Recently whilst driving through my local town I noticed a parked police van ahead of me and a Constable standing on the footpath. As I approached and drew along side I looked in the direction of him out of curiosity to see what was going on. I continued driving and a few minutes later noticed the police van behind me flashing its lights for me to stop, which I did.
The constable came to my window and asked me if I’d seen him standing on x Street and I replied, “Yes”. He then said, “you were on your mobile phone”. I was shocked as I wasn’t, in fact my phone was in a hands free cradle on the dash. I protested my innocence, but he was having none of it, stating, “I saw what I saw”.
The discussion continued until he asked to see my phone. On giving him the phone I said to him, ” I hope you are going to apologize or admit you were wrong when you see I was not using it. The Constable then checked my phone to find that any calls made or received were a few hours before the incident.
He then asked if I’d had my hand up to my face or head or anything like that. I had one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the gear stick and I told him this. I told him he was obviously mistaken but he refused to accept this and continued to say “I saw what I saw”.
My frustration grew at being falsely accused until I told him I was going to the station to make a complaint, he then noted my details and let me drive off. I drove to the police station and spoke to a Sergeant, informing him what had happened, he asked me how I wanted to proceed, I told him that if the constable would either admit I was not on my phone or apologize I would be satisfied.
The sergeant said he would have a word with the Constable and contact me later. The sergeant rang me later that evening and told me the Constable was sticking by the line that he saw what he saw.
I’m 45 years old, drive for a living, having covered almost 150,000 miles in the last 3 years and never had a caution, conviction or even a penalty point in my entire life. I’m angry at the false accusation leveled against me by this Constable. If he is so sure he seen me on my phone why did he ask me if I had my hand up to my face or head and why was no action taken against me?
I have never made a complaint against police before and would like to know if I’d be justified in making one in relation to this or is this Constable allowed to behave in this way? Thank you.
I understand your frustration but officers are normally very reluctant to accept that they have made a mistake.
The officer has accused you of an offence and you will not get an apology even if you are acquitted at court – that’s not the way it works I’m afraid. Officers accuse people of offences all day long everyday and most people deny the allegation against them. This is a normal days work for the officer and he’s not going to say sorry.
I anticipate that you will receive a summons to court for this matter. I don’t think that will be the end of it.
Come back to me when you get the summons and I will be happy to assist further. It can take up to 6 months for the summons to be issued. The IPCC wont take any action whilst there are potential proceedings outstanding.