Police Interaction

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Police Interaction

Post  Chris on Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:29 am

Police Interaction

Hi all,

Attached is a link of an individual's police interaction which is currently going viral.

It doesn't lead to any discussion on self protection but it may well lead to a discussion on police interaction as a private citizen. I'd be interested to hear opinions on the content, what you feel was "right" what you feel was "wrong." on both sides.

let's see where the discussion takes us.
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Re: Police Interaction

Post  Peter on Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:19 pm

What was right:
The police stopped him as they said they had seen him doing a handbrake turn.
The police acted respectfully throughout.

What was wrong:
The police didn't think of a reason to drag the arse out of his car and give him a good smack for being a bell end.

Why did the police back off? They did stop him for a reason, I assume a handbrake turn can be construed as dangerous driving. He refused to give his details and as the police didn't push for this so I assume he is known to them. Did they back off because it was going to too much hassle to carry on or were they told to back off by their superiors for the same reason?

The only thing I saw was a person being abusive to the police and getting away with it. He should never have been allowed to "win". It just shows how badly the hands of the police are tied these days.

As a side note, I bet if he gets his car stolen he still rings the police and expects them to jump through hoops for him.
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Re: Police Interaction

Post  DaveCollins on Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:24 pm

Though I've passed the odd exam related to this, I am more than happy to attest to my ignorance in this area.
I'd be interested to know from Chris as to how correct this guy is in his assertion of his rights?
What's the law on filming and being filmed by the coppers?
Have the police broken any laws?

Years ago I would have been instinctively on the side of 'law and order'. Now older and wiser I trust no one - so I'm interested to know the legal rights of both parties in this interesting little scenario.

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Re: Police Interaction

Post  Dave on Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:38 pm

From what I've seen in the video. The male in the car is obviously well known to the Police as being a baddun. This has, rightly or wrongly, led to the Police approaching him, and it is also responsible for the male knowing his 'rights' when dealing with the Police. I'm quite positive that decent law abiding people who are not in the legal field do not know half of the laws, rules and regulations that the criminals who deal with the Police on a daily basis know.

This male is an absolute pain in the arse and a thorn in the side of decent people and Police alike. Nobody will convince me otherwise. Unfortunatley in these days of suing the Police, the officers have a much harder task of targeting criminals.
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Re: Police Interaction

Post  Chris on Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:33 am

thanks for the comments so far.

I think videos like this tend to bring out our own views on how police officers operate much more than provide evidence of "rights" or "wrongs" on either side. They tend to be used to support existing beliefs about how the "system" operates.

This vid is a great example of how easy it is to fall on one side or the other with exactly the same information or "evidence" available. Look at the divergent opinions above all being drawn from the same event. Everyone sees and hears the same thing but perspectives differ.

I don't have a great deal of time this morning but I'll pop back this afternoon and add more meat onto the bones of the procedural questions asked above.
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Re: Police Interaction

Post  Chris on Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:12 am

Some initial comments between the real work that I'm up to my eyes in this afternoon. Smile

The question of whether we have a "right" to record police officers in the course of their duty has not been definitively answered by any court (UK or European) as yet. That said, it is currently more or less accepted that you are entitled to film officers (or any other public servant I suppose) in the furtherance of their duties. Should those public servants attempt to prevent the recording of their activities then they are subject to legal restrictions which may come into play for example criminal damage or theft if they destroy or take the recording device. When it comes to police officers filming private citizens then they are allowed to do so in the UK. There are data privacy and notification to the subject restrictions at play around how that media is handled but to be honest you would need to be an expert in that field and the field of human rights to unravel that particular knot. I am certainly not. Suffice it to say, if they want to, police officers can record you going about your business.

In this instance, I would be inclined to think one of two things is happening.

1) the person being stopped is known to police and is also known for having IPCC complaints upheld so the police officers are prepped and recording everything.

2) the Officer noted that the person being stopped was recording and acted promptly to ensure that the police service had its own copy of the interaction with the stopped person.

It should also be noted that complaints to the IPCC are not directly and inherently linked to legislation. They are not challenges to the legality of police action. They are challenges to the action and behaviour of the officers in question. It is entirely possible (and indeed, happens often) that a complaint to the IPCC may be upheld without the officers involved ever breaking a statutory or regulatory requirement. They certainly don't break any laws in the clip I watched.

The IPCC concerns itself with alleged breaches of Police professional standards of behaviour. General requirements for officers include that they should act fairly, impartially, with integrity, be respectful of the public, not abuse their powers and not undermine public confidence in the police service. Those are broad requirements but you can see already the potential for application in a million different instances.

I should note here that I have never been directly involved in any proceedings before the IPCC but I am aware that if anything police officers feel that the IPCC tends to come down very heavily on any officers who have complaints upheld against them. I do know that many officers, especially at the higher ranks are incredibly resentful and also nervous of the impact that even the sniff of an IPCC complaint can have on their careers.

In this instance, I have no idea what the background of the individual is. I can possibly assume that he is known to officers. I can't know if he has grounds for his allegations of harrassment or whether they are baseless and he is simply someone who is aware of the IPCC requirements for behaviour of officers. One thing I can tell is that he is obviously aware to a certain degree of the requirements for police behaviour when stopping a vehicle. My gut reaction is that he is known to officers and this information is a by-product of his frequent interaction with the police service.

He also seems to be aware that should he step outside of his vehicle he will likely be taken into custody on the grounds of breach of the peace. Note also that he immediately stops when he hears that a report has been made that he is "making away" he immediately turns off the engine and rectifies the false report. He repeatedly asks the officer whether he is being detained officially and asks what piece of legislation he is being stopped and potentially detained under. He is also correct that there is no legal requirement at that point to supply identifying details. Once taken into custody then that becomes a different situation but at this point he is correct in that he has no requirement to provide personal information to the police officer at that time and place. He certainly understands the procedural framework the police service operates under.

This must be a nightmare for any police officer involved. If they had any evidence at all of an offence being committed then my feeling is that they would have simply asked him to exit the vehicle and arrested him. The fact that they did not progress with an arrest tells me that they knew they had nothing of substance to take him on.

They MAY have attempted to claim that he was engaging in activity likely to cause a breach of the peace but realistically the profit and loss scale of doing so is not in the officers favour. Remember that he is in a parked vehicle, not moving or attempting to move, responding to conversation with the officers etc etc. If and it's a big if, the arrest and charge was successful then the sentence would be laughable in any event. If they want him that badly, may be that they want him for something much more significant.

More to follow but feel free to add or comment further...
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Re: Police Interaction

Post  Mr Nobody on Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:15 pm

As a New Zealand Police Officer I can only comment on how such an interaction would go if it was to occur in New Zealand and under our Land Transport Act.

1. It is law in New Zealand to stop for Police when followed by a vehicle emitting a siren and flashing blue and red lights or are directed to by an officer in uniform or if not in uniform, displaying their Police I.D.

2. It is law in NZ to provide your name, DOB and address to Police if you are driving a vehicle on a road in New Zealand and provide proof that the particulars supplied are the truth i.e. your drivers licence (which you HAVE to carry when driving in NZ).

3. If you have been stopped due to driving offending, then the passengers will also have to provide their details too.

4. Case law dictates that NZ Police can detain someone during a traffic stop for 15 minutes in order to establish their identity. That's on top of anything else they have been stopped for.

5. If NZ Police ask for your car keys due to the nature of your driving, you HAVE to hand them over.

6. Failing to provide your name, DOB or address to Police is an arrestable offence therefore force can be used to execute the arrest. Likewise with failing to stop for Police or failing to remain when stopped.

7. Additionally, not having your drivers licence with you is a fine of NZ$55.00

8. Should the person provide false details, and gets found out, NZ Police have the option if issuing an instant fine of NZ$750.00....I love giving this because if the alternative is used eg arrest, the judge NEVER fines that much.

9. Any crime committed by a driver that has a term of imprisonment eg, Dangerous Driving, Sustained Loss of Traction (burnouts), Failing to Stop etc means Police an use force to enter the vehicle to arrest the driver.

Please note that this does not include vehicle stops under the Search and Surveillance Act which refer to crimes being committed (eg. drugs, firearms, stolen property etc), unlawfully at large persons in the vehicle or stolen vehicles.

I guess this doesn't really add much to the discussion but I kind of understand when the former UK cops I work with tell me our Land Transport Act is much better than their version.
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Re: Police Interaction

Post  Chris on Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:39 am

Always interesting to hear from other jurisdictions Mr N.

It does appear that certainly as far as road traffic issues NZ has a much better handle on dealing with stops.

In the UK you do not have to present identifying documents. You MAY be given a producer however which will give you seven days to present the required documents to a nominated police station.

In general in the UK if you want to stop someone you need to be reasonably sure that a crime has been committed or may be about to be committed. If you decide to detain that person i.e. arrest them then you need to inform them that you are a police officer, that they have been arrested, what legislation you believe they have breached, that they are NOT free to go and are being detained. That's to arrest them, you have a whole other set of requirements and hoops you need to jump through when you take them into custody and hold them.

It's not an uncomplicated set of procedures and there are a number of possible pitfalls that officers can and do fall into when handling members of the public.
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Re: Police Interaction

Post  Dave on Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:05 pm

Chris wrote:
In general in the UK if you want to stop someone you need to be reasonably sure that a crime has been committed or may be about to be committed. If you decide to detain that person i.e. arrest them then you need to inform them that you are a police officer, that they have been arrested, what legislation you believe they have breached, that they are NOT free to go and are being detained. That's to arrest them, you have a whole other set of requirements and hoops you need to jump through when you take them into custody and hold them.

It's not an uncomplicated set of procedures and there are a number of possible pitfalls that officers can and do fall into when handling members of the public.

Is it not legal to stop this motorist for a routine document check, such as MOT Cert, Cert of Insurance and / or driving licence.
As I thought that it was law to carry those driving documents with you when you are driving a motor vehicle on a public road? Wasnt the 'producer' brought in to give people the opportunity to to produce the documents within 7 days to show that they have those documents and that they are all in order. Rsther than carry them with you all the time and risk losing them?
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Re: Police Interaction

Post  Chris on Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:00 pm

Police officers stopping vehicles is perfectly legal. Officers are well within rights to ask to see insurance mot and driving licence. Drivers arent obliged to carry those documents with them so legislation allows officers to issue a producer which obliges to recipient to produce those documents at a designated station within 7days.

If you are stopped while driving it will usually be because of of the standard and or speed of driving, the state of the vehicle or checks have indicated an issue with mot, insurance or driving licence. In some cases there will be a combination of those factors.

All of that said officers still have standards and procedures they need to meet and follow in how they interact with private citizens. Its worth noting that in the majority of instances a reasonable expectation that a crime has been committed or may be committed is not a difficult requirement to meet especially when it comes to traffic stops where police officers have objective tests for speed, excess alcohol, drugs, vehicle conditions or documentary status of the vehicle or driver.
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Re: Police Interaction

Post  Wayne Harrison on Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:15 pm

i only watched the first 90 secs. it looks interesting, i just not got the time atm. may be out of context but generally a cop has reasonable suspicion even with the civilian having previous form and being in the area. at least, that is what happened to any of us in n. ireland. disturbance of the peace (is this slightly different than breach of the peace, re: elements?) came to my mind. It might be a mic proximity thing, but it seemed the guy in the car was raising his voice a lot. which may open the officer to taking action via disturbance or even something including violence/agression.

it really depends on may variables, including the cops there. sometimes it's possible to have blazing rows with cops and all walk away. other times one can be dragged into the station whilst being wrapped around their sticks, hahahaha!

he clearly knows aspects of the law (guy in car) and has agression toward the police. Had the police wanted to, I am sure they could have got the guy in the car to escalate it a little, enabling an arrest. The confidence, and righteous anger, along with anger toward authority is really strong when a criminal thinks/knows they are in the right.

there should be nothing wrong with the cop using standard procedure and asking for license, etc. Except, if the guy was known, it might explain why backup was called for.

warmest wishes

wayne
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