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Stitched up by the Police!

Published: 25 July 2008

Updated: 19 November 2014

I have only ever been stopped once in my life (touch wood) and that was in 1976 on a warm Saturday morning.

I was going into town and I was exceeding the speed limit. I was doing about 40-42 in a 30 limit, looked in my mirrors and there was a police Vauxhall Viva some distance behind me, so I eased off thinking I might have got away with it, but no, he came past and flagged me down.

P.C F**** (remember the name till the day I drop) asked me if his "stop" sign had come on when he passed me, (which it didn`t), then chose to caution me for speeding (fair enough, I WAS guilty) but complimented me on my riding as I looked "As safe as houses".

We had a chat, and parted amicably, he was only doing his job and wasn`t in any way unpleasant.

Fast forward about a month and I haven`t heard anything, have I got away with it?

No chance.

I got a summons for speeding and one for dangerous driving! Not a happy bunny. I went to a solicitor who tells me I have to challenge this as I hadn`t been notified verbally or in writing within 14 days and so I appeared before the magistrates with my brief in tow.

Dangerous driving is the first charge to be heard, P.C F**** stands up and tells how I was doing over 65, weaving in and out of parked cars, narrowly missed children playing on footpaths and was trying to out-run him (bear in mind my bike would have humiliated anything the force had at the time).

When cross-examined by my brief as to why I hadn`t been notifed of the charge, said plod produced his (carbon) copy of my notice of intended prosecution which had the offences "speeding" and "dangerous driving" circled.

My solicitor then produced my original (top) copy of the same document which only had ONE circle on it (speeding). Got him!

The magistrates and clerk to the court had a discussion and - YES! Case dismissed!

Right, so we have now established plod is a liar, it`s all downhill. Er, no.

They accepted his 65 mph claim and did me for £50.00 (more than a weeks wage) and a three month ban for the speeding offence. A Crown Court appeal saw the sentence reduced to 1 month (cost another £75.00), but when arriving at the court I met the P.C involved who had the decency to apologise.

He said he had to take the course of action he did under pressure from his Superintendant who was out to make an example of bikers.

So 30-odd years later am I still bitter? You bet. I decided then that if I should turn a corner and a copper is getting a kicking, I would turn and walk away.

Nothing's changed. The police can only carry out their duties effectively with the support of the public, once they have lost that they will plough a lonely furrow. And they lost my support and respect that day in 1976.

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