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grumps
I recently received a NIP for speeding on a motorway where the camera was located in a police van parked under a bridge on wastleand next to the hard shoulder. Surely it is illegal to cross the hard shoulder if it is not an emergency and also it must be illegal to park on the wasteland within the boundary of the motorway. I thought there was a legal principle that the police cannot break the law to enforce thew law?
Barking Mad
QUOTE (grumps @ Thu, 17 Jan 2008 - 21:37) *
I recently received a NIP for speeding on a motorway where the camera was located in a police van parked under a bridge on wastleand next to the hard shoulder. Surely it is illegal to cross the hard shoulder if it is not an emergency and also it must be illegal to park on the wasteland within the boundary of the motorway. I thought there was a legal principle that the police cannot break the law to enforce thew law?


Unfortunately, that is not true.

The police "for operational purposes" can basically do as they please!

Consider that they shot a man - through "mistakes in intelligence" - in cold blood eight times getting on a train and were done for "not ensuring his safety". Had this been anyone else, under any other circumstances, they'd have been done for murder!

If you're a copper on duty, there are no speed limits, you can drive in bus lanes, the wrong way up one way streets (but not "dangerously" - although I'd have thought anyone driving the wrong way up a one way street would be doing so dangerously), you can park where you like with impunity... And this is highly recommended if your after improving your crime clear up rate. Speeding is, after all, a "crime".
andy_foster
You thought wrong.

The emergency services can generally disregard traffic signs if it is necessary to perform their duties. Even if the police acted unlawfully in order to obtain evidence, that does not automatically make that evidence inadmissible. The court has the discretion to exclude evidence that was unfairly obtained, under s. 78 PACE, but that isn't going to happen for crossing the hard shoulder.
PigSticker
Just as an observation on the ECHR ruling sent to me by a solicitor a while ago:

QUOTE
While I am inclined to agree with you in principle, I don't think that
the outcome of Frances, et al., was ever in doubt. There was just no way
that the ECHR would allow the machinery of the Convention to be used to
support a right to commit traffic offences. Of course this means, as you
know better than me, that a dent has been made in the armour of a
long-standing and hard-fought civil liberty; but we live in a climate
where most people think that `security' (whatever that is) is more
important than personal liberty.

So I think that the decision was entirely predictable, however
regrettable it may be. The effect on more general principles of
self-incrimination remains to be seen, I guess.


The point is that any principle can be thrown aside by a collusion of
the ruling bodies, including effectively making the police immune to
there own rules. Expect more of this sort of thing as the UK swings
deeper and deeper into Police State mode.



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