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.