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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71135
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Yesterday a neighbour told me someone had driven into my car

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Yesterday a neighbour told me someone had driven into my car (while parked on the street). I took photos of the scene. There was a bumper from the other vehicle that had been left behind on the road. I kept the bumper as evidence. I then saw that a neighbour's van had a corresponding part of his bumper missing. I took photos of his van. The police won't show him the bumper and ask him to explain. They did not even look at the photos. They said they would talk to him but shouldn't they show him the bumper I have and ask him to explain? Please tell me what exactly the police should be doing in this situaiton.

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

Why do you feel the police should show him the bumper please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Because it is circumstantial evidence. My car was scratched, a bumper was next to the car in the street, a van parked close by has a part of his bumper missing that matches the part left in the street.


If the bumper I have matches the van's missing bumper, and he can't explain what happened to his bumper, does that not show that in all probability, he is guilty?


Dont the police have a duty to investigate hit and runs fully?


If I confront the neighbour, I risk being done for harrassment, I would have thought.

Yes, they do but how does showing him the bumper do that?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I don't know how else to rephrase it. They could show him the bumper left next to my scratched car, show that it matches the missing part on his van and ask him to explain how his bumper came to be missing.


Or are you saying it is not necessary to physcially show the bumper, just ask him to explain his missing bumper?

Thank you.

I am sorry but it's bad news. The reason that the police have chosen not to do this is that it is not within their remit to do so.

Whether or not the scratches on the car match the bumper is an issue for an expert not lay witnesses and so it would be innapropriate to put it to the defendant during police interview. It is no more complicated than that.

It would also be impractical during a police interview to start taking suspects out on site visits to observe damage.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your answer but the issue is not whether the scratches on the car match the bumper, it is whether the part of the bumper found by my car following the crash fits the van that has part of its bumper missing.


If it does fit, then it would suggest that it was on the van at the time of the impact, unless the driver has a plausible reason why his part of a bumper is missing. Surely a lay person could hold the part of the bumper up to the van and see whether in all probability it fits? The van is parked outside the man's house and the police are due to call on him at this house so I wouldn't have thought it would be impractical.


My main question was what can I expect the police to do in this situation? What are they legally obliged to do?



Their only obligation is to consider your complaint. They do not have to investigate and certainly do not have to prosecute.

A lay person could take those actions but it wouldn't amount to evidence because a lay person is not collision expert and so it could not be used.

The police are not allowed to call at his house and show him the bumper because that would amount to an interview under PACE which can only be done at the police station under caution.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok, that is fine. I just wanted to make sure the police were doing as much as they should.





Yes, Im sure they are investigating this mattter and may well charge him.

No problem and all the best.

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