Legitimate policing or big brother attitude?

andy_k

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/5390300.stm

I wonder what the reaction woiuld have been had the police blocked off all the exits to Maidstone's main shopping centre and treated the people inside the same as the car drivers.

You can almost guarantee they would have caught a lot more benefit cheats, criminals and drug dealers.

Why stop there? why not go for dawn raids on every house in a street just in case someone hasn't bought a TV licence? Why not stop every bus and search the passengers? - I'm sure the odd fare dodger could be publicly executed to deter others

quote from the BBC site

"The operation saw 27 vehicles seized for being dangerous, uninsured or untaxed. There were no arrests. "

yet on the news tonight the "official" police spokesman assured the viewing public they had caught a rape suspect and a murderer - I find it rather worrying that they weren't arrested don't you?

It also bothers me that the police are impounding vehicles on the basis of information gleaned from a computer system installed by the same people who brought us the CSA and Tax Credits :)

I would love to see the crime statistics for the rest of Kent today whilst these "more than 40" police officers were busy picking on motorists.

This isn't policing this is something we would expect to see in old documentaries about East Germany and other such repressed states.

It appears that Big Brother is indeed out there

Andy
 
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Dryce

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andy_k said:
I wonder what the reaction woiuld have been had the police blocked off all the exits to Maidstone's main shopping centre and treated the people inside the same as the car drivers.
You don't need insurance, tax, and MOT documents to walk
about a shopping centre.

Frankly I'd rather they did this sort of thing more often. Too many
uninsured/improperly registered vehicles about (or rather it seems
that every second accident I hear about where friends, colleagues,
and neighbours are involved the other driver was uninsured or
does a runner and is untraceable).
 

BIGCEE

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totally agree with DRYCE far too many w______s are getting away with driving without a license/ins/mot and its costing the rest of us a fortune. I'm not talking about joe blogs who has simply forgot and missed a renewal date by a day or two but the village idiot who just thinks it will never happen to me so why bother.as far as I'm concerned anybody caught without them who clearly just has not bothered should have their car stuck straight into a portable crusher.
 

league67

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....

Yes, stick cars in 'portable crushers' and then if your car APPEARS uninsured and then gets crushed I bet you'd say 'oh well shit happens' and get over it ?

Please continue to provide us with safer roads.

As per andy's message; sucessful 'mission' no arrests 40 cars impounded. Very sucessful for targeting 'drug-related-crime'.
 

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andy_k said:
yet on the news tonight the "official" police spokesman assured the viewing public they had caught a rape suspect and a murderer - I find it rather worrying that they weren't arrested don't you?

It also bothers me that the police are impounding vehicles on the basis of information gleaned from a computer system installed by the same people who brought us the CSA and Tax Credits :)
Hi Andy,
I see that others are also talking about cars being crushed?? I'm pretty tired, but I cannot see any mention of any car being 'crushed!'

Surely if the Police stop a vehicle and it is uninsured, or in a dangerous condition then they have a duty to take the thing off the road? Imagine the public outcry if a dangerous vehicle was allowed to drive off and kill someone?

Was this a good use of Police resources?? I have not got a clue, but I would assume it was planned, duties rearranged etc just to make sure there was still adequate cover?

Regards,
John
 
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BonzoDog

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Random checks are quite common in some parts of the continent. I see it a little bit like airport security; it is inconvenient but has a good purpose behind it. I have been stopped occasionally in such checks and I am quite happy about that if it helps reduce some of the miscreant behaviour in our society.
 

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I think this is lazy policing. Sure they'll catch a few motorists who deservedly need to be punished for lack of a tax disc or insurance, but they'll incovenience hundreds of law abiding subjects just going about their normal business.

If this happened to me I'd be infuriated and probably uncooperative.

RC
 

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Rose Chap said:
If this happened to me I'd be infuriated and probably uncooperative.

RC
Hi Rose Chap,
I feel this says more about you than it does about anything else.

I cannot see anything in that article that actually states innocent motorists were inconvenienced?

Yes there are cones to control directional flow of traffic, but on a busy road I would expect the Vehicle Recognition Software to work the Police to a standstill dealing with 'flagged vehicles, I doubt they would have any time left over to check Mr innocent motorist!!

However as an innocent motorist I would be over the moon if the Police periodically stopped me to check to see if I was the legitimate driver of the vehicle, and that it complied legally with all relevant traffic law.

Idiots that get infuriated, and refuse to co-operate should in my personal opinion be detained until they are co-operative!

How does anyone know who you are, and whether you are entitled to drive unless you co-operate?

Sorry if I appear rude but it makes my blood boil when I read statements like yours (no doubt I am having the same effect) :D :D

Do you believe in treating others how you would like to be treated?

You have already very eloquently described your atitude when being stopped and perhaps I can now fully understand why you might dislike the Police stopping you!

How would you deal with someone that is both infuriated and unco-operative?

John
 

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You must bare in mind, this sort of action has been taken against truck drivers for a number of years, over weight, log book infringements etc, so it was only a matter of time before the police had the tools to carry out the same procedures on the general motorist. I have no complaints if 20 or so dangerous cars are removed from our roads, and you must also bare in mind that criminals need transport to get about their daily lives:D and get caught in the same transport traps.
 

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glojo said:
Hi Rose Chap,
I feel this says more about you than it does about anything else.

I cannot see anything in that article that actually states innocent motorists were inconvenienced?

Yes there are cones to control directional flow of traffic, but on a busy road I would expect the Vehicle Recognition Software to work the Police to a standstill dealing with 'flagged vehicles, I doubt they would have any time left over to check Mr innocent motorist!!

However as an innocent motorist I would be over the moon if the Police periodically stopped me to check to see if I was the legitimate driver of the vehicle, and that it complied legally with all relevant traffic law.

Idiots that get infuriated, and refuse to co-operate should in my personal opinion be detained until they are co-operative!

How does anyone know who you are, and whether you are entitled to drive unless you co-operate?

Sorry if I appear rude but it makes my blood boil when I read statements like yours (no doubt I am having the same effect) :D :D

Do you believe in treating others how you would like to be treated?

You have already very eloquently described your atitude when being stopped and perhaps I can now fully understand why you might dislike the Police stopping you!

How would you deal with someone that is both infuriated and unco-operative?

John
Morning John,

You're not generally an abusive chap so I'll take you post in the spirit you meant it. I'll attempt to explain my perspective.

My understanding of this (which could be wrong) is that all motorists on a stretch of road at a given time are pulled over and then have their details verified. This would most definitely infuriate me, and I would most definitely object to the intrusion. I'm a vocal advocate of innocent until proven guilty.

However... If certain naughty motorists were pulled over whilst the law abiding majority were left to continue on their merry way then I'd be less irate - maybe that's your understanding of this and might explain your bafflement at my post.

Now, may I respectfully suggest you make the first coffee of the morning decaf and go easy with the accusations of idiocy? :) :)

Cheers

RC
 

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My problem is that they seem to do this on fairly major roads, yet (in my opinion) a sweep of the local housing estates would yield better results. Many of the type of people committing these offences are not working, so they're not commuting along major roads.
 

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Rory said:
My problem is that they seem to do this on fairly major roads, yet (in my opinion) a sweep of the local housing estates would yield better results. Many of the type of people committing these offences are not working, so they're not commuting along major roads.
Same with speed cameras, more likely to be on a duel carriage way in the middle of nowhere than outside a school.

These are just exercises in revinue raising...
 

kwakdonut

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I must admit that I was pulled over the other day on one of these 'operations' - I know that I wasn't speeding, everything was legal and actually found out that my pride & joy has been cloned!!! Useful information so at least I know that if I get a ticket from somewhere I've never been, I do know it wasn't me!
 

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Rather than using detective work and old-fashioned "Sherlock-Holmsian" approaches we're left with the opposite: do no prior investigation, just stop everyone. It's the laziest kind of police work surely? It doesn't take a genius to work out that stopping *everyone*, including those who are innocent will eventually turn up a few of the guilty!
glojo said:
However as an innocent motorist I would be over the moon if the Police periodically stopped me to check to see if I was the legitimate driver of the vehicle, and that it complied legally with all relevant traffic law.
Imagine the scenario:

"I'm sorry Sir but your details do not match those we have on record for you, you will have to surrender your vehicle and find alternative transport until you can provide the relevent paperwork that confirms the legal use of this vehicle. You have 14 days to provide this, after which your vehicle will be either auctioned or crushed. Good day."

I'd be over the moon I can tell you.
 

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nick mercedes said:
.

Why UK drivers allow ourselves to be treated like this is beyond me.
So, I steal your car, the camera says the car is taxed, insured and mot'd, no problem, but I am not the owner, I have just stolen it and it has yet to be reported, or someone has cloned your car registration, again, taxed, mot'd and insured, no it aint. That is why I am in favour of a little inconvenience to make sure these people and people who also break the law, no tax, no mot or no insurance are taken off the road.

No offence intended
 
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kwakdonut said:
I must admit that I was pulled over the other day on one of these 'operations' - I know that I wasn't speeding, everything was legal and actually found out that my pride & joy has been cloned!!! Useful information so at least I know that if I get a ticket from somewhere I've never been, I do know it wasn't me!
I am intrigued how on earth they could have established that your car had been cloned whilst doing a roadside stop... unless your car was the clone.

I'm also interested how that information can be of any use to you... The chances are that you'll still have to fight tooth and nail to prove your innocence should the clone car trigger a camera regardless as to whether the police are aware of a clone or not. Did they give you anything in writing to this effect? If not, I strongly suspect they were pulling your leg, perhaps in a bid to win public confidence.

I can understand the principle behind these roadside stops but I don't fully understand the rationale of sending 40 cops out for no arrests when if they sent as few as two police officers out to patrol an estate near where I live for an evening would their haul would no doubt be much larger and have a far bigger impact on crime within the community.

Bring back the bobby I say.
 
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prprandall51

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Rose Chap said:
My understanding of this (which could be wrong) is that all motorists on a stretch of road at a given time are pulled over and then have their details verified. This would most definitely infuriate me, and I would most definitely object to the intrusion. I'm a vocal advocate of innocent until proven guilty.
RC
I don't know about this particular operation but we have them around Guildford occasionally when the "Guildford Cruise" is on. This is basically a gathering of nasty Citroen Saxos and Vauxhall Novas being driven at innapropriate speeds around the streets of Guildford with blacked out windows, over noisy exhausts and the like.

The Police do not detain everyone, they typically pull over vehicles or drivers that look like "lilely". I have driven through several of these road blocks and not even been asked to slow down. Perhaps it is because my car looks road worthy.

Last time, I even had the joy of seeing a Citroen Saxo-y thing reversing at high speed down a dual carriageway into the oncoming traffic in a desperate but (I am glad to say) ultimately futile attempt to avoid being stopped. So, there is entertainment rather than inconvenience to be had at these road blocks for the honest motorist.

At the end of the day, the Police cannot hope to identify and apprehend criminals - and that includes people driving without tax or insurance - unless they have the opportunity to question or examine those people and their vehicles in detail.

Perhaps, in the good old days, honest folk tipped the Police off about such things, but I cannot see nowadays how else the Police can be expected to do their job unless they get out there and proactively stop and search.

In those good old days the Police could stop and search without having to have "good cause" but the laws were only recently changed (10 - 15 years ago?) to remove the Police's right to do this. Many people - me included - felt this was handing the criminal fraternity a significant advantage. Thankfully, operations like the one described are able to redress the balance.

A Police State? I always suspect that people who chant this mantra (along with Human Rights and Civil Liberties) have never been burgled, mugged or driven into by an unsured vehicle. Society is a far from perfect thing, I believe it would be vastly less perfect if our Police didn't at least try to stop criminals before they did something rather than having to wait until after the crime was perpetrated.

Philip
 

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I don't have a problem being pulled over for a roadside check if it is just going to take a couple of minutes . I imagine the majority of motorists with whom everything is in order will be sent on their way within this time frame .

I am prepared to accept (and in fact WELCOME) this small inconvenience if it has an impact on the number of uninsured drivers on the road , after the two recent experiences I and my girlfriend had at the hands of uninsured drivers ( two cars wrecked , a wall demolished and the front window of our house dislodged from its frame) .

I don't think crushing cars at the roadside is right , since mistakes can occur , and a car cannot be un-crushed if it turns out the database was wrong and the driver had just bought and insured the vehicle that day , for example , but agree that apparently uninsured , un-MOT'd and unlicensed vehicles should be impounded on the spot allowing due process to then take place .

I normally am quite vocal on the civil liberties front , but in this case , I don't see how else the authorities can , quite properly , go about taking drivers/vehicles off the road that have no right to be there ?
 

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Some interesting observations. I see no issues with anything shown on here - it all looks very proactive and well thought out. Good for the police I say. If they caught 28 motorists who didn't have tax / insurance / etc - then great.

The only worry I have is the size of that number for the relatively small sample of cars checked......does this directly correlate to the number of vehicles being driven illegally in the country as a whole ?

Bring on the checks I say....and why can't they use the same system as in the city of london - which automatically checks for tax / insurance etc as a car drives into the square mile ?
 

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