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S172 - do i need to complete more than one?
m4rn1e
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 19:29
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Hi, could someone please offer some advice. I have been reading up here, there and everywhere, but nothing quite covers my situation:

I received S172 and a NIP for an alleged offence on the 26th Nov 2018

I posted it back naming me, the registered keeper, as being the driver at the time of the alleged offence. I took a copy of the completed form and have proof of postage receipt.

After this, I received a letter from the police saying they have mislaid the original. Inside was another S172 - a repeat of the first.
I chose to do nothing more at that point as having read over other scenarios in this forum, I came to the conclusion that I had already fulfilled my requirement. Not only that, I didn't want to send it back as any subsequent reply would clearly have been returned well outside of those initial 28 days.

Roll on to early last week where my partner signed for a recorded letter, which seems to be a reminder letter, saying they have not had a response to date. Its giving me a further 14 days complete another S172.

Could anyone advise whether it would be sensible to email the police to advise them that I have fulfilled my duty already?

Thanks in advance all! Hoping someone can helpl.

This post has been edited by m4rn1e: Sat, 16 Feb 2019 - 10:17
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post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 19:29
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Darkatmosphere
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 19:45
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Can you upload pictures of the letters you have received to date so they can be scrutinized? please redact any car reg and name and address not saying your lying we need to read them to ensure that the mistake is erroneous.

IIRC you only have to do what your obligated under current laws to do and name a driver, I don't think it says if the police loses it they can demand you to complete another.

Someone will be along shortly who will advice further.

This post has been edited by Darkatmosphere: Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 19:49


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m4rn1e
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 20:00
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QUOTE (Darkatmosphere @ Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 19:45) *
Can you upload pictures of the letters you have received to date so they can be scrutinized? please redact any car reg and name and address not saying your lying we need to read them to ensure that the mistake is erroneous.

IIRC you only have to do what your obligated under current laws to do and name a driver, I don't think it says if the police loses it they can demand you to complete another.

Someone will be along shortly who will advice further.




Thanks for getting back. I hope this reply comes through in the correct format?!... I can try and upload copies but it will be in the morning now as I have to get my little ones to bed. I appreciate that you all may spot something relevant, so will get uploading asap.

This post has been edited by m4rn1e: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 17:52
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notmeatloaf
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 20:49
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The general understanding is that only the initial S172 is valid and, if you have replied and fulfilled your obligations under s7 then they can't repeat the same request.

You have two problems with this.

1. If you refuse they may search a bit harder and find your original response.

2. The wording of S172 does not explicitly rule out further requests. In your favour is that the second correspondence you received was clearly a repeat of the first, which you had already complied with, rather than a new request.

However, case law around this is scant and if it goes to court magistrates struggle with technical defences, and so you may need to go to appeal to get any joy.

Essentially you do have a defence, but with due care it is equally likely the police won't actually take action, depending on the incident. If you are after an easy life naming the driver is probably going to be less time consuming overall.
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m4rn1e
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 21:05
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 20:49) *
The general understanding is that only the initial S172 is valid and, if you have replied and fulfilled your obligations under s7 then they can't repeat the same request.

You have two problems with this.

1. If you refuse they may search a bit harder and find your original response.

2. The wording of S172 does not explicitly rule out further requests. In your favour is that the second correspondence you received was clearly a repeat of the first, which you had already complied with, rather than a new request.

However, case law around this is scant and if it goes to court magistrates struggle with technical defences, and so you may need to go to appeal to get any joy.

Essentially you do have a defence, but with due care it is equally likely the police won't actually take action, depending on the incident. If you are after an easy life naming the driver is probably going to be less time consuming overall.



Thanks for getting back. I have just edited my post to add further detail incase that info has any bearing on it all. Do you think I would disadvantage myself in any way by emailing them?

This post has been edited by m4rn1e: Fri, 15 Feb 2019 - 09:25
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southpaw82
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 21:25
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There is Scottish case law to the effect that there is only one requirement, no matter how many times it’s repeated. If you’re not in Scotland you may have a defence.


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m4rn1e
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 21:28
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 21:25) *
There is Scottish case law to the effect that there is only one requirement, no matter how many times it’s repeated. If you’re not in Scotland you may have a defence.



Hi - thanks for your input. I'm south of Scotland in the UK I'm afraid. Having read your message again, you're saying I might have a defense being in the UK, whereas I would definitely have had one if I were in Scotland? Have i understood that right?

This post has been edited by m4rn1e: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 19:23
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notmeatloaf
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 21:56
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Scottish case law is not binding on English courts, but it may be persuasive.

I think in your case it seems they are repeating the initial request rather than making new requests. The biggest problem you may have is if the police follow the lead of their Scottish counterparts and decide to turn up and ask you in person.

In that case even in Scotland there is no consensus as whether you should or shouldn't answer, other than in general its better if you are "out" and don't need to choose.

Overall you can see the issue - you are in an unusual situation. If you refuse to name the driver the outcomes are anything from dropping it out of embarrassment to turning up at your work, making a S172 request there, and then taking you to court. It is easy for us to say fight it but we don't know if the police will try further traps or just send it to court straight away.

It would be interesting to fight it but interesting for us doesn't mean it's necessarily an easy ride for you.

This post has been edited by notmeatloaf: Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 21:58
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Darkatmosphere
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 21:58
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I would say lets see what you have from them, that way it can better advised, although you have detailed the time there nothing better than looking directly at the evidence and going from there.



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cp8759
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 22:44
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Personally I would do nothing. The police are threatening you with prosecution for failing to reply to the 6 December request (which appears to be the only request so far), but they've also written to you saying they've received your reply but they've lost it. IMO a prosecution at this point for failing to comply with the request of 6 December would be an abuse of process or possibly even a malicious prosecution: they know you've complied with the requirement and have not committed any offence under section 172, so there is no legitimate purpose in prosecuting you for that offence, nor can the police hold any reasonable belief that you are or even might be guilty of such an offence

I suspect they know they've messed up big time and they're just trying it on.


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Churchmouse
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 23:48
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There is nothing in s.172 itself that says the police cannot ask more than once.

QUOTE
"the person keeping the vehicle shall give such information as to the identity of the driver as he may be required to give by or on behalf of a chief officer of police"


"Such information" can also be fairly broadly interpreted. However, the police don't appear to be making a new request at the moment, given their repeated references to date of the original request.

--Churchmouse
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ford poplar
post Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 03:19
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We only have OPs assurance he did respond to s172 in time.
Free Cert of Posting would have assissted.
Some Authoritities do send out a s172 reminder, before proceeding with a FTF charge.
Should we deny motorists' this option?
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nosferatu1001
post Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 04:56
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The op states they have proof of,postage.
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m4rn1e
post Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 09:17
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 22:44) *
Personally I would do nothing. The police are threatening you with prosecution for failing to reply to the 6 December request (which appears to be the only request so far), but they've also written to you saying they've received your reply but they've lost it. IMO a prosecution at this point for failing to comply with the request of 6 December would be an abuse of process or possibly even a malicious prosecution: they know you've complied with the requirement and have not committed any offence under section 172, so there is no legitimate purpose in prosecuting you for that offence, nor can the police hold any reasonable belief that you are or even might be guilty of such an offence

I suspect they know they've messed up big time and they're just trying it on.



Thanks for your input . I tend to lean more towards this opinion too. Would you suggested emailing them highlighting pretty much what you have covered above or do you think that will 'show my hand' and disadvantage me in some way? I'm thinking that emailing them might shake a bit of common sense into them? Thanks again

QUOTE (Churchmouse @ Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 23:48) *
There is nothing in s.172 itself that says the police cannot ask more than once.

QUOTE
"the person keeping the vehicle shall give such information as to the identity of the driver as he may be required to give by or on behalf of a chief officer of police"


"Such information" can also be fairly broadly interpreted. However, the police don't appear to be making a new request at the moment, given their repeated references to date of the original request.

--Churchmouse



Thanks for your input.

This post has been edited by m4rn1e: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 19:24
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notmeatloaf
post Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 09:47
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The best option as cp says is probably to ignore - at this stage everything seems to be done manually so less likely to have software chasing up your case. Don't poke the hornets nest springs to mind.

However, as has been said your case is very unusual and it is impossible to say with certainty what will happen. A lot probably rests on the severity of the incident - I don't advise posting it here but bumping into someone in the supermarket is less likely to be chased then running over the Chief Constables dog.
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cp8759
post Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 09:54
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QUOTE (m4rn1e @ Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 09:17) *
Would you suggested emailing them highlighting pretty much what you have covered above or do you think that will 'show my hand' and disadvantage me in some way? I'm thinking that emailing them might shake a bit of common sense into them?

If you email them and common sense kicks in, the obvious course of action would be to send you a new s172 request dated 13 February. The consensus seems to be that the police can make a "fresh" request (and this is a view I'm inclined to agree with) and if they do, you would be compelled to answer. You really don't want to do anything at least until the six month limitation period is up.


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No, I am not a lawyer.
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m4rn1e
post Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 10:28
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 09:54) *
QUOTE (m4rn1e @ Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 09:17) *
Would you suggested emailing them highlighting pretty much what you have covered above or do you think that will 'show my hand' and disadvantage me in some way? I'm thinking that emailing them might shake a bit of common sense into them?

If you email them and common sense kicks in, the obvious course of action would be to send you a new s172 request dated 13 February. The consensus seems to be that the police can make a "fresh" request (and this is a view I'm inclined to agree with) and if they do, you would be compelled to answer. You really don't want to do anything at least until the six month limitation period is up.



Thanks again for your input.

This post has been edited by m4rn1e: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 19:36
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m4rn1e
post Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 10:39
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Wed, 13 Feb 2019- 09:47) *
The best option as cp says is probably to ignore - at this stage everything seems to be done manually so less likely to have software chasing up your case. Don't poke the hornets nest springs to mind.

However, as has been said your case is very unusual and it is impossible to say with certainty what will happen. A lot probably rests on the severity of the incident - I don't advise posting it here but bumping into someone in the supermarket is less likely to be chased then running over the Chief Constables dog.



Really grateful. It is a hard one to gauge and of course, no one can really predict. My mind is frazzled this morning if i'm honest but you have all been really helpful giving me some ideas to think about. Who knows?!...... But no, no animals were used or involved!

This post has been edited by m4rn1e: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 19:25
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Steve_999
post Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 12:38
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QUOTE (ford poplar @ Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 03:19) *
We only have OPs assurance he did respond to s172 in time.
Free Cert of Posting would have assissted.

. . . . .



From OP in post #1 - "I took a copy of the completed form and have proof of postage receipt."
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notmeatloaf
post Wed, 13 Feb 2019 - 13:15
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Sending it recorded delivery is probably a form of brinkmanship. It has a slightly different meaning legally but as there is no doubt you received the first letter, from which any offence is created, it isn't significant legally.

They have six months to commence proceedings. Customarily there was an allowance of about a fortnight for a summons to be sent. Now police issue requisitions directly the timeframes should be around the same. We have seen some - mostly Avon and Somerset - take much longer, about ten months, although this is legally dubious.
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