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Access to evidence

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  • Access to evidence

    Hello all, just joined the Forum and hoping for some help (obviously).

    I'm hoping to get ahead of the game with this problem.

    My daughter is the owner/registed keeper of an old car, which three of us are insured to drive.
    In Febuary, she received a 'phone call from our insurer saying that they had received a claim against her for striking a parked car. She had no knowledge of this, nor do the other drivers, and asked for details. The location was given as Frederick St/ Gt Frderick St. and time as 06:30 at the end of January. As the car had been in Glasgow, Edindburgh and sundry other places, she asked if they could be more specific. After, I believe, a return call, it was narrowed down to Gt. Frederick St in Glasgow. Didn't really take us further forward as no-one could recall being there at the time specified and that was how it was left with the insurer.

    My daughter has since received a letter from the Police asking her to contact them regarding the matter. She called the the number and left her contact details. After a couple of missed calls from the Officer eventually there was a conversation.I gather the following points were made.
    • The accusation has been repeated and the question of not stopping after an accident floated.
    • A photograph of her car in the area at the time has been obtained. This was upgraded during the conversation to a photograph of the actual incident.
    • The photograph of the incident was taken by a passerby. The passerby has also made a statement that they witnessed the incident.
    • Neither the photograph or the statement will be passed onto my daughter.
    The call was end with nothing really having been resolved.
    I have advised my daughter to forget the convience of the mobile 'phone and insist on email communications. I can't help think that telephone conversation is not the way to go on this. Neither the insurer nor the Officer seem confident about the information they had and getting it writing may help achieve focus.
    Also, my daughter's work takes her away from home and doesn't really need to be doing this on the hoof.

    I am preplex about the position regarding the photograph and statement. If there is reasonable evidence that the car was there, then we will deal with it. The car is comprehensively insured. Also, I should add there is no sign of any damage to the car.

    So, the question is, can she insist on sight of the phtograph and possibly the statement, both to prove the incident took place and possibly to identify the driver?
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Have you tried asking for the information using the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002? The Police may charge for giving out this information.

    https://www.scotland.police.uk/acces...f-information/
    https://www.scotland.police.uk/acces...on-of-reports/

    The burden of proof is on the prosecution if this goes further but you should try to remember where the car was on that date and time so that you can challenge it if you are sure that this is a mistake.
    Last edited by Helena1; 24th April 2022, 01:29:AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you for the reply.

      No, not considered the FOI Act, doesn't seem appropriate at this stage.

      Yes, all five of us have racked our memories but we can't make the dates fit. We do go to the area for Buchanan St. Bus Station and Queen St Station but no-one was travelling that day and our journey times don't take us there that time in the morning. So I would really like to see this photo, check the time taken etc. It seems such a definitve statement, "here is a photo of the car at the scene." Puzzled as to why the insurer didn't just pass it on and we could deal with it.

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      • #4
        My advice would be do not agree to any interviews without a solicitor. I agree with written communication only. I see this is Scotland but in England it would be a potential charge of drive without due care / fail to stop after an accident. Has your daughter had her licence less than 2 years?

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        • #5
          Thank you.

          My daughter has had a licence for more than ten years and the two other named drivers since before she was born.

          Interviews have not been mentioned, just a chat on the 'phone. I've checked the link above and see that a print of a photograph has a small charge, which makes it all the odder to me that this wasn't mentioned or offerred. I'll be asking for this if we here any more. To be honest, this sounds like someone flying a kite to see what happens.

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          • #6
            You could be right although "fishing expeditions" are not allowed which is why I say don't speak to them without a solicitor with you. There is no such thing as a "chat" with the Police. Good about the licence - in England if you get 6 points within 2 years you have to take a retest.

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            • #7
              There is no such thing as a "chat" with the Police.

              Now you mention it, thats obvious: the term used in the letter is "I require to speak to you".

              As it is now more than two weeks since the conversation, I expect we will hear from the Police soon if they are pursuing it.


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              • #8
                Well, at last something in writing; to me as I am the Registered Keeper. I bought the car initially and, obviously, forgot to transfer to my daughter. She is listed as the main driver on the insurance, so I guess that is why the the inquiries were addressed to her: except that the first letter from the Police clearly says she is the Registerd Keeper! (I need to double check who is the Keeper.)

                One thing about getting it in writing is that two pieces of information have been clarified, the time of the alleged incident and the location. Now the time was given verbally and I accept the writen version takes precident but a new location has been given, not as stated on the original letter.

                This puts me in a bit of a quandary. If I made an error, well then that's why you pay insurance. But the 'phone calls, original uncertainty about location (down to city level), the possible change in time, the change of location over two letters, the Police not identfying the true Registered Keeper makes me uncertain.
                However, the specific question I have is the form "Information ...Section172 of Road Traffic Act 1988" gives me three possible replies;
                1. It was me, guv.
                2. It was him/her.
                3. I am not the Keeper/Owner.

                The covering letter makes it plain that failure to answer is an offence. As I said there are three people who are insured to drive the car, no-one can make the dates/time fit (although we will be double checking now the time has been clarified), so I can't answer 1. or 2. There seems to be no option of saying this.

                How do I answer this letter and form? Do I simply write to the Police stating the above?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think that if you haven't already done so, now is the time to speak with a solicitor although there is one that frequents this forum by the name of ScottishSolicitor. This seems to be heading into very deep territory.

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                  • #10
                    I agree. Failure to provide information is a serious offence. You will not escape this issue by arguing about changes to the orignial notifications etc. As above go and see a solicitor asap

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                    • #11
                      Islandgirl; Failure to provide information is a serious offence. Sorry, didn't make myself clear, I don't have any problem supplying information but the form asks quite specific questions which I do not have the knowledge to answer and yet it warns that not supplying the info is an offence. So I was really looking for a way to address that.

                      I have a couple of other anomalies to check but as this is an open Forum I will not make them public.
                      Thank you for your assistance and I will update when I can.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I understand your position fully but are you saying a) that the car was not there at that time and you can prove it or b) the car was there but you were not driving though you know who was c) the car was there but you do not know who was driving it d) the car was there and you were driving it

                        c) will not wash so it has to be one of the other options which then lead to one of the 3 on the form other than if it is option a in which case write back with the proof.preferably with the support of a solicitor. The differences between the call and the written prosecution notice will not change things in my opinion - reply to the written version. We wish you well and look forward to hearing what happens next!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you for this.
                          Problem is I don't think I am in a position to go with any of those senarios. The car was in daily use by at least two drivers but no-one was in that area at that time (although,as I said, the time we now have is not what was first understood and we are re-checking tickets and train journeys). The area is at a Bus Station and Railway Station we use for specific purposes and no-one had reason to be there on the day quoted. As to where the car actually was on that day, I can't say, it could have been on the driveway all day, at the local shops, or visiting a relative. If I had a notification closer to the time, possibly I could recall but the initial contact (from the Insurance Company) was not even sure about what city it was in!

                          As to the differences between the call and the letters; I wasn't meaning to base any "claim" on that, just it was part of an senario which doesn't ring true and makes me relucant to put my hand up and say "sorry, I was unaware of the incident but it must have been me".

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you cannot answer the question you should not just nominate someone nor take on liability for it yourself.
                            There are two possible defences to a charge of failing to provide:
                            1. you used reasonable diligence but were unable to identify the driver. In other words you did your best, but inthis case due to the lapse in time between the alleged incident (end of January) and now, and due to the number of drivers and the way in which the vehicle is made available to those drivers, it has not been possible to ascertain who was driving
                            2.you show it was not reasonably practicable to provide the information within the 28 days allowed

                            If you cannot work out who was driving there are solicitors who specialise in motoring law (altho' possibly not cheap!)

                            Comment

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