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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69985
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My neighbour has been arrested my partners car while parked

Customer Question

My neighbour has been arrested for keying my partners car while parked on road outside our house. The act was caught on cctv from a neighbours house, and the police decided this was sufficient for make an arrest. The police have however decided not to charge the neighbour because the cctv is not (in their opinion) conclusive. Last November 2015 we issued legal proceedings in the civil courts. The case is complex and I need not go into detail other than to say we are seeking protection from harassment under the act of 1997.
I have been asking the police for a copy of the cctv for use in our civil proceedings, but so far they have not responded on this point.
Can you tell me if I have rights to obtain this footage as clearly it will help in our proceedings where the burden of proof is much lower than the criminal courts.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

No, not automatically.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

In fact, they wouldn't disclose it.

Why are you involved in this?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

Surely it is her claim?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
This is my partners car. We have issued legal proceedings against our neighbours in a complex case last November. We were told by the Police that they would be charging our neighbour having obtained the cctv footage from another neighbours cctv that was pointing directly to the spot where my partners car was parked. We believe the neighbour did this in revenge for the action we are taking against them. The cctv footage will help us in our legal proceedings even though the neighbour was arrested. We are aware that the Police require a 33% likelyhood of evidence before they will make an arrest, but require 99% before they will charge. We know that only 51% is required in the Civil Court. The value of damage done is £1300!
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

When you say 'we', you have left this to her?

This is nothing to do with you. Do not expose yourself to risk of costs. I'm sure she is perfectly capable.

You haven't yourself asked the police for CCTV?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

If you have done this already then we will have to manage the risks but if you have not then please do not.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I don't think you understand. I refer to 'we' that is me and my partner Sandra. It was her car parked on road where we live, and it is our neighbour that was caught on CCTV from another neighbours house who have cctv. After the damage was found to Sandras car, the Police reviewed the neighbours cctv that happened to point over their frontage and directly at Sandra's car. Based on this evidence they decided to make an arrest.What do you mean it is nothing to do with me - the car belongs to usI have asked the Police for the CCTV, but they have not responded to me on this point. I have in fact asked my Solicitor to consider what we may be able to do to obtain the CCTV, but I thought I might get a quick answer ( and frankly cheaper) by a quick word here.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

I do understand.

Have you yourself

1 Issued in your own name

2 Asked the police for CCTV or otherwise complained?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
We have issued proceedings in both our names.I have asked police for cctv but have not yet made a complaint.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

I presume she is the registered keeper of the car?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

On no account make a complaint.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
that is correct
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

Ok.

But you have already issued in your own name? I suppose as part of a joint claim?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
correct. Please bear in mind this damage only took place on the 1st July 2016, and as stated we issued proceedings last november, therefore this does not of course appear in our Particulars of Claim.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

Ok. Don't get involved in this. This is her claim and for her to sort out.

Certainly do not on any account complain to the police. All that will do is turn their sympathy against you and you will suffer not her. Probably there is no basis for a complaint anyway as they don't drop things lightly. Actually it is easier for officers and better for their statistics to prosecute.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

In relation to the CCTV, they won't disclose it. There are lots of reasons for it.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

They won't disclose it for the asking.

The only way to get access to it maybe is for her to seek an order from the county court forcing disclosure.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

That would only be possible if she is bringing a claim for the value of the damage and the Judge is of the view that it may be probative.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

It is difficult to tell what would happen there. I think a Judge would probably conclude there is no point because the police have inspected it and decided it doesn't identify the neighbour.

The reality is that even with the lower standard of proof, if the identification is weak then it is weak.

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69985
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I did wonder about that, and will pass your comments to my Solicitor. I think we can end there, so thanks.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

If you are suing for harassment though then you could try to get an order in the course of that claim.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

But leave that to her. It is important you don't expose yourself to costs of a claim that is not yours.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
This is just a follow up. The neighbour in question can and has been identified as walking towards the car, almost stopping, have a good look around, then placing her hand near to the car and walking on. The Police have said that it is not possible to see what is in her hand, i.e. a key or similar sharp object. It is for that reason that they believe they would not get a conviction, coupled with the fact that the neighbour of course will not own up to what all know she has done. I have asked for the CCTV as I have told the Police (who already knew we had issued proceedings against our neighbours - involved with certain matters before) that I intended to take the footage to an expert and have it looked at on high resolution equipment etc.I have passed your comments on to my Solicitor to consider, but thought you may like a little further information. Thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

Does it show her doing anything to the car?

If not, it would seem to exculpate her.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Sandra's car was parked outside our house for a little over one hour. We have not parked on our Road for many years, and only did so as we were having trees pruned and could not gain access to our Property. During the period Sandra's car was parked very few other people walked past the car.(we know this from the cctv footage). Our neighbour in fact walked past the car twice - going out with their dog and then back when she slows down etc etc. It should be remembered that their is a history of harassment that involves false allegations to the Police over the last two years. As I have already said it is a complex case, and our neighbours are being backed by a Brother who is the Chairman of a multi million pound Company. All done in the hope we will 'go away' Don't think so, and in fact on the day the neighbour was arrested we were in Court for Costs Budgets to be agreed. The Judge actually commented ' the daily mail would love this one!'Anyway, as you have said, as the Police can not prove she did key the car that is the end of it as far as they are concerned, but it is something we will pursue in our Civil proceedings.Thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

OK.

So does the CCTV show her doing anything to the car?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Well, this is difficult to answer. She is seen moving her hand out towards the car - keeping it in that position while she walks past the car. Her hand remains out stretched for the distance of the scratch i.e. about 4 feet long across passenger door and back panel.As I have said although I am told this is clear, the quality of the CCTV does not show a key or similar in her hand - there lies the problem. As I have said I want to give the footage to an expert, which we have locally, who has already told us he can view the footage on high resolution equipment, perhaps play with the contrast etc.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

i don't think it particularly matters whether it shows a key or other object. It doesn't much better what was used really.

The problem here is that it doesn't seem to record her committing the offence because of the obstructions.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

I realise the circumstances give rise to an inference but no more than that.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks Jo, probably can leave it there for now.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

No problem. All the best.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
to you, thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

Welcome

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