An NIP was received in the post approx 10-13 days after an alleged speeding offence – (37mph in 30mph limit). The vehicle concerned was a leased vehicle with the hirer address based in x at my partner’s previous marital home.
The Leasing Company had on their file a second address in x ( my home) for their financial correspondence to reach my partner, but this is not his private address, it was only for the accounts etc. to be dealt with whilst the divorce was proceeding.
The original NIP was sent to the Leasing company, who sent correspondence to my partner at the address in x stating they had received the NIP and had informed the Police of his details.
The police then sent another NIP to my address for him, which was subsequently queried – since so much time had now passed since the date of the alleged offence, and as both of us drive the vehicle at numerous times of day or night we requested photographic evidence to help us identify the driver.
We didn’t receive any response and had to write 3 times stressing our urgency to settle the matter- all with certificate of posting – before we actually received any response.
The correspondence from the police was sent via “signature required” and arrived sometime during a week when no-one was at the house to take any post, so a card was left. The letter was then collected from the Delivery Office by me – and noted that it was addressed to my partner, who was still away.
He returned on the following Tuesday, and a response letter was sent to the police explaining that the letter and photo did not reach him within an allowed time frame to respond, but nonetheless the response was that the photo did not assist us in identifying the driver, but that it was either one of the two of us, and the police were provided with both names.
We also explained that there was no provision on the 172 form where a true fact could be entered – so it could not be filled in correctly and returned :- part 1 had to be filled in only if “you were the driver” – we checked diaries, mobile phone records, our own memories and dissected the whereabouts to work out who could have been driving and genuinely could not recall who took that leg of the driving, so that could not be filled honestly.
Part 2 has to be filled in if you are not the driver but (1) either know who was (again this doesn’t provide for a possibility only an absolute so an accurate answer cannot be given here either ), (2) represent a hire company ( he does not ) or (3) are not the owner/keeper and know who is etc. – the same problem arises, which also is not applicable in this case.
Without knowing for sure who the driver is there is no where on the form that accurately allows for the form to be completed correctly.
We informed the police of this in the last letter, and asked for any other assistance whilst still providing them with the possible driver’s names, and discovered 3 days later that they had sent out a letter the same day as our response telling us it would now go to Court. We read the leaflet included which stated the magistrates would hear evidence – so we assumed that would include our evidence.
We attended court expecting to be able to make the case and explain the circumstances but were not allowed to do so. The case was then set for trial for hearing, which is on Wednesday x.
We will be going to court but need any advice even at this late stage that might help us get the point across to the Magistrates that we really have given every effort to recall the driver and that the form for 172 doesn’t have any area to complete that either doesn’t incriminate an otherwise potentially innocent person or force you to enter something wrongly.
We know the speeding was only nominal and would have probably been dealt with by a fine and 3 points, and it would obviously be easier just to make up someone’s name to take the points – but that isn’t truthful either. We had thought that the letter sent to the police might then produce a further NIP to myself to provide details – but that hasn’t happened. Please help if you can. Thank you.
I can help you with this matter but it is very short notice.
I defend over 95% of these allegations and get over 80% withdrawn without trial. I would like to apply to the court urgently for an adjournment of the trial tomorrow so that we can have chance to make representations to the prosecution that this matter should be withdrawn.
You have a defence to this matter on the basis that you gave all the information that was within your power to give. You are right to point out the failings in the form that the police send out. I agree entirely – but they are not willing to give you the flexibility that the law actually provides I’m afraid.
We maybe able to get this matter withdrawn even though it is very short notice, but I would need your urgent instruction and we would have to talk immediately.