Advice regarding a statement to the Police

Monkreadusuk

Über Member
Hello,

Looking for some advice from people regarding a statement I am writing for the Police after an incident last night where a car passed too close and hit my hand as I signaled for them to pass wide.

I have used the template on these forums, when completing the last section about a victim personal statement I wanted to be sure I have got the right idea.

Here is the part im concerned about....

"The incident left me shaken and astounded by what I believe to be a complete disregard for my safety in order to save a few seconds to someone's journey. I was not holding anyone up and was travelling at a respectable speed giving the road conditions. I feel that DRIVER ONE ignored the advice given in the highway code under rule 163 that states 'Give vulnerable road users at least as much space as you would a car'. Whilst I understand that I was cycling further out from the kerb as DRIVER ONE may have liked, I was following the Governments advice to ride central on narrow roads. This advice is also given out by the government backed Bikeability training. I feel that DRIVER ONE's manner of driving fell below a standard that is expected and endangered the life of a vulnerable road user."

Many thanks for your input
 
Much too emotive. Just the facts, Ma'am, summat like:

"I was clearly visible to a competent driver (give light conditions, weather, what you're wearing etc) I became aware the driver was coming much too close and held up a hand to make sure the driver saw me, and he drove into me, hitting my arm and causing me to wobble dangerously, he then did not stop"

if that's what happened, obv.
 

Cubist

Still wavin'
Location
Ovver 'thill
Much too emotive. Just the facts, Ma'am, summat like:

"I was clearly visible to a competent driver (give light conditions, weather, what you're wearing etc) I became aware the driver was coming much too close and held up a hand to make sure the driver saw me, and he drove into me, hitting my arm and causing me to wobble dangerously, he then did not stop"

if that's what happened, obv.
That's the whole point of a victim personal statement. It is an opportunity to spell out how the incident has affected you. The factual part of the statement precedes that.
 
Sorry, I thought it was a normal statement. In that case, as if it needed spelling out, being deliberately driven at by a driver operating ton of metal for a perceived infraction is incredibly frightening.
 
As Cubist said - the victim personal statement is what you want to say. You don't need to include the factual things about what happened - that should have been covered in the main statement. It's where you say how the incident has affected you and let the court know the effect it has had on your life.

For example (I'm not saying to say this, I'm just throwing something out as an example - you say what is true for you) :

Since the incident, I have tried to get into my bike twice and just felt afraid and not been able to go out on it. I have felt ashamed due to this even though deep down I know I am not to blame. Cycling changed my life for me, I lost four stone in weight, gained confidence, and met my fiance. It may sound stupid but I now lie awake worrying about gaining the weight back, and my fiance leaving me...

And so on. The above is obviously fictional and extreme. If the incident hasn't affected you in that way, you may decide you don't want to make a victim personal statement, or you wish to have more time and might make one later.

The reason it was introduced was because the defendant gets an opportunity in court to seek mitigation by saying "this is how good a person I am, this is how good I'm going to be, this is how the worry of this case has effected me etc". Nothing about being innocent! The victim personal statement is the opportunity for the court to hear the victims side of that story.

Lastly...

You do know you don't need, and indeed normally don't write the statement yourself right? The usual thing would be for a police officer to come out to you, and they write it for you, after asking the pertinent questions, and allowing you to use the words you want to use. You never actually put pen to paper until you've read it all through and sign it! Please do remember though, it is still your statement and you have a perfect right to tell the officer writing it "I wouldn't use that phrase" "I would like you to say this" etc.

If you came to me with a pre-written statement, unless it was on the official statement paper, and you had covered everything, I'd probably only be able to use it as a guide and have to write a new one anyway! (and keep your original to show the court of the defence requested it).
 

Arrowfoot

Veteran
Here are couple of things about VPS;
  • its optional
  • if made, it must be provided to the defence
  • the defence can gather evidence to counter what is written in the VPS
  • the victim can be cross-examined about the contents and veracity of the VPS and lastly and most importantly
  • "a court cannot take account of the opinions of the victim so far as sentence is concerned".
 

Arrowfoot

Veteran
I must admit, I dislike the concept of victim statements. The law should be applied coldly, based on evidence, not emotion.
I feel sorry for those who take much trouble and time to express their feelings not realising it carries no weight. It is called the "masturbation" statement in the legal fraternity. It however comes into its own if things mentioned in it are supported by evidence such as injuries supported by a medical report.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Did you get knocked off your bike and did the police attend and take a statement from you and the driver? It's not clear? Or are you making a statement in the expectation that the police will follow up, identify the driver and knock on his door? Do you have video or witnesses to the incident?
 
OP
M

Monkreadusuk

Über Member
Did you get knocked off your bike and did the police attend and take a statement from you and the driver? It's not clear? Or are you making a statement in the expectation that the police will follow up, identify the driver and knock on his door? Do you have video or witnesses to the incident?
Sorry for not making it clear in OP. I have completed the statement myself to send to the police shortly. I wasn't knocked off but contact was made, police have spoken to me and driver and I've been asked to fill out statement form if I wish the police to prosecute.

I will attach statement in a min, just need to remove reg numbers.
 
OP
M

Monkreadusuk

Über Member
I am making this statement about an incident that occurred on the WEDNESDAY 17TH DECEMBER 2014 on A27 BRIDGE ROAD, PARK GATE, involving a (vehicle). In this account I will mention 1 person and a BLACK TOYOTA with the index number xxx. I have been cycling for 18 months as a commuter and consider myself to be a competent cyclist. I also hold a full car and motorcycle licence and have done so for over 5 years. I consider myself to be an competent driver. The first person I will mention is a White Male, approx 6ft tall, balding with stubble. He was wearing a Blue top, Blue jeans and Burgundy Shoes. This person I will refer to as “the driver” was driving a BLACK TOYOTA with the index xxx. This incident took place on A27 BRIDGE ROAD, PARK GATE near the junction ADDISON ROAD. I would describe this as road as a main single carriageway A road. A copy of the video of the incident taken with my Helmet Camera is exhibited as MR/01. At the time of the incident the weather was damp but had stopped raining and dark. I was wearing a reflective chest belt and reflective ankle bands. I was displaying two Smart Lunar 25 Lux Lights to my front and a Smart R2 red light to my rear, this is advertised as having visibility of up to 1 mile.
At approximately 1855 on WEDNESDAY 17th DECEMBER 2014 I was cycling from SOUTHAMPTON along the A27 in the direction of PARK GATE. I was cycling in a secondary position as described by the Department for Transport's Bikeability training. This position is roughly 1 metre to the left of the traffic flow (centre of lane) and not less than 0.5 metres to the edge of the road. My reasons for adopting this position are that the A27 BRIDGE ROAD has a number of potholes and uneven surfaces along the edge. This is the default riding position that I take when riding on this type of road. Whilst I was cycling along BRIDGE ROAD from the junction with BARNES LANE a number of cars passed me safely with no trouble at all and none had used their horns towards me. As I passed the junction with ALLOTMENT ROAD I was travelling at around 17-20mph, there was a fair amount of oncoming traffic however there were plenty of breaks in the traffic to allow cars behind me to pass safely. As I reached the junction with ADDISON ROAD I could see oncoming traffic ahead, however there was sufficient time for a couple of cars to pass me safely. I could see in my mirror, which is located on my right handlebar, some cars behind me. In order to encourage a safe pass from vehicles behind due to oncoming traffic I checked that it was clear and moved out into a strong secondary position. This position is not quite primary position (which is the middle of the lane) but slightly farther out than secondary. Moments later what looked like a WHITE MINI passed me but then started to brake immediately. This was followed by a small BLACK CAR. As this car passed I could see the oncoming traffic getting very close and there was no room for other vehicles to pass me safely. Secondly, there was no room in front of me between the BLACK CAR and myself to allow a safe breaking distance. Neither of these two cars had sounded their horns at me. The rear of the BLACK CAR was barely past me and had not finished their manoeuvre when HX07RNE sounded their horn. I immediately looked in my mirror and saw xxx extremely close behind me. I signalled with my right palm open to 'back off', I also said this out loud. I could see that the oncoming cars were almost upon us and that there was not enough room for myself and HX07RNE in one lane. I sounded my horn and reached out with my right hand with an open palm. The intentions behind these actions were to get xxx to back off and not try to squeeze past. As I did this xxx's Nearside mirror hit my right hand causing me to wobble. xxx continued his dangerous pass and started to squeeze me towards the kerb. I shouted at xxx in response to his dangerous actions. I then read out xxx VRM loudly so that the audio on my camera would pick it up and gesticulated to xxx for them to pull over. xxx then continued through a red light and turned left into UXBRIDGE CLOSE. I followed xxx in order to try and obtain his insurance details in case of any injury to my hand. When in UXBRIDGE CLOSE xxx pulled over and I stopped behind. At this point DRIVER ONE opened his door and I said "EVENING". DRIVER ONE said "WHAT?". I said "I SAID EVENING", DRIVER ONE said something along the lines of 'What you doing in the middle of the road?'. I said "RIDING WHERE I SHOULD BE, AM I ABLE TO OBTAIN YOUR INSURANCE DETAILS PLEASE SIR?". DRIVER ONE said "WHAT?". I replied "YOU CONTACTED, YOUR WING MIRROR CONTACTED MY HAND". DRIVER ONE said "YOU WHACKED MY WING MIRROR MATE". I said "YOU'RE TOO CLOSE IF I CAN WHACK YOU MIRROR THEN AREN'T YOU?". DRIVER ONE then said something which I cannot remember. I then said "OK, YOU ARE ON CAMERA, YOU WILL BE REPORTED TO THE POLICE, HX07RNE". I then spoke a description of DRIVER ONE for evidential purposes due to low light. I then said "EXPECT TO HEAR FROM THE POLICE SOON SIR". At this point I backed off from DRIVER ONE. DRIVER ONE then said something about my road position again, I replied "READ THE HIGHWAY CODE SIR AND YOU'LL BE NICLEY EDUCATAED". DRIVER ONE then said "WHAT RIGHT HAVE YOU GOT TO BE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD HOLDING EVERYONE UP?". I replied "I WASN'T HOLDING YOU UP". DRIVER ONE THEN said "HAVE SOME DECENY YEAH....". I said "HAVE SOME DECENY AND PASS A VUNERABLE ROAD USER LIKE YOU SHOULD". DRIVER ONE then got in his vehicle and drove off. I took my mobile phone out of my pocket and called 999 to report the collision as DRIVER ONE had refused to give his insurance details and drove off. I followed xxx round the corner whilst I was on the phone to the Police. After less than a minute xxx drove off and I continued home whilst talking to the Police Operator. I had no further dealings with xxx or DRIVER ONE.



At the time of the incident visibility was poor whoever there was street lighting, I was no more than 25 metres from the offender and there were few obstructions to my view. In total the incident lasted approximately 2 minutes. I do not know the person, I would recognise them again. I am willing to attend court to give evidence if required.
This is the worst case of Driving I have suffered in 18 months of cycling. The incident has left me with no lasting injuries or damage to my bike.

I have had the Victim Personal Statement Scheme explained to me and this is what I have to say on the matter.
The incident left me shaken and astounded by what I believe to be a complete disregard for my safety in order to save a few seconds to someone's journey. I was not holding anyone up and was travelling at a respectable speed giving the road conditions. I feel that DRIVER ONE ignored the advice given in the highway code under rule 163 that states 'Give vulnerable road users at least as much space as you would a car'. Whilst I understand that I was cycling further out from the kerb as DRIVER ONE may have liked, I was following the Governments advice to ride central on narrow roads. This advice is also given out by the government backed Bikeability training. I feel that DRIVER ONE's manner of driving fell below a standard that is expected and endangered the life of a vulnerable road user.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Ah ok. If not already, submitted, you might want someone to proof read for the typos

I got knocked off by an overtaking car whose wing mirror caught my handlebar, although there was no intent

I hope some action is taken, however,I expect the driver will be reminded of his responsibilities as a road user. That assumes he's insured, got a licence, MOT etc so not committed other offences
 
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