My letter of the day following the iniquitous fine against Michael Thompson for obstructing the Police in the course of their duty by warning other motorists of a speed trap set by the local traffic Police.
Total costs £440 including £15 victims surcharge.(a Tax). I do not consider that the Police should be considered ‘victims’ in this case.
The Police seem to be forgetting that they are the servants of the public not the other way round. No doubt this is another directive from the private company that runs the UK Police ACPO. Mr Thompson I submit was being very public spirited in warning other drivers to slow down, to a) avoid getting a fine and three points that circumvents the common law that only a Court can impose fines, not an organisation taking instruction from a private limited company, b) getting traffic to ensure that they stay within the speed limit.
The Police argument that Thompson was obstructing the Police in their duty is the converse of the actual situation. The duty of the Police is to maintain a a safe speed on the road, Mr Thompson was evidently assisting them. However if the intent of the Police was to generate income, Mr Thompson was indeed obstructing them in their endeavours. The Court decided that the public duty of the Police was to collect fines not road safety.
Sir- Regarding the conviction of a motorist for flashing cars to warn of a speed trap (report January 5th), i cut out the following extract from the Daily Telegraph motoring section (August 5th 2006) and have kept it in my purse in case I ever found myself in the same situation.
” Lorry driver Charles Glendinning was taken all the way to the House of Lords after he successfully appealed against a Court decision. Taunton magistrates initially convicted him of wilfully obstructing the police when he waved at other drivers to warn of a speed trap on the A303.
“Three law lords headed by former Chief Justice, Lord Bingham, have again ruled in Glendinning’s favour by refusing the DPP permission to appeal. When the High Court considered the case in February, Mr Justice Owen said there was no evidence that any of the motorists warned by Glendinning had been breaking the speed limit or were about to do so. He added that some people might think the police ought to appreciate the efforts of others to prevent speeding”
(The Telegraph 7th January 2011)
So take a copy of this to keep in your wallet/purse because the Police and DPP are fully aware of this precedent and are in fact making it up as they go along, relying on their knowledge that people cannot afford able to pay for legal representation by people who do know about Law Lords interpreting the Law rather than some low grade bureaucrat ‘acting in the public interest’ (ie the public purse).
The RAC should start trying to flog legal protection to motorist instead of house insurance. Do I remember that if an AA man did not give a member a salute that meant ‘look out there is a policeman in the bushes ahead.
The Police do not really care what the public think or even bother to consider that they ought to secure public consent and support for their actions. If you want to protest and say ‘down with this sort of thing’ you might find your self in a bit of difficulty because they are interpreting the word ‘serious’ as in serious public disorder in a rather different way to the rest of us.