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Graham
Hi folks,

Can anyone give me some advice please.

I returned my NIP unsigned. I received a conditional offer of £60 and 3 points which I ignored. Last week I received a letter pointing out that I had not signed the NIP and this was an offence under S172. The letter asked me to sign the attached NIP and respond in 7 days or court proceedings may follow.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, the NIP was not attached to the covering letter. Should I ignore the letter, or should I respond quoting DPP v Bloomfield?

Any advice gratefully received.

Thanks

Graham
firefly
Hi Graham,

QUOTE (Graham)
I returned my NIP unsigned. I received a conditional offer of £60 and 3 points which I ignored.

There are some members on this forum (myself included) who think that the police are "at it" when a conditional offer is sent out when an unsigned NIP is returned. It appears that the police are "trying it on" to see if you crumble when faced with the prospect of a court appearance. "Come now Mr *****, just sign the conditional offer. It will save you the worry and expense of a court appearance."

QUOTE
Last week I received a letter pointing out that I had not signed the NIP and this was an offence under S172
Did you indeed? The author of that letter is knowingly telling porkies. I don't know how much milage there is in attacking this statement in court (should it ever get that far), no doubt Observer will have something to say on this.

QUOTE
Fortunately, or unfortunately, the NIP was not attached to the covering letter

What exactly do you mean by this? If they arrived in the same envelope then there's little to be gained by arguing about trivial issues such as, "The document wasn't attached to the NIP."

QUOTE
Should I ignore the letter, or should I respond quoting DPP v Bloomfield?

The accepted wisdom is to ignore the letter. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by quoting Broomfield. I think that a lot of people have mistakenly replied by this route because they do not like to sit and do nothing. It makes people feel better to quote this or that; but the police are unlikely to say, "My goodness, did you know that there is no legal obligation to sign the NIP as Mr ***** has just pointed out. Tell you what, let's just throw this one in the bin and write a letter, apologising to Mr ***** for wasting his time." If only! Writing letters of this nature achieves little and can be a damaging tool against you.

As it stands, I believe you have followed the correct course of action and would hold tight to see what happens.
Observer
QUOTE (Graham)
I returned my NIP unsigned. I received a conditional offer of £60 and 3 points which I ignored. Last week I received a letter pointing out that I had not signed the NIP and this was an offence under S172. The letter asked me to sign the attached NIP and respond in 7 days or court proceedings may follow.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, the NIP was not attached to the covering letter. Should I ignore the letter, or should I respond quoting DPP v Bloomfield?


Simple choice. You have to decide whether to keep fighting or to fold and accept the FPN. If you want to fight, do nothing. You risk conviction on a s.172 charge (forthcoming appeal may settle that) but still have possibility of avoiding conviction because of some admin cockup.
The Rookie
Has anyone tried using the FPN in an S172 case as evidence that the Information must have been supplied, or how can they issue an FPN?

Simon
DW190
Rookie wrote:
QUOTE
Has anyone tried using the FPN in an S172 case as evidence that the Information must have been supplied, or how can they issue an FPN?


My speeding is out of time now 26/08/03 fingers crossed.
Expecting S172 to arrive anytime but I wonder in whose name as the NIP only had MR! Nobody here with those initials. Correct name and DOB filled in on NIP by wife on printer.

If they issue summons in correct name for S172 then information of identity must have been supplied correctly.

DW
Graham
Thanks for the advice chaps.

Perhaps I did not make myself clear. When I said the NIP was not attached I meant it was not even in the envelope - just a covering letter asking me to sign something that wasn't there !.

Could this be a cunning plan by the plods or just a simple admin error ?
Terrierdave
Graham

This is VERY similar to my situation

Northumbria Police seem to be trying it on at the moment, sending FPNs on an unsigned form - we can only speculate what lies behind this tactic. It could come down to:

1. They are trying to scare people into giving in with threat of large fines.
2. They know that their evidence will not stand up in court (e.g. LTI 20:20 and unsigned form - i.e. 'Yorke compliant')
3. Simple admin incompetence.

In my case, I have not been asked to sign the form, as you have - when I did not accept the offer of fixed penalty (I ignored it as advised), they then sent me reminders giving me another 14 days to respond to their kind offer.

That time was up on about March 3rd, so I am expecting more letters through the door any day, telling me that it has been referred to the CPS.

Can't wait!!! (although I would prefer the miracle of them dropping the matter altogether to happen instead!)
firefly
Hi Graham,

Thanks for the PM.

It would be a help if you could let us know your exact story, complete with dates etc. It is a bit of a pain I know, but it would be good to know the exact sequence of events.
Graham
Evening folks,

In response to your question Firefly, the exact details of my case are as follows :

Got caught by a camera hidden in a white van doing 50mph in a 40 zone on 4 December. (I was on a dual carriageway and as far as I am aware the road is not an "accident blackspot", but maybe it is very profitable !.)

The NIP arrived about a week later and my wife completed and returned the form unsigned on my behalf on 7 January.

I got the conditional offer on 19 January 2004 and was given 28 days to respond. The offer mentioned that the allegation was supported by photographic evidence, and outlined the maximum potential fine and points position for the offence. Failure to comply with the requirements of the notice would result in court proceedings

I ignored the FPN.

Last Friday (5/3/04) I got the letter pointing out that I had not signed the NIP and stating that this was an offence under S172. The letter asked me to sign the attached NIP (which was not enclosed), and return within 7 days otherwise the matter may be referred to the court.

My inclination was not to reply, and just sit it out. The advice you all have given gives me some confidence that this is the best option, and that is what I intend to do.

I hope that the fact the NIP was not attached to the latest letter is a promising sign - maybe they have lost it. If so, can they issue a duplicate ?

Anyone got any experience of tackling the Northumbria force on speeding issues ?

Thanks for all the replies so far. We'll fight them on the beaches etc, etc.

Graham



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firefly
Hi Graham,

Thanks for the chain of events.

QUOTE (Graham)
Got caught by a camera hidden in a white van doing 50mph in a 40 zone on 4 December

Does anyone know what kind of camera this is likely to be? An Lti20/20 maybe? You may or may not know that there are currently "rumblings" about this type of device and we are led to believe (by Mika, the moderator) that there could shortly be major questions asked about the reliability of these instruments.

QUOTE
The NIP arrived about a week later and my wife completed and returned the form unsigned on my behalf on 7 January.
No problem.

QUOTE
I got the conditional offer on 19 January 2004 and was given 28 days to respond. The offer mentioned that the allegation was supported by photographic evidence, and outlined the maximum potential fine and points position for the offence. Failure to comply with the requirements of the notice would result in court proceedings

I ignored the FPN.

Classic bluff & bluster! You did well to ignore it.

QUOTE
Last Friday (5/3/04) I got the letter pointing out that I had not signed the NIP and stating that this was an offence under S172.
Again this is rubbish. There is no such obligation under s172 to sign an NIP. Perhaps Observer could advise on the best way to go about attacking this kind of reckless statement (should the need arise) as he seems up to speed on these matters.

QUOTE
My inclination was not to reply, and just sit it out. The advice you all have given gives me some confidence that this is the best option, and that is what I intend to do.

As stated previously, the accepted wisdom is to "do nothing" and wait to see what happens.

QUOTE
I hope that the fact the NIP was not attached to the latest letter is a promising sign - maybe they have lost it. If so, can they issue a duplicate ?

To be quite honest, I don't know how to play this one. On the one hand you could write a letter to tell them that this is the case but I feel this would be a bad move because a) they will send you out a new one, and B) any correspondence could be used against you if it ever came to court. On the other hand, if you kept the FPN and the envelope it was sent in, and should you ever have to testify under oath, it would be difficult to see how the police could have expected you to sign a document that you didn't have. If a summons does appear in the future then there could be ways of exploiting this but that (let us hope) may never happen.
Atty
Graham
You are in a similar situation to me mate, my story so far with North Wales Police:

Offence date: 28/07/03 for doing 42mph in a 30 zone, didn't see a camera all day though??

Received the NIP on 01/08/03, my wife completed and returned the unsigned form on my behalf on 07/08/03 by recorded delivery.

On the 12/08/03 I received a date stamped copy of the NIP with a letter stating that not signing the NIP was failure to comply with the section notice and this offence would be heard at the Magistrates Court if I didn't return the signed form. I ignored this.

On the 29/08/03 I received a final warning notice informing me that I had 7 days to return the information or the matter would be referred directly to the Magistrates Court. I ignored this.

On the 04/11/03 I received a conditional offer of fixed penalty and was given 28 days to reply. I ignored this.

On the 09/03/04 I recieved a summons for both failure to provide information and speeding. Enclosed were 3 statements:
1) From the person who served me with the summons.
2) From the PC who was operating the LTI 20/20 laser.
3) From the evidence assessor confirming that I was sent the NIP and that to the best of their knowledge and belief an unacceptable response was received.

Well that's my story so far. I did put a couple of posts on here as soon as I got the summons asking for some advice, most of the advice is to wait for the outcome of a hearing on Tuesday but I'm not entirely sure how that would affect me.
What does concern me is that when I contacted a legal helpline that I have with my vehicle insurance they told me that conviction is very likely, infact 99% are convicted.
So at the moment I am trying to decide what the best course of action would be for me. I have read alot of the posts on here and found myself going round and round in circles.

Any comments, ideas or suggestion will be gratefully received.
firefly
Hi Atty,

If your timescale allows, hold off until the 16th of this month. There is a good chance that a ruling will be passed that will decide certains things which relate to your case.

I know it's not the advice you were after but hang-fire for now.
Atty
Hi ff,

I don't know what advice I was expecting mate to tell you the truth. All the waiting and ignoring B&B letters and FPN and more waiting is doing me in. It all gets very real when the summons arrives you know. To pay a fine and accept points on my licence wouldn't be such a big deal as I have a A1 driving history and a clean licence too. Unfortunately I just cannot do it because it isn't right, god knows my wife doesn't understand that laugh.gif
So here I am still waiting..........roll on Tuesday.
bobbys26
atty have a look at bobbys26 of 11/03/04 I,m in the same boat and about to sink, its so annoying that they seem to be above the law!!! as long as they get the money it does not matter how they operate!!!!
Atty
Hi mate thanks for the reply. Most people on here are confident about the unsigned route, as I was. I got alot of positive comments and suggestions with regards not signing the NIP, it seemed logical. However I have noticed that there is a lack of understanding and straight forward advice when you actually receive a court summons. I have tried to get a good understanding of my position and the options available to me but its all quite confusing. I still can't even get my head round how I can be summonsed for failure to provide information (which I have) and speeding. If I haven't provided the required information and they don't know who was driving then why have they summons me for a speeding offence?
jeffreyarcher
Graham,
We have to be practical, Idris may well lose on Tuesday. It is also possible that their will be an adjournment (remeber Y&M went on for ages).
I suggest that you write back ASAP (you are already over their deadline), referring to their recent letter [the 5/3/03 one], in which they asked you to sign the attached NIP. Point out that there was no NIP attached, and would they please send one.
Send the letter unsigned, and make no reference to any other matters, particularly the unsigned NIP already sent by your wife.
Hopefully this will stall proceedings sufficiently to get a result on Idris's appeal.
If he loses, sign the new one and send it off. Done for speeding, however, that's better than S172 with most insurance companies.
If he wins, don't return it. The Yorke compliancy of the original NIP should protect you against speeding.
The problem arises if the case is adjourned, but you'll just have to cross that bridge when you come to it.
Graham
Thanks for the advice mate.

After reading Mika's comment and the views of John Joseph's it seems your advice is the best course of action to take. At least I hope it may stall things until the PACE argument is tested further.

Must admit today's verdict is somewhat depressing although to be honest I could not imagine the Govt, the Police and the judiciary allowing the appeal to be successful.

I am a big cynic and suspect deals have been done on this one. After all, it would sent out all the wrong messages if we all got off our speeding charges on a "technicality". It seems that only rich and famous people can do that.

Incidentally, anyone got any views on arguing the post code lottery i.e. if I lived in any one of about a dozen other counties in this country I would not have received an offer of 3 points and a £60 fine, I would have been offered a chance to attend a speed awareness course instead.

Does this not demonstrate a complete lack of consistency in punishment for speeding offences. I think Lancashire is one of the forces that operates this type of scheme.


Chin up everyone.

Graham
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