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Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71049
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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can the police press charges for criminal damage if - no

Customer Question

can the police press charges for criminal damage if

- no evidence of the damage was caused that night

- no witness's or evidence of anyone doing this supposed damage

- but can prove my car may have been in the vicinity at the time of the alleged damage
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

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

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

A car was allegedly scratched at 1.25 am it is claimed a car matching my cars description pulled up alongside the damaged car.


There is a CCTV footage from a neighbours house allegedly showing a part number plate.


The police came to see me informally asking if I knew anything about it, and they may send CCTV to have it enhanced to retrieve the number plate.


There is no evidence to say anyone got out of the car, the police told us no one got out of the car and they presume someone lent out of a window.


I have history with the owner of the damaged car,

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

is this a high value criminal damage?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

2 small scratches


Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Is it going to be you? You are anonymous on this site
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes it will be our car.


But the police said when they popped for an informal chat that they said someone must have lent out of the car and scratched the car. This didn't happen.


We have looked at the angle of the camera and it doesn't point anywhere near the parked damaged vehicle. the only way it may have caught the car is it going past??!!


We have a history with this person, they tried to take us to court on a charge which the crown court judge throw out. So they think anything that happens to them is us!


We believe the police my be bluffin why would they spend so much time money effort for a couple of scratches that you cannot see any one actually do! and they don't know for certain that they wern-t there before this.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Yes, but what I need to know is whether you caused the criminal damage?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Was it somebody acting at your direction?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No we had nothing to do with it....but it feels like we are being accused for being in the area, and because of the history.


What if her maniac father put registration plates on a car to make it look like us! He said he would get us back for his daughter getting thrown out of court


Our main point is can or will they arrest me, is it normal for them to do a informal chat in our home and then go away,


All the police said was if we had anything to tell them tell them now, and they may enhance the cctv to get a number plate,


But only last week her father was snooping around our house and we are now wondering if he is setting us up


Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Please forget about all of that.

What I need to understand is how a random person who was nothing to do with you came to be in your car and committing this offence?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

we are not sure if it is our car, that's what we are saying ..the police have just said it was a car like a silver golf....they don't the number plate.


we drive past all the time as we live not far away

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
You said above that it would be your car?

You are completely anonymous on here.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

it was an error!


No what I meant to say is the police said that it is a car that fits our cars description!


Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Of itself, that isn't sufficient. Obviously it gives rise to suspicion but that isn't enough to meet the criminal standard of proof.

In fairness even if it was your car, for this offence they cannot use S172 to force from you the identity of the driver and they cannot just prosecute the registered keeper for an offence of criminal damage.

Unless they have evidence upon the identity of the person concerned they have no case.

They could blow up the images they do have. It is fair to say that is quite unlikely. This is a low level criminal damage and facial mapping is not a cheap option for the police. That wouldn't be very sensible use of resources.

There are no guarantees they will not try to prosecute. Sometimes they do predicate cases on weak evidence but they do not usually lead to convictions.

Can I help further?