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Red Light - PC on his own - Manual Detection?, Mistaken Identity - It wasn't me
SafetyFirst2018
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 10:10
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Hi.

I was heading home from work on a Sunday evening just after 5 when I was approached by a police car (lights and sirens off), he pulled alongside me and 6 other cars, stopped and then honked his horn. I looked over and was told to pull over and have a seat in the back of his car. The officer said he was giving me a ticket for travelling through a red light, 200m back round the corner from where he approached me. I informed the officer he is mistaken as it wasn't even yellow when I went through.

The officer was then was recorded by myself confirming there is CCTV evidence, evidence that he initially offered to obtain for me but when asked to do so, knowing it would prove my innocence, immediately declined saying: ‘I don’t want to show you anything because it’s my witness statement I’m basing this on.’ 

Which brings me to his witness statement...

The officer's statement details he saw a vehicle travel through a red light in Lane 1 of 2 and adds he had a ‘clear and unobstructed view of red signal and white line.’ however his statement also details he was ‘about 40 meters behind’, in a different lane (Lane 2), and had a ‘silver MPV’ in front of him, putting him at a distance and with an obstructed view. The officer then alleges he saw the vehicle ‘turning right’ at the roundabout, however you cannot see any of the roundabouts 4 exits from his stated position, due to the roundabouts unusually high grass verge.

The West Yorkshire Police’s CCTV Retrieval and Viewing Policy states: ‘For detected crimes, under the CPIA code of practice, any relevant CCTV master footage should be retained until the accused is acquitted, convicted or the prosecutor decides not to proceed with the case.’

The officer was on his own and his view of the allegation is obstructed and at a distance which surely makes the CCTV not only relevant but essential (to proving he is mistaken)? As he has failed to disclose it can I not now ask the prosecution to uphold its duty to act to obtain this evidence and prevent a potential abuse of process from taking place, specifically regarding a loss of evidence or failure to comply with disclosure obligations in respect of unused material? Wishful thinking?

Finally, the officer is recorded by myself calling me a ‘big baby’ – for not just accepting his ticket adding: ‘I give out dozens of these tickets and it’s very rare I get someone that wants to make a big deal of it.’ 

I've been sent a SJP Notice and it seems like I'm supposed to use this MakeAPlea online service to confirm my not guilty plea and provide a reason why I'm pleading not guilty (which from my limited research appears to be a defence of Mistaken Identity).

Any general pointers on how to proceed at this point from anyone would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks.

SafetyFirst2018
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post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 10:10
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Mayhem007
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 10:18
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It appears you are sincere and genuine, therefore you need to return the SJP back with a not guilty plea. Only after a plea of not guilty will you be allowed disclosure of any prosecution evidence and any other evidence that may help your claim. Meanwhile I would write everything down about the incident [including dates,times and location] so that you have a evidence that you intend to rely on in court, which may not progress that far once the CPS see your statement. Back up all the recordings you have. Take photographs of the areas you mention.

There will be plenty responses in the mean time from others giving you good advice.

SO first step not guilty.

This post has been edited by Mayhem007: Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 10:26


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Colin_S
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 12:57
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QUOTE (Mayhem007 @ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 10:18) *
Only after a plea of not guilty will you be allowed disclosure of any prosecution evidence and any other evidence that may help your claim.


A recent experience suggests obtaining any CCTV footage that will not be used as evidence by the prosecution will not be so readily forthcoming. Does the OP know what this CCTV comprised of? Was the car CCTV equipped and / or was the PC wearing a bodycam?
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SafetyFirst2018
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 13:14
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The car was not CCTV equipped and the officer was not wearing a body cam. The officer said the CCTV would have been taken by a traffic camera monitoring the junction. Are the Prosecution or Police not obligated to obtain this evidence if it proves innocence? Are the courts truly happy to rely only on eye witness testimony alone even when there is video evidence to prove what actually happened?

This post has been edited by SafetyFirst2018: Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 13:23
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Redivi
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 13:28
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He could have been in a position to see which exit you took after the traffic moved but pictures from his stated position would be very useful, especially if you have a friend with an MPV that you can follow

Can you recall which lane you would have been in at the time he claims you were in Lane 1
It isn't logical that you would be in that lane if you were about to turn right at the next roundabout

A plausible explanation is that a similar vehicle did pass the red light a few seconds after you
His restricted view didn't allow him to see it go straight on at the roundabout and he followed the wrong car

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cp8759
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 13:48
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Your defence is quite simply that you did not go through a red light, the mistaken identity is simply the explanation of why you have been accused of doing so. As has been said, plead not guilty in the first instance and you will be summonsed to a normal magistrates' court hearing.

You could also email or write to the CPS and the police asking for "The initial details of the prosecution case" under part 8 of the Criminal Procedure Rules, they should reply by providing the officer's statement. In the same email or letter, ask them for a copy of the CCTV evidence, and state that even if they won't be relying on it, you will require disclosure of the CCTV as unused material, also quote the CCTV Retrieval and Viewing Policy and highlight that they have a duty to preserve the CCTV evidence.
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SafetyFirst2018
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 14:08
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QUOTE (Redivi @ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 13:28) *
He could have been in a position to see which exit you took after the traffic moved but pictures from his stated position would be very useful, especially if you have a friend with an MPV that you can follow

Can you recall which lane you would have been in at the time he claims you were in Lane 1
It isn't logical that you would be in that lane if you were about to turn right at the next roundabout

A plausible explanation is that a similar vehicle did pass the red light a few seconds after you
His restricted view didn't allow him to see it go straight on at the roundabout and he followed the wrong car


Hi Redivi. Correct. I was in Lane 2 as was going right at the roundabout, not Lane 1.

I think your explanation as to what's happened is probably correct. I think the officer has seen another similar vehicle go through the red light, and the time its then taken him to safely pass the red light himself, at a junction which has zero visibility of oncoming traffic, is all the time that was needed for this other vehicle to leave the roundabout.

Might also explain why the officer approached us at the next junction with his lights and sirens off. He surely would have had to put them on to pass through the red light himself, so why were they no longer on when he approached us?
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SafetyFirst2018
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 14:20
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 13:48) *
Your defence is quite simply that you did not go through a red light, the mistaken identity is simply the explanation of why you have been accused of doing so. As has been said, plead not guilty in the first instance and you will be summonsed to a normal magistrates' court hearing.

You could also email or write to the CPS and the police asking for "The initial details of the prosecution case" under part 8 of the Criminal Procedure Rules, they should reply by providing the officer's statement. In the same email or letter, ask them for a copy of the CCTV evidence, and state that even if they won't be relying on it, you will require disclosure of the CCTV as unused material, also quote the CCTV Retrieval and Viewing Policy and highlight that they have a duty to preserve the CCTV evidence.


Hi cp8759. Thanks for your response. They provided me the officers witness statement with the SJP Notice. For requesting a copy of the CCTV evidence, do you know where can I find an email address for the CPS or Police?
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cp8759
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 14:41
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QUOTE (SafetyFirst2018 @ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 14:20) *
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 13:48) *
Your defence is quite simply that you did not go through a red light, the mistaken identity is simply the explanation of why you have been accused of doing so. As has been said, plead not guilty in the first instance and you will be summonsed to a normal magistrates' court hearing.

You could also email or write to the CPS and the police asking for "The initial details of the prosecution case" under part 8 of the Criminal Procedure Rules, they should reply by providing the officer's statement. In the same email or letter, ask them for a copy of the CCTV evidence, and state that even if they won't be relying on it, you will require disclosure of the CCTV as unused material, also quote the CCTV Retrieval and Viewing Policy and highlight that they have a duty to preserve the CCTV evidence.


Hi cp8759. Thanks for your response. They provided me the officers witness statement with the SJP Notice. For requesting a copy of the CCTV evidence, do you know where can I find an email address for the CPS or Police?

For the CPS, https://www.cps.gov.uk/yorkshire-and-humberside suggests you should write to YandH.correspondencemags@cps.gov.uk

For West Yorkshire police, you can call them on 01924 375 222 or they seem to have a live chat facility on their website, in either case I would ask for the email address for the officer and his sergeant / supervisor.

Also, do you have any evidence that the police officer stated there was CCTV evidence, for example were you recording on your phone when he mentioned it?
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SafetyFirst2018
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 14:58
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 14:41) *
QUOTE (SafetyFirst2018 @ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 14:20) *
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 13:48) *
Your defence is quite simply that you did not go through a red light, the mistaken identity is simply the explanation of why you have been accused of doing so. As has been said, plead not guilty in the first instance and you will be summonsed to a normal magistrates' court hearing.

You could also email or write to the CPS and the police asking for "The initial details of the prosecution case" under part 8 of the Criminal Procedure Rules, they should reply by providing the officer's statement. In the same email or letter, ask them for a copy of the CCTV evidence, and state that even if they won't be relying on it, you will require disclosure of the CCTV as unused material, also quote the CCTV Retrieval and Viewing Policy and highlight that they have a duty to preserve the CCTV evidence.


Hi cp8759. Thanks for your response. They provided me the officers witness statement with the SJP Notice. For requesting a copy of the CCTV evidence, do you know where can I find an email address for the CPS or Police?

For the CPS, https://www.cps.gov.uk/yorkshire-and-humberside suggests you should write to YandH.correspondencemags@cps.gov.uk

For West Yorkshire police, you can call them on 01924 375 222 or they seem to have a live chat facility on their website, in either case I would ask for the email address for the officer and his sergeant / supervisor.

Also, do you have any evidence that the police officer stated there was CCTV evidence, for example were you recording on your phone when he mentioned it?


Thanks. Yes, I have the officer recorded on my phone confirming there is CCTV. He is also recorded saying he would "quite happily go and pull the CCTV from that junction, that is not a problem." But when asked for him to do this he immediately declined saying, "I don’t want to show you anything because it’s my witness statement I’m basing this on." All of this is recorded.

I understand contacting the CPS to ask for disclosure of the CCTV, thanks for the contact info, but I'm not sure I understand what the reason is to ask for the contact info of the officer/supervisor?
Thanks.
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Logician
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 15:03
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CCTV cameras are usually operated by the local authority, it might be worthwhile approaching them and/or asking the police or CPS to ensure that the relevant footage is preserved for possible evidential use. Hopefully the recent scandals over failure to examine or disclose evidence which might undermine a prosecution should have made everybody more aware of their duty to do so.


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The Rookie
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 16:05
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As this is now presumably some months later (as he has the officers witness statement I presume he's now at the summons stage?) I doubt any CCTV would now be available and I doubt he did anything to get it at the time.


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cp8759
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 17:55
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 16:05) *
As this is now presumably some months later (as he has the officers witness statement I presume he's now at the summons stage?) I doubt any CCTV would now be available and I doubt he did anything to get it at the time.

Possibly, but if the police have allowed CCTV evidence of significant value to the issues in the case to simply be over-written, there's then a basis to argue that the OP would be denied a fair trial.

SafetyFirst2018, if the camera is council owned, you could make a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act asking for a copy of the video (they can charge £10 for sending you a copy). It might be too late if the police didn't secure a copy at the time, but you should still try.
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bearclaw
post Mon, 19 Feb 2018 - 10:44
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Any chance of showing where this happened and the relevant junction so we can look and see if there is indeed a camera in place?
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