Reporting to the Police

BSRU

A Human Being
Location
Swindon
As commuters, should we always report incidents of dangerous driving to the Police?

I have just completed my first statement, it is a pain and if I reported everything I would never have any spare time or sleep but at least, if nothing, it will be recorded and show up on some stats somewhere. Since the government/Police seem to run by statistics/targets, with these stats the Police/authorities may do something about the lack of traffic Police on our roads, instead of just relying on RTA information where dangerous driving has lead to a injury/fatality. Or is it a complete waste of time and the Police will regard me as a nuisance/distraction from "real" Police work?
 

zimzum42

Legendary Member
My experiences of going to a police station in the past have taught me never to bother reporting anything ever again. Waiting around for ages to be treated with disinterest by a bored PC who then seems to approach your report with suspicion. Try and report a lost or stolen phone and you would think you're about to be arrested
 

gaz

Cycle Camera TV
Location
South Croydon
User3143 said:
Depends - Define dangerous driving? I see driving everyday that could be classed as dangerous, what's the limit, the threshold that defines dangerous from *dangerous*?
agreed. I report only a small minority of the dangerous incidences i see/have.

___

Has swindon got a crackdown website where you can report minor traffic incidences?
 
OP
BSRU

BSRU

A Human Being
Location
Swindon
gaz said:
Has swindon got a crackdown website where you can report minor traffic incidences?
Swindon is a long way behind other places with regards reporting anything online. I can report a theft, theft from a motor vehicle or vandalism. Anything else is paper form filling.
 
OP
BSRU

BSRU

A Human Being
Location
Swindon
User3143 said:
Depends - Define dangerous driving? I see driving everyday that could be classed as dangerous, what's the limit, the threshold that defines dangerous from *dangerous*?
That is sort of the question, how dangerous does have to be to be worth reporting and is anyone really going to care? Is it a good way of trying to improve things for all road users.

Personally, dangerous driving is any time I or the dangerous driver have had to take emergency action to avoid a collision, where there is no excuse for not seeing me, quite rare but it does happen.
 
zimzum42 said:
My experiences of going to a police station in the past have taught me never to bother reporting anything ever again. Waiting around for ages to be treated with disinterest by a bored PC who then seems to approach your report with suspicion.
Unfortunately I know the feeling. And it's not just a disinterest in bikes either.

Witnessed a WVM buzzing a car, obviously someone had upset the other. Both stopped at lights, 2 blokes jumped out of white van with hand tools and smashed the cars windows, jumped in and sped off.

I went straight up to the local police station then I waited an hour before someone could be bothered to see me.

Common courtesy would have been to either see me straightaway or if not possible, give me a PC to contact and arrange to give a witness statement at a convenient time.

Venting over, back on topic, I would suggest it HAS to be gradual. i.e the general carelessness let go, and the downright reckless endangerment reported where solid evidence exists.
 
OP
BSRU

BSRU

A Human Being
Location
Swindon
Sheffield_Tiger said:
Unfortunately I know the feeling.
I have also experience the lack of interest from the Police, I even had the guy in charge of the local traffic unit visit me to explain why. But my feeling is that complaining/reporting might get something done, moaning and doing nothing will obviously get nothing changed.

It's like the lottery, if you don't buy a ticket you're never going to win.
 

Mark_Robson

Senior Member
Many years ago my wife was a care assistant in an old peoples home, working nights. I had just dropped her off and was driving back home when I noticed a toddler near the side of the road. As you can imagine I was horrified to see a child so young wondering around at 22:30. I knew that I was literally 300m from a Police station so I drove on, parked in their car park and ran in to report the incident.
By the time that I had left the station I felt like a pervert and I was so frustrated because of their lack of interest in the child's welfare. I spent at least five minutes giving my details and explaining why I was there before the PC even considered taking the matter any further.
I often wonder what happened to that child but unfortunately I didn't have the balls to stop and put the child in my car because of the possible consequences.
 
OP
BSRU

BSRU

A Human Being
Location
Swindon
Jmetz said:
what was his explanation?
They were not going to waste their time unless a collision occurred, as a cyclist that probably means me ending up injured.
Even though I have a helmet cam, they were not interested as I might have employed Spielberg and that T. Rex red light jumping was obviously edited in later, the basic jist of the conversation.
 
OP
BSRU

BSRU

A Human Being
Location
Swindon
Mark_Robson said:
Many years ago my wife was a care assistant in an old peoples home, working nights. I had just dropped her off and was driving back home when I noticed a toddler near the side of the road. As you can imagine I was horrified to see a child so young wondering around at 22:30. I knew that I was literally 300m from a Police station so I drove on, parked in their car park and ran in to report the incident.
By the time that I had left the station I felt like a pervert and I was so frustrated because of their lack of interest in the child's welfare. I spent at least five minutes giving my details and explaining why I was there before the PC even considered taking the matter any further.
I often wonder what happened to that child but unfortunately I didn't have the balls to stop and put the child in my car because of the possible consequences.
It is really bad to think our society has stooped to this level of suspicion of someone trying to do the right thing. Even more shocking the Police seemed more interested in you rather than helping the child.
 

Cubist

Still wavin'
Location
Ovver 'thill
There are so many different angles to this that we could be opening a can of worms, but I'll try to put a professional perspective on it.

I'll be blunt. As a practitioner I would point out that yes, there are many instances of bad driving witnessed every day out there on the roads, but if the police were to investigate every close overtake suffered by a cyclist, then they wouldn't spend much time doing other stuff.

Put an initial acid test on it and ask yourself "was anybody hurt?". If not, then I'm afraid unless it was a deliberate act of criminal or anti-social behaviour with witnesses and/or camera footage, then the cops aren't all that likely to act. Bitter experience goes to show that even then, not all forces and not all cops within different forces will take the matter seriously when you do report it. The likelihood of a prosecution under "near miss " scenarios is next to none. I'm not saying this is right, I'm simply being realistic.

The next strand of the argument is likely to be around the potential consequences of appalling driving standards. I have plenty of footage of car drivers pulling out on me from junctions, turning right across me when I'm travelling at speed etc etc, but because I've been alert then I've been able to brake or swerve and call it a "near-miss", swear into the helmet cam mike and move on.

Yes, in essence those drivers have committed offences of due care etc, and as enraged and beleaguered cyclists we want the driver to be punished/reeducated or reprimanded, but the layman will say "so what? No one got hurt". Again, the police are not likely even to record the incident.

Move up a notch in potential consequences and we are into Manatom's truck on the roundabout territory. In his video we see footage of such apalling recklessness that even a blase layman will look and say "Yes, that trucker needs pursuing and prosecuting."

So, by trying to report every little incident we run the risk of appearing to be bothersome/single issue/obsessional/neurotic/paranoid. Effort would be better directed towards public campaigning.
 

slowmotion

Quite dreadful
Location
lost somewhere
I have a very jaundiced view of Mr Plod, I'm afraid. There seems to be a general tendency to prevent any kind of crime actually being registered on their records at the first point of contact. They are very good at that. If they make it hard to register one, it makes the "clear up" statistics a bit better? No need to act if it never happened.
 

Vikeonabike

CC Neighbourhood Police Constable
Here's the way it works. Not just for motoring offences but for any incidents that are reportable. Nuisance kids, nuisance neighbours, domestic violence, Anti-social behaviour, dog poo etc.
If it isn't reported it hasn't happened! If it hasn't happened there isn't a problem. If there isn't a problem there is no need to divert resources to a problem that doesn't exist!
So you may feel that reporting things to the police is a waste of time, the bobby at the other end may appear disinterested (probably due to the the file he is trying to do for court), bare with it and get the incident reported.
Instead of sitting on here and telling all and sundry not to bother get behind the other cyclists and encourage them to report incidents. If enough people report incidents of dangerous driving in an area then it becomes a priority and resources are moved towards it. Bombard papers with letters. write to chief constables. If you don't all it means is that the Police have less work to do or a few months down the line your dangerous driver kills you or another cyclist because YOU took No action at the time!
(Rant (caused by broken ribs and careless driving) over)
 
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