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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 30896
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was a hit and run victim on a bicycle in a major city centre.

Customer Question

I was a hit and run victim on a bicycle in a major city centre. This was a road rage incident, so there was an aggravating circumstance. Two witnesses provided contact information. One witness agreed this was deliberate, but both witnesses told the police this was an accident. The police reviewed CCTV and closed the case after 4 hours saying it could not be progressed.

The police reopened the case for about 2 weeks, 6 weeks after the incident, to allow public assistance following a complaint, but it is now closed again with no effect.

The police have chosen not to investigate the witness statement discrepancy. Not recording this as a crime will affect available compensation.

The police in this city had 70 cases of hit and run reported to them in 2012 about 50&% involved pedestrians and about 50% involved cyclists. The police solved only ONE case, as determined under FOI for 2012.

This represents a crime solving rate of 1.4%. Given that the police ask for no assistance from the public in solving hit and run crimes, but do ask for assistance in solving other crimes, such as the theft of personal property, it is not surprising their success rate is so low, but this does not mean the police are necessarily negligent as they have limited resources and have discretion with respect to allocation of resources and whether to investigate crime.

Some police forces do investigate hit and runs more extensively. The police in my city will act if there is reliable evidence from a witness or CCTV evidence that allows them to recognize a vehicle, such as a business logo, or better still, an index number.

By their own admission CCTV, which belongs to the city, but is operated by the police, principally, but jointly with the city, is often left pointing at nowhere in particular, meaning cameras are left idle, and pointing at the last target of interest, although all cameras are supposed to be repositioned at the start of each shift, but with over 300 cameras to check it is doubtful this is being done.

Between 6 and 7 cameras failed to yield a single useful image in the case of my hit and run incident.

This preamble is necessary for me to ask for advice as to whether I have a reasonable prospect of a claim against the police for discriminating against a class of victims by not investigating hit and run beyond a cursory initial review, and less thoroughly than other less serious criminal offences, and for negligence in the operation of CCTV, and in choosing not to investigate a discrepancy between witness and victim statements.

I am still attempting to obtain copies of CCTV which the police agreed to reserve, and I have written to the police to ask for answers to 14 questions relating to policy on investigating and solving crime, particularly hit and run crime, CCTV policy, and the witness statement discrepancy, but they may decline to respond if I do not have the authority to question them in this format, in which case these answers would only come as a result of legal action.

I would also like to know whether any claim for compensation would include a consideration for lack of compensation from the driver's own insurance carrier due to police failing to solve this crime, and for the distress caused by the police being disengaged from this investigation, as well as the time incurred to attempt to investigate as a citizen, which has been hampered by my lack of access to police records which are protected under Data Protection, so that one cannot confirm what the police have done or have not done until completing Data Protection information procedures, by which time it is likely to be too late to secure CCTV data, as in this case where the police misinformed me as to the source of the data (the city, not the police) and the appropriate route for making such request, by which time the CCTV footage had been erased.

Please advise about any other grounds for a claim, and in all cases kindly mention typical levels of compensation, or limits that have been set through case law, or judicial review.

Thank you

XXXXX XXXXX [email protected] (NNN) NNN-NNNN1
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Sorry if I'm missing the point but why have they closed the case?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

There has been no response from the public after it was reopened6 weeks after the incident, for 2 weeks, to allow an advertisement to run in the South Wales Echo, and it was originally closed after 4 hours because neither of the original witnesses provided a licence plate number and the 6-7 CCTV cameras revealed no significant distinguishing feature of the car, nor the index numbers/licence plate numbers.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
OK. They did a witness appeal which failed then.

What else were you expecting that they would do? Sorry if I'm missing the point but obviously the Crown have to prove an allegation.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

For Jo C


 


I think you have to understand that our school education system is designed to ensure that the average citizen has little knowledge of the law.


 


Naturally citizens assume that the police have a duty to investigate and solve crime, but my recent research indicates this is not so. The police, except in the case of very minor crimes have no authority to charge until authorised to do so by CPS, and there are a lot more surprising results I have uncovered.

Of course the Crown has to prove an allegation, although your assertion has no real relevance to legal due process in England and Wales, because by the Crown I assume you mean CPS, however CPS is not even involved at this point, because the police did not accept to investigate this crime, as I understand the situation, and this would be according to their discretion to not investigate.

What they did was a preliminary investigation and did not go beyond that point.

I asked specifically about discrimination against a class of victims of crime, and about negligence in the conduct of the preliminary investigation caused by a failure of CCTV, by choosing not to investigate a discrepancy in statements given to them and in not listing the incident as a crime. In other words it does not have the status of a hit and run offence, because this is a crime.


 


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I'm really sorry but I'm afraid I don't see any discrimination here? Sorry if I'm missing the point.

What else were you expecting them to do ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

For Jo C


 


I think we should conclude our arrangement. Your responses are very brief, do not address the extent of my enquiry, provide no context or detail, and do not reference case law or any Act of law, so I am going to assess your response as unsatisfactory, and ask you to cancel the £33 charge.


 


Thank you


 


John Harris

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
My name is Alex Hughes and I am a Solicitor based in London. I'm happy to help with your question today.

-When did this incident? When did the police close their investigation?

-Has the driver who crashed into you been identified by anyone?

-On your discrimination point what remedy are you proposing to from the High Court?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm sorry, this just seems disingenuous. When someone who, it seems, is in the US cannot answer, then they attempt to find someone in UK who can, but I was supposed to have originally been in touch with a UK barrister Jo C.


 


I have lost faith in this process, sorry, I am disengaging.


 


John

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
Both Jo and I are based in the UK.

The company is US based. Like Microsoft. But we are UK based and practise in English Courts.

Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return.

I see experts have opted out. Do you still need help with the please?

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