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Cadacket
As a matter of hypothetical interest, how far do the police tend to chase an unreturned NIP?

For example, further suppose that you received one (for doing 52 in a 30) when you were about to move home from one flat to another (where mail often gets lost).

You then sold your vehicle in question, giving the old address, and bought another, giving the the new address.

Would the "seriousness" of the offence inspire them to track you down by means of credit score agencies, or whatever? Or have they got better things to do?

Many thanks

"Cad"
Tancred
From reading past topics on this sort of issue here, they don't need to chase you down as they can take you to court in your absence for failure to furnish and add points to your license which you'll eventually find out when the DVLA come looking for your license or the bailiffs come looking for the fine.
Logician
It sounds as though you are about to find out. They might find your new address through mail returned to them, or your driver licence details or a number of other ways depending how energetic they are feeling. If they do catch up with you the offence they are likely to be pursuing you for is failing to give the name of the driver, which carries 6 points and a large fine - how does that compare with the penalty for the original offence.
Cadacket
QUOTE (Logician @ Wed, 29 Aug 2012 - 21:47) *
It sounds as though you are about to find out. They might find your new address through mail returned to them, or your driver licence details or a number of other ways depending how energetic they are feeling.


But, if they can't prove you received the NIP, you could be blissfully unaware of its existence, as you've moved house.

QUOTE
If they do catch up with you the offence they are likely to be pursuing you for is failing to give the name of the driver, which carries 6 points and a large fine - how does that compare with the penalty for the original offence.


Well, 52 in a 30 is 6 points, 6 months and a hefty fine, mandatory - unless there's dire deprivation (not just simply the petty, trifling 'losing your job').

In this hypothetical case, for the sake of argument, the 'offence' may have involved a very suspect front-facing reading of a motorcycle, which was doing no more than 30. But it's pointless trying to fight this, as previous posts on this board have pointed out.

If you're a biker you may as well just hand your licence over, it's easier.



QUOTE (Tancred @ Wed, 29 Aug 2012 - 21:45) *
From reading past topics on this sort of issue here, they don't need to chase you down as they can take you to court in your absence for failure to furnish and add points to your license which you'll eventually find out when the DVLA come looking for your license or the bailiffs come looking for the fine.


Surely they have to prove you deliberately failed to reply (i.e. you received and opened the letter).

If they will insist on sending them out non-proof-of-delivery, as they do, they won't have a leg to stand on?

Hopeless naivety, yes.
The Rookie
Hopeless naivety yes, they can prove they sent it, it is then legally assumed served unless you can rebut it.
Logician
QUOTE
Well, 52 in a 30 is 6 points, 6 months and a hefty fine, mandatory - unless there's dire deprivation (not just simply the petty, trifling 'losing your job').


Assuming you already have 6 points or more.
stevensan
This is likely what will happen:

They will get no response to NIP. Thus, they will prosecute under failure to furnish. If you haven't changed the address on your license they will convict in your absence.

They will inform DVLA, who, when you don't surrender your license for points to be added are liable to cancel it. Eventually this info will make its way to the ANPR that you are driving without a license. At some point they will tally this with your new insurance, and your liable to be stopped, your car seized and a charge of driving without a license.

Now, you could then make a stat declaration that you never received the original NIP. It would be up to you to prove you didn't receive it and that you took all the steps a reasonable person would be expected to take to ensure you received such information. Like, updating the address on your license... like setting up a mail forward to your new address... informing the person you sold the car too of your new address etc.

If you were unable to prove you took these simple reasonable steps, it is quite likely the court will take the view you were trying to hide and find you guilty - you will also then have the driving without a license charge to answer as well! Make no mistake - once the police haven proven they sent the NIP, it is upto you to disprove this.

If you think an NIP is on the way, I would be checking your old address mail for it.
Vaughan
QUOTE (stevensan @ Thu, 30 Aug 2012 - 05:28) *
This is likely what will happen:

They will get no response to NIP. Thus, they will prosecute under failure to furnish. If you haven't changed the address on your license they will convict in your absence.

They will inform DVLA, who, when you don't surrender your license for points to be added are liable to cancel it. Eventually this info will make its way to the ANPR that you are driving without a license. At some point they will tally this with your new insurance, and your liable to be stopped, your car seized and a charge of driving without a license.

Now, you could then make a stat declaration that you never received the original NIP. It would be up to you to prove you didn't receive it and that you took all the steps a reasonable person would be expected to take to ensure you received such information. Like, updating the address on your license... like setting up a mail forward to your new address... informing the person you sold the car too of your new address etc.

If you were unable to prove you took these simple reasonable steps, it is quite likely the court will take the view you were trying to hide and find you guilty - you will also then have the driving without a license charge to answer as well! Make no mistake - once the police haven proven they sent the NIP, it is upto you to disprove this.

If you think an NIP is on the way, I would be checking your old address mail for it.


OK, thanks for all that (and everyone else who chipped in). It's all exactly what I'd expect them to do, to be honest (apart from the bit where they say 'they can prove they sent it' - how does that work? It's not sent using recorded delivery or registered post).

To be honest I spent a long time searching through this forum, and saw a few 'success stories' whereby people had boasted of 'time outs', where they'd ignored policemen knocking on their door, etc.

Maybe these were from a few years ago and things have tightened up significantly. Or do they still sometimes not get pursued?

(A case in point, and part of the roots of my stupid optimism: some years back (in the early 80s) I was stopped for speeding and breathalysed (under the limit). Very shortly afterwards I left the country to work abroad, in the Persian Gulf. My father (whom I had been living with) received an NIP for me and subsequently a visit from Her Majesty's Constabulary, whereupon he told the officer I was working overseas and was uncontactable. Officer in question tore up the summons on the spot. When I returned to the UK a few months later I heard no more about it.)
Jlc
They will have a copy of the NIP and will testify it was sent - the address will be shown of course and it will be assumed to be 'served'.

In regards to time-out - I think you're making reference to Scotland and 'going unsigned' - doesn't work in England.
stevensan
The 'unsigned' approach has been used in Scotland successfully. It effectively means you receive the NIP, complete it naming yourself as the driver, but fail to sign it. Without the signature there is no proof you completed the form, and therefore it is hard for them to prosecute for speeding. In Scotland they are yet to take this to court for failure to furnish, as they are scared of losing and then opening a huge can of worms. What they do instead is come round and knock on the door and ask the question directly. That can then be used to prosecute.

There have however been a few stories recently whereby they have charged the speeding even without the NIP being produced. Theoretically you could then plead Not guilty and go to court. However if you are then asked on the stand if you were driving at that time, answering yes will see a heavy fine and points, and answering No (if indeed you were driving, and if the court could prove you were, which is possible) could see you answering a PCOJ charge which would mean time with Bubba.

The easiest way is to get the NIP, write/phone and ask nicely for pics to see if you can identify the driver and then take it from there.
sgtdixie
QUOTE
(3)Failure to comply with the requirement of section 1(1) of this Act is not a bar to the conviction of the accused in a case where the court is satisfied—
(a)that neither the name and address of the accused nor the name and address of the registered keeper, if any, could with reasonable diligence have been ascertained in time for a summons or, as the case may be, a complaint to be served or for a notice to be served or sent in compliance with the requirement, or
(b)that the accused by his own conduct contributed to the failure.


Couple of things. If you move address/sell the car and fail to update DVLA/insurance records your conduct could be deemed to mean that a NIP does not need serving in 14 days in any event (see Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988).

If you actually receive the NIP, do nothing then are prosecuted for failing to reply you have a simple choice. Lie and claim you didn't receive it which may amount to perjury and see you go to prison, admit you did get it and be convicted with 6 points and circa £500 fine. If you cannot be traced a summons can be served on your last known address and you can be convicted in your absence. The DVLA will ask for your licence, you won't get the letter and your licence will be revoked. When next caught your car may be seized and even if you make a statutory declaration that you didn't know about the court case at the subsequent trial you are back to square one.


How far will the Police go is irrelevant, they have sent the NIP so need do nothing more. The question appears to be how far will you go to avoid whatever it is?

All of which makes the 3 points and £60 seem quite attractive.
Logician
QUOTE (stevensan @ Thu, 30 Aug 2012 - 10:42) *
There have however been a few stories recently whereby they have charged the speeding even without the NIP being produced. Theoretically you could then plead Not guilty and go to court. However if you are then asked on the stand if you were driving at that time, answering yes will see a heavy fine and points, and answering No (if indeed you were driving, and if the court could prove you were, which is possible) could see you answering a PCOJ charge which would mean time with Bubba.


Surely the answer is not to take the stand, as you have no obligation to give evidence? You would simply let the prosecution present their case, and then submit there is no case to answer in that there is no evidence that you were driving the vehicle, apart from the unsigned form, which is not good evidence as it is unsigned. If you do not give evidence you cannot be questioned as to whether you were driving the vehicle or whether you completed the form.
Jlc
QUOTE (sgtdixie @ Thu, 30 Aug 2012 - 10:54) *
All of which makes the 3 points and £60 seem quite attractive.

Indeed, but it's 52 in a 30 so is probably a summons?
sgtdixie
QUOTE (Jlc @ Thu, 30 Aug 2012 - 11:24) *
QUOTE (sgtdixie @ Thu, 30 Aug 2012 - 10:54) *
All of which makes the 3 points and £60 seem quite attractive.

Indeed, but it's 52 in a 30 so is probably a summons?


Probably, but quite a few areas now operate the +25 rule for all limits now. (pedants please note I am excluding 20 mph limits rolleyes.gif)
CuriousOrange
QUOTE (Vaughan @ Thu, 30 Aug 2012 - 07:53) *
To be honest I spent a long time searching through this forum, and saw a few 'success stories' whereby people had boasted of 'time outs', where they'd ignored policemen knocking on their door, etc.
I'm not sure you've searched long enough if you've mixed up Scottish unsigned with never receiving a NIP and thought it okay to discuss pretending to not to have received a NIP you've already got, not to mention using a second forum membership ID...
HerbieM
Duplicate post ohmy.gif
HerbieM
As this is a hypothetical thread I am also interested in this - we do have mail that goes astray regularly (two identically named streets in our town).

I often thought I should keep evidence of this 'just in case' but then considered how this might appear to be a well prepared (in advance) defence.

There has been one documented occasion where banking documents went to the other address and was redirected. This needed to be documented to the bank and therefore it provided a valid reason to document it! This item was correctly addressed including the postcode.

In fairness I have received 3 NIPS (over 20 years) in my life and responded to all of them so if one did go astray I would assume that my previous record of replying would give me some credibility (although not sure the Mags would particularly care).

While I understand saying you did not receive something that you had received, in court, is perjury - in most cases this lie would be between you and your God (should you have one) and entirely beyond the possibility of proof.

The only way to rebut service (without the NIP) is to stand up in court and say it was not received - if you are prepared to go that far and risk a speeding prosecution in court then if the mags refuse to accept your word - an appeal in front of a judge should succeed, or am I expecting to much from our 'justice' system?

The actual evidence would simply be:

Person 1 - "I posted it"
Person 2 - "I didn't receive it"

It would seem perverse to accept staement from person 1 and not accept the statement from person 2.
CuriousOrange
Sooo...you can lie on oath about receiving something if they couldn't prove you were lying, it would then be perverse for them to believe Person 1 who gains nothing by lying over Person 2 who gains a lot by lying, and moreover it would be unjust for a judge not to allow an appeal in your favour on the basis that if you were prepared to go to court it can only be that you're telling the truth, even though you're actually lying because you're happy they can't prove it.

On the contrary, I think you hope for too little from the justice system. It's not quite that wet behind the ears.

And the thread quite clearly isn't hypothetical at all. Nor has it much future, I imagine.

Aretnap
QUOTE (HerbieM @ Thu, 30 Aug 2012 - 12:37) *
The actual evidence would simply be:

Person 1 - "I posted it"
Person 2 - "I didn't receive it"

It would seem perverse to accept staement from person 1 and not accept the statement from person 2.

Why would it be perverse? Some people tell the truth and some don't. It's the courts job to decide who is telling the truth. They do it all the time. Most people aren't very good at lying convincingly, especially under cross-examination, so it's easier than you might think.

Plus ticket offices post out hundreds of NIPs a day - there's nothing remotely unlikely about a claim that they posted one to person 2, and they have no particular reason to lie about it. OTOH relatively little post actually goes missing, so if you claim that you didn't receive something that was posted then your claim is, if not extraordinary, at least worthy of scrutiny. Plus you have an obvious incentive not to be honest, in order to dodge a speeding penalty.

The court would weigh up how credible you were in the witness box, any evidence you could provide of existing problems with post, perhaps evidence that you'd responded to your previous NIPs and decide if it believed you or not. That's the way things work. What would be perverse would be if the courts were obliged to accept all testimony at face value. Then the typical murder trial would go something like this...

Prosecution: "Stuff"
Defendant "Honest m'lud, I never killed him"
Jury: Not guilty
HerbieM
In the case of a murder trial you would assume there would be more evidence that the accused committed the crime than someone saying the equivalent of "I posted a letter therefore it must have been delivered" (Although in some cases you do wonder ninja.gif)

The only evidence that exists of the letters delivery or not is the testimony of the person saying it did not arrive and as no one can give any evidence to the contrary it would, IMO, be perverse to convict as at the very least reasonable doubt must exist.

Evidence that it was delivered - none (only that it was posted)
Evidence it wasn't - witness testimony (from the accused)

No one is suggesting the scamera team are lying about posting it as its posting is irrelevant it's the delivery that is in question.

As everyone knows post does go missing (for a variety of reasons) then posting something does not mean deliver is certain, the only thing that is certain is there is evidence that it did not reach its destination and NO evidence to the contrary.

If I was ever in this position (hopefully no more NIPS let alone any lost in the post) it is wrong that I would have to way up in advance the 'type' or 'mood' of magistrate I might face before pleading not guilty to an offence because the NIP was not served in time.
stevensan
QUOTE (HerbieM @ Thu, 30 Aug 2012 - 14:58) *
As everyone knows post does go missing (for a variety of reasons) then posting something does not mean deliver is certain, the only thing that is certain is there is evidence that it did not reach its destination and NO evidence to the contrary.


But the point that others have made is that the letter is assumed served, under law, once posted. Therefore, there is no onus on the police to show service, or indeed, any evidence. The evidence that it was received is the fact it was posted - that is enough for the court to convict.

The onus is on the receiver to show doubt that they didn't get it - eg, by showing problems with mail. If the court believes the evidence they can find not guilty, but otherwise you will be found guilty, even if the only evidence of service presented is a testimony to it being sent.
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