Q:"told to make "an illegal right turn" by a police officer"

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by ABrighter2006, Jan 15, 2010.

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  1. Just a quick question relating to the experience of someone I work with, and wondered what opinions were on this? He summarises it pretty well.

    Long story, but the short version is that I was told to make "an illegal right turn" by a police officer to avoid an impassable road. Harrow Council then fined me for it. I disputed it, explaining that a police officer had directed me to do this. They then wrote back, essentially saying "not good enough". One can't fight that sort of bureaucracy. So I just paid the damn thing.

    Any thoughts on the COA he should / have taken?
  2. I'd first wonder why Harrow Council are fining him rather than Essex Police issuing an FPN. There's a difference between bylaws and parking offences, normally dealt with by the council, and Road Traffic Act offences - dealt with by the police and the courts.

    I'd have challenged the fine to mags and pleaded mitigation, myself, looking for an absolute discharge. Personally, I've run red lights twice in my life to get out of the way of emergency vehicles - not be summonsed for it either time but ...
  3. Quite interesting this one as it is also an offence to ignore a traffic signal given by a constable who is engaged in the regulation of traffic. I would say that if the road ahead was impassible then the constable's direction to turn right rendered the no entry (or whatever sign it was) void. If I were your friend I wouldn't let it drop.
  4. Regrettably this does happen. If only common-sense would nip it in the bud before it gets silly. Ho hum :x

    Anyway, with the time, date and location, he could have called his local Safer Neighbourhood Team if he lives in Harrow, or just turn up at a Met Police Station, preferably in Harrow.

    Explain the circumstances. From the date/time/location and brief circs, someone should be able to find the reference on the Met's C2 system, which will be a 'CAD number'. If that didn't persuade the council, going back to the police and going down the lines of - your officer is going to cost me £X, sort this or I make an official complaint - will hopefully, sort it...
  5. In theory, if you'd not followed the lawful instruction of a constable, you could have been arrested for obstruction, so you were in a bit of a no win situation. I don't suppose you got a shoulder number of the officer did you?

    Harrow should hang their heads in shame. My Mother lives in that area, and they're are a pain in the ARRSE.

    Here's what you could try:

    You say that there was an impassable road - if that's the case, then there will be a record of that fact with the police.

    If you know the day, date and time (which will be on your FPN) the police should be able to trace which officer was there or in the general area at the time.

    Ask to speak to that officer, and hope that he/she either remembers the incident, or has made a pocket book entry of the same.

    Then ask him/her to approach the council on your behalf. In my experience, they will do, because they love sticking it to the numpties in the offices.

    If you get no joy, ask for an appointment to speak with the Div Supt (you're entitled to do so). Explain your case to him/her, and tell them that you're furious that an officer has caused you to be prosecuted.

    I'll bet a pound to a pinch of shite, that you'll get a result.

    Hope that helps and good luck.

    Ex MetPol

  6. For some reason (probably not unconnected with this evening's wine intake) I was reading "Harlow" not "Harrow" - hence Essex plod as opposed to the Met.
  7. Cheers for the responses. Agreed the council doesn't come out of it well. Will pass the link on and if there is an update, will post it here.

    Thanks again.
  8. I concur with the advice given by Sundog.

    A police officer may, in the execution of his duty, order a motorist to disobey traffic regulations if it is reasonably necessary to protect life and property.

    The following case has not been distinguished or overruled and you may use it, if, at the material time, the order by the officer was for the purpose the law allows. If it was, then you may use the following case as authority for the contention that Harrow Council should not have issued a fine in the circumstances

    Johnson v Phillips [1976] 1 W.L.R. 65 Queen's Bench Division Lord Widgery C.J. , Milmo and Wien JJ.
    Road Traffic—Police—Powers—Motorist stopping car behind ambulance in narrow one-way street—Police officer's instruction to motorist to reverse car to facilitate rescue operations—Whether motorist's refusal obstruction of police office in execution of duty—Whether instruction reasonable— Police Act 1964 (c. 48), s. 51 (3)
    The defendant stopped his car about 10 feet behind a stationary ambulance in a narrow one-way street. A police officer asked him to reverse some 10 to 15 yards back to the next street because he was obstructing the removal of injured persons and other ambulances were expected. The defendant refused to reverse back on the ground, inter alia, that he would be committing an offence for which he might be prosecuted. He was convicted by justices of wilfully obstructing the police officer in the execution of his duty contrary to section 51 (3) of the Police Act 1964

    On the defendant's appeal against conviction:
    that a police officer, in the exercise of his power to control traffic, was, at common law, under a duty to require other persons to disobey traffic regulations if it was reasonably necessary to protect life or property; that since life was, or might reasonably have been, endangered, the police officer's instruction, given at a time when he was acting in the course of his duty was reasonable and lawful (post, pp. 69F–H, 70B–D). Reg. v. Waterfield [1964] 1 Q.B. 164, C.C.A. and Hoffman v. Thomas [1974] 1 W.L.R. 374, D.C. considered .

    Per curiam . No general discretion is given to a constable, even in cases where he himself considers that a emergency has arisen, to disobey traffic regulations or to direct other persons to disobey them (post, p. 70E, F).
  9. Iolis - many thanks for such a detailed reply, I will make sure he revisits the thread.

    He did drop me an email earlier - can kinda see where he is, on the "waste of good time to try and get it back, line" but the thanks to contributors here has been appreciated:


    Just a note for your friends on the army site.


    I wanted to say a thanks to your friends for their contributions on that army site you posted my recent dilemma on. However, you all overlooked one thing; that the wind has been punched out of me so many times by the state, that I really don't care that much any more. I'm sure you all agree that our liberties and indeed our freedom to exist as human beings has been weathered down so much to the point of indignity that many individuals, including myself are now starting to wonder what the point is. For myself, it seems that my reason for being is just to be bled dry by the state and be chucked in a hole at the end. And even when that day comes, the state still taxes us as we try to leave a legacy for those we leave behind. So what's a £60 fine if not the appetiser for the main course to come? Not that I'll bother leaving any legacy - the state can just have it. I do admire what you boys do in fighting for those who can't fight for themselves. It's not a job I could do myself. But I think you missed the real enemy.
  10. Police have now lost the power to enforce many traffic sign offences eg conditional No Entries (except buses etc) no right/left/u turn, box junctions..... these are now enforced by councils using cameras.

    There is no right to a court hearing, instead the appeal is held by a panel. In my view, this is wrong.

    a tip to the guy appealing though - dont just turn up at a police station blaming the officer and stamping your feet, it's not likely to help things, after all this is the council's fault, and speaking as someone who has had to work with council bureaucracy I know they are a nightmare.

    The request for info in relation to the original incident is the best idea, there will be an officer's details on the Computer Aided Despatch incident too.

    The police should write you a letter to send to the council.

    Though that doesnt mean theyll cancel the ticket, you may have to write to the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service. Who often side with the councils.

    And remember, we are here to serve the council, they are NOT here to serve us.