Stopped by the Feds last night
In case anybody is interested, I’ve been stopped twice. Once in a similar way to the OP – late at night, I was young and in a decent car for my age at that time, and they seemed to be stopping lots of other cars too. IIRC they pointed out one of my bulbs was blown and I might want to get it fixed and sent me on my way – didn’t have a problem with that at all.
Second time I was stopped because I was “driving like an idiot” – which was probably a reasonable point, as whilst it seemed reasonable driving to me at the time I can appreciate the point with the benefit of many years having passed. Still don’t think it was that reckless though – main issue seemed to be overtaking on approaches to roundabouts (was on A5 round Oswestry which is “3 lane” – ie you can overtake with stuff coming the other way). Was most irritated with myself for not noticing the marked car in my mirrors, and admitted as much to the policeman – don’t know if that helped at all, or it was just that I was generally apologetic, but was let off with just a warning.Posted 9 years ago
I thought under the laws that let the police stop you in the first place that they have to have a reason to stop you.
I thought that reason had to be that you were committing a road traffic offence (even a simple driving a vehicle with an obscured number plate) or that the "have reasonable suspicion" that you are in the process of committing a criminal offence.
The only time that thats not the case is when a senior office signs a consent to allow randomn stopping of vehicles – and that can only last for a short period of time and has to be for a specific reason to protect the public or prevent criminal activity (like at xmas when a higher number of people drink and drive so most forces have a randomn stop).
So next time you are stopped and you don’t know why the first question you should politely ask the officer is:Posted 9 years ago
"Why have you stopped me? was I committing a road traffic offence or do you have reasonable cause to suspect I’m in the process of committing a crime?" Be polite it might be a legitimate reason – tail light out or something.
If he can’t give you a justifiable reason, then demand his PC lapel number and the name of his duty sergeant, and the phone number for his base police station then ring them and report the guy/lass for wrongfully detaining you and preventing your civil and human right to freedom of movement.
Police have my respect – but I do get annoyed when they forget they are the servant of the people and that they can’t just do what they like cart blanche. Keeping the police under control is crucial to a liberal democracy, they should beholden to the law like th rest of us.
Everyone gets the chance to pass the attitude test
Not sure if that was aimed at me, but if it was I can assure you you are very wide of the mark. The incident basically boiled down to a young cop making a snap judgement after I "got in his way" (because he dithered like an idiot, then drove like a nutter directly at me when he realised the traffic had moved from in front of him and I’d pulled out). I’d recount the whole story but suffice it to say that I was perfectly polite and simply said I disagreed with him but was sorry if it appeared that way to him. At which point he started ranting at me and grinning back at his mates in the van again. Young lad, not much older than I was at the time but about a foot smaller. Little man in a uniform syndrome, the way he spoke to me if he hadnt been a cop I’d have given him more than a mouthful, the cheeky little tart.Posted 9 years ago
badger – The police have the power to stop anyone at any time – they don’t need to give you a reason – and failing to stop is a criminal offence.
Lifted directly from http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/police/powers/road-traffic/Posted 9 years ago
I do appologise – I’m confusing police power to stop a vehicle and "stop and search" including a vehicle you may be driving.
I’ve had a quick look and indeed they may stop you and demand your name and address.
To search you or your vehicle however, they have to believe you are carrying articles to comit a crime (like burglary etc) or firearms, drugs an offensive weapon etc. Otherwise you can say no to a search request and any search and subsequent arrest would then be unlawful.Posted 9 years ago
To search you or your vehicle however, they have to believe you are carrying articles to comit a crime (like burglary etc) or firearms, drugs an offensive weapon etc. Otherwise you can say no to a search request and any search and subsequent arrest would then be unlawful.
Surely if you say no, they have cause to believe you are 🙂Posted 9 years ago
Oh and a quick read of PACE (the police and criminal evidence act) says:
"A constable who is not in uniform is not empowered to stop you if you are driving a vehicle (section 2 para 2)"
So does that mean that an unmarked car with an un-uniformed officer can (as mentioned above) be ignored until a marked vehicle turns up?Posted 9 years ago
No. Unless they have grounds to believe you are committing an offence – hiding a weapon, drugs etc. then they can ask you to voluntarily let them search – but you should always say NO as the rules that regulate what a police constable can do when searching you or your property don’t apply if you voluntarily let them search. If they try to search after you say no then they are committing an offence.
Oh and they must tell you their name and show you their warrant card first before – whether you ask or not.Posted 9 years ago
They could make up grounds – like when I was travelling late at night down a country road and they stopped me and said "there have been drug transportation problems down this road late at night, can we search yoru car" – I couldnt argue it, and I had no reason to argue it, hardly a major inconvenience other than being a little tired and 5 mins later to bed.
But badger, my main thought is, I have nothing to hide? Why would I say no? At most they’ll find some old bottles of coke and a ghetto tubeless conversion covered in latex and ditched in anger. Knowing that I’m not a known criminal, I have nothing to hide and I’m being reasonable with them they’d have no reason to "find" anything.
So does that mean that an unmarked car with an un-uniformed officer can (as mentioned above) be ignored until a marked vehicle turns up?
IIRC to be "uniformed" they only have to have a cap/hat on?Posted 9 years ago
Coffeeking – yeah true – nothing to hide is fine as a reason to let them. But there is also the opposite of I haven’t committed an offence so they have no reason to search me and my right to a private life overrides their curriosity.
Not sure – depends on the situation – I might let them search if I thought that ruling me out of an enquiry would help them concentrate actually getting the right person – but then it would depend on how polite and reasonable they had been – bloody minded arrogance wouldn’t make me feel like being helpful.
Not sure about the cap thing – guess I’d just ask to see a warrant card (you always have the right to demand identification and proof the police officer is what they say they are).Posted 9 years agobobloMember
This is becoming a bit like ‘speeders anonymous’….
I’m afraid to admit, I’ve been stopped a few times for speeding. I’m a slow learner but it’s all in the past….
I’ve had a couple of occasions when I’ve been warned rather than ‘done’. The funniest was on the way to the airport very early in the morning. I was going througg a small town en route and saw a police car coming the other way. Did the quick personal check; speed, lights. seatbelt, phone in cradle, not drunk (I don’t even drink alocohol) etc. Passing this little self test, and carried on my way.
10 miles or so later in a very dark country lane, the blue lights went up. I was asked why I though I was being stopped ‘presumably speed’ I replied even though I wasn’t doing much over th 60 limit.
‘That’s fine’ says the rozzer, ‘but what about the red light’? Apparently while I was going through my checklist, I ran a red light in the little town. In my defence, it was a busy bit of road with lots of street furniture, signage, lights, belisha beacons etc but still….
I recounted my tale of seeing him and going through my ‘yikes’ moment. He then gave me a telling off and sent me on my way…
Must have thought I was a bit of a divvy and worthy of nothing but sympathy. Thank goodness.
BobPosted 9 years agoMunqe-chickMember
Night turn on patrol at 11pm there are often drink drivers people nicking cars exactly like a lot of people have said. You see someone driving along at that time of night you can stop them (S163 Road Traffic Act) don’t need a reason and have a chat. I’d be polite a courteous just asking where you are going to and from, do a check on the car and ask if you have any ID to confirm who you are. all checks in order off you go 5 mins later. It is amazing what those checks bring up especially at that time of night!!Posted 9 years agoOllyMember
with the number of uninsured, or illegal cars on the road, (or any other of the plethora of offences that are for safety not to be awkward) ide be happy to be stopped, cant say ive ever been i a car thats been stopped though.
its worrying the state of some cars that people drive.
my sister boyfriends almera has no wingmirrors (at all) no rearview mirror, bald tyres, and the wheels have lost thier weights, so they vibrate violently at over 60, but he drives at 90 generally.
i think his MOT has run out too, so if he hits someone hes technically uninsured.
i also think people have too many rights, i realise it wouldnt work in the real world, as thier are police who go around bashing people of other races, and soldier etc, (though im sure they are few and far between)Posted 9 years ago
but in an ideal world, the police should be able to pull someone up (in a car or on the street) and hold them under suspicion of "being a prick"
would put a sock in those tossers "you cant do that to me, get off me"willardMember
It seems to be a common thread that driving a crap car means you get pulled over more. My first car was a beige/green/grey/white/brown Fiat Panda 4×4 and I got pulled over three times in a couple of months by the same copper.
The first time was just leaving a 30 zone and for no reason I can see. The second time he was waiting just down the road from a pub just before kicking out time and pulled me further down the road. As the pool team’s Des for the night I was fine with the excuse that they were checking to see if I had been drinking.
The last time was just after a stretch of dual carriage way. I’d left a friend’s house and was well inside the speed limit when a car burned up the road and followed me right up my arse the whole length of the section. I was blinded by their bloody headlights for about a mile and thought that some scummy chav was trying to get me to speed up.
At the next roundabout (heading into a national speed limit) I put my foot down and they pulled me over about 400m later. No reason. The bloke got me to come out and clean my number plate ("it’s nearly illegible" – i.e. still legible) and the second I stepped out of the car breathalised me. No joy there for him. He then mentioned that my driving could have been dangerous (i.e. going round the roundabout at speed) to which I replied that I thought that, given their closeness behind my car and the full beams they had on, I thought that someone was trying to run me off the road and thought I had better put some distance between us when the speed limit went up.
He was a bit quiet after that.
Interestingly, when I bought a loud Golf GTi I never got pulled over once. Same with the ex-police Omega MV6.Posted 9 years agotheotherjonvSubscriber
I got stopped 15 or so years ago in a laden down car with 3 mates driving through a less salubrious part of SE London in the early hours of the morning. But for us it was a marked car with blue lights which came through a red light in front of us and straight in front of us forcing us into the side of the road, while meanwhile the (unmarked) car behind quickly shoved its lights on and boxed us in. The 4 coppers, 2 from each car rushed at the car, opened the doors and had us out and kneeling with hands on our heads in a flash. I fair shat myself, I’ll admit.
The lead then set about an aggressive tone of questioning and quickly ascertained, since we were all easily able to produce identification and proof of our story, that we were on our way to Gatwick to catch an early flight to go ski-ing. Passports and tickets, plus being laden down with a boot full of bags full of ski-wear and boots seemed to fill that role.
We then got a mumbled apology of sorts (nasty part of town, 4 lads in a laden car with out of town plates, can’t be too careful, often armed / likely to make a run for it, etc.) we were set on our way. But by now we’re running late so ask for best directions to the A23, and instead get an escort there (not blue lights, but close on)
How do the civil liberties folks recommend four 21 year olds should have handled the situation differently. Because blind obedience felt pretty smart at the time and still does, and I can see their reasonable suspicions as just that even now.
A difficult job, a fair proprtion of nob-ends like any walk of life, and the majority being decent folks would be my opinion. As suggested above, answer politely and honestly and if you don’t mess them about then you’ll soon be on your way.Posted 9 years agoSmeeMember
A time previous to that I was taking a car out for a run to charge its battery – got pulled "please turn your engine off sir" told them that it probably wouldn’t start again, but they made me turn it off anyway. Unsurprisingly the car refused to start. What a shame it was that they had to push me along the hard shoulder of the M74. How I laughed at the big puff of black reek that engulfed them when the thing started. 😀Posted 9 years ago
I really dont see the whole "privacy" and "im doing no wrong so you shouldnt ask me" thing, I’ll be honest. I’m doing no wrong, if they found a massive porn stash and my secret collection of rubber in the boot I couldnt give two hoots (I dont have either, but it was an example) – I’d rather that than have drunk/illegal drivers on the road. I’d pay money to have more police around my parents place. In fact we used to have a sticker in the window of our old car that the police were giving out that said "police, please stop this vehicle" or words to that effect. They did, fairly often too.Posted 9 years ago
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