is it worth asking the mags to consider a ban and fine as opposed to points OR any other course?
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CuriousOrange
post Thu, 10 Mar 2011 - 14:09
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Points or ban are the only things magistrates can give for speeding (ignoring things like special reasons not to endorse, which don't come into play here), so there is no other course.

They're specifically advised against giving a ban instead of points to help new drivers avoid revocation.

In your daughter's case though 86 mph in a 50 mph is ban territory anyway. So she wants a ban (if that's preferable to revocation for her) but she doesn't to directly ask the magistrates for one to avoid revocation.


Best way of doing that I don't know.

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Logician
post Thu, 10 Mar 2011 - 14:23
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If they want to give her 6 points to trigger revocation, I do not see that anything she says is likely to dissuade them, on the other hand that may not even occur to them, so I would think it best to say nothing at all.

If she enters a guilty plea it must be unequivocal, ie she cannot say I do not believe I was doing that speed but I will plead guilty to get this over with, that will not be accepted. She can of course say she finds it hard to believe she was doing the speed but cannot argue with the evidence of the camera and therefore accepts that she was.


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The Rookie
post Thu, 10 Mar 2011 - 14:24
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A statement of 'mitigation' accepting guilt, learning from her mistakes, accepting a ban as inevitable and the right punishment for her crime seems to be the way forward on that to my mind.

Simon


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Logician
post Thu, 10 Mar 2011 - 14:32
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Yes, that must be it.


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