View Full Version : Wasting Police Time!

29th Apr 2004, 09:37
Three months ago I had a visit from Hampshire Constabulary. I was told that I had been reported for driving away from a petrol station on the M6 in Staffordshire without paying £40.00 for petrol. The garage had my car details correct, but something didn’t ring true. I have been doing the same journey every week for some 10 months and it has now become very routine. I use almost exactly one tank of fuel a week, every week. Oh, by-the-way, the incident was supposed to have happened over 3 months before I was eventually contacted by the police (apparently they had visited my home 6 times in the previous 2 months and couldn’t get an answer)!

Anyway, during the officer’s visit, my wife checked my bank statements for the day in question and lo and behold, I had filled the tank that day, albeit at a garage nearer my home. It would therefore have been absolutely and categorically impossible, for me to have stolen another (full) tank of fuel in the same day. Officer asks for a photocopy of bank statement, tells me it was obviously a mistake, apologises profusely and says I will hear nothing further.

I don’t …….for a further month. Then I have yet another visit. This time, I’m told that the garage (which didn’t have cctv)…. “don’t accept the bank statement and that it must have been you”. Officer says he’s sorry, but his hands are tied. I will therefore have to go into the local police station in Staffordshire and tell them the story. I duly do this and officer tells me that the garage is patently mistaken and he’s sorry to trouble me.

Two weeks later, I receive yet another phone call from Hampshire Constabulary, asking if they can visit me at the weekend and take a Witness Statement, because the garage are still pushing for a conviction, despite the concrete evidence that I was innocent. Loads more apologies from the extremely polite officer who takes the Statement, whose opinion of the garage in question is unprintable. Duly sign said Statement and a week later have a phone call from Staffordshire Constabulary to say, that “the Inspector” has reviewed the evidence and had effectively told the garage to “[email protected]@ off” and that the case had been wrapped up.

Now, what annoys me, is that I have a fairly high security rating and was told that this incident (because I was asked to give a written Witness Statement) may surface when my rating is renewed. What would happen to my security rating then? Additionally, the amount of individual police officers (5 constables, one sergeant and “the Inspector”) and my time, which was wasted for the sake of a totally false claim that I had stolen £40.00 of petrol, boggles the mind. I have conservatively worked it out, that two police forces spent at least 20 hours on the case and I spent at least 6 wasted hours.

And, how did the garage, at which I had NEVER purchased petrol, manage to get my car details???

I can understand now, why the police don’t have the time to investigate serious crimes!

The Invisible Man
29th Apr 2004, 09:44
Thanks for the use of your number plates Lukeafb1,

I will return them after I have filled up again:E

29th Apr 2004, 09:54
Cynical, but here goes.....

Round number amounts of petrol are almost always bought by people who pay in cash rather than by card. You've seen it before - man comes in in a big hurry, slaps a couple of twenties on the counter shouts "pump no. x" and leaves without it going through the till.

Money does not go into till, but into cahsier's trousers.

How to account for £40 dispensation of petrol recorded by the pump?

Get some car details from anywhere (you might have been the unlucky one) and say that the car went off without paying.

Just a possibility

29th Apr 2004, 09:54
You utter swine Proot! I might have guessed you would be involved somewhere.:E

29th Apr 2004, 10:31
High probability that someone cloned your plates (if they're smart, it'll be the same colour make and model as yours)

Had a bill from a main dealer a few years back saying I hadn't settled my account. Turns out some scrote had cloned my plates and taken it in to get work done on credit. Luckily, the garage noted the block number and it didn't match (plus the aforementioned car had been written off several months previously)

UK - walk into Halfords and get any plate you want knocked up
US - don't your cons make 'em in jail?

29th Apr 2004, 10:51
Yeah, I'd go along with the cloned plates theory.

My mother-in-law was a victim of road rage last summer. The guy carved her up (he was undertaking by driving along a bus lane, spotted a camera and swerved out of it). My ma-in-law hooted him and then of course the traffic stopped.

The driver got out and spat at her through her open window. He then wrenched her wing mirror from it's mounting and left it dangling from the wires. She did a U-turn and went to the nearest police station. She had memorised the car's make and plate numbers.

She deliberately did not wipe the saliva from her face and hair and the cops got a DNA sample from it.

The car's plates were cloned, the genuine plates belonged to a handicapped guy near the Elephant and Castle. It was the same make and colour of the 'flobber's'.

Pleased to say that some months later the 'flobber' was arrested for another offence and was DNA tested. They couldn't nick him for the offence he was arrested for, but my ma-in-law's presence of mind in not instinctively removing the spit meant he got over two years for the assault on her and the cloning offence.

I know this is of no help to you Luke, but I reckon there are loads of people driving around with cloned plates.

Best of luck.

29th Apr 2004, 10:52
I think number plates are made by prisoners in Australia as well.

29th Apr 2004, 10:56
The rules have changed. If you want Halfords or anyone else to make a set of plates you have to take in the Registration Document with you. The plates also have to carry the name and postcode of the maker.

Big Tudor
29th Apr 2004, 11:00
Not just the V5 U_R. You also have to take photographic proof of identity with you as well. Of course, it doesn't stop those small time crooks who have personal access to number plate making facilities! :mad:

29th Apr 2004, 11:01
UR - you're quite right but it doesn't make any difference.

Further to my story above, I had to give a witness statement to the cops re my mother-in-law since it was me that repaired her wing mirror.

While I was giving the statement I asked the officer how you got plates cloned nowadays.

She said there were plenty of back street places that would knock 'em up for you no questions asked -- despite the law.

Halfords obviously won't, but the shady operations will.

Wee Weasley Welshman
29th Apr 2004, 11:38
There are already any number of back street operators who will supply plates no questions asked.

The recent changes just meen that the price is now £80.



29th Apr 2004, 11:45
I must admit its been a long while since I've had to get any made up, but because of the design of UK plates they are easy to make at home with stick on letters (done it for a trailer before).

Is it law that you must show those documents, or just reputable stores' policy? Its a good idea, just wondering if it was law. I just did a quick google search out of curiosity and the top one thrown up was:
Acrylic Car Number Plates
Showplates without the need for
showing documentation Fast Delivery

When you go to the site, they do road legal too.

NB pretty cheap too! Change from £23 for a set of front and back

29th Apr 2004, 12:27

How do you know a set of cloned plates costs £80 ??:suspect:

Here in Nederlands the registration document gets stamped with an embossed stamp and the store has to register the manufacture of the plate with the vehicle registration dept.
If you lose a number plate or get them nicked, you get a new set with a little "1" so that you can avoid receiving the fines of the the person using the stolen plate.....(if it happens again you get a little suffix "2" embossed on the number plate.

29th Apr 2004, 12:51
This has reminded me of an incident last year that I was involved in.

I was out with one of our field men for a day, making service calls.
We called at a house in Amersham, but no one answered the door. Left a note saying we would be back later and gave a time. Duly returned to property...again no one appeared to be at home. So, as it was the last call for the day, we parked up outside the property to await the customer's return.

After about 15 minutes heard a helicopter circling around, at quite a low level. Another 5 minutes paseed, with the chopper going round and round. We had established it was the Police chopper by then. Up the road came an Audi with a personal reg that began "TVP". Out jumped a very authorative policeman looking jobsworth. He had the words "Chief Traffic Warden" on his lapel.

Demands to know what we are doing outside this particular house. Explained why we were there, booked appointment, no one at home etc. Showed him the paperwork for the call. Point out that we are wearing corporate clothing with company name on. So he radios in and calls the chopper off, which has now been flying over us for about half an hour.

Next a police car arrives with two officers in. The story has to be re-told and paper work re-produced to them. The field guy gets a telling off for the van not being sign written, like most of our fleet and hadn't the Company better get it done, so as their is no confusion in future with house breakers who normally drive plain white vans.

It transpired that the occupant of the house was home all the time, but as the guy who serviced her equipment on the previous two calls, didn't knock at her door, she decided to phone the police, as we were suspicious! Didn't even think of speaking to us from a window or through the letter box to check who we were.

Now how many man hours did that cost and how much did the chopper cost?
I suggested to one of the officers, that they charge the lady with wasting police time. That hit the wrong spot..."you can't be too careful these days sir"

:mad: :confused: :*

29th Apr 2004, 12:56
It is absolutely the ridiculous that the police spent such a long time on this case, when there was clear material evidence that disproved the allegations; and the fact that the garage did not have CCTV would have made a conviction almost impossible anyway. I'm not sure the officer was correct in saying 'his hands were tied'; surely the police can take a decision as to whether or not they are following up a reliable allegation? At some point they will have to take the decision (in a case of genuine Police time wasting) that they are being led up the wrong path? Or are they duty bound to follow up every allegation until they have investigated fully and the file is passed to the CPS?

The garage may well have seen a car with your number plates disappear from the forecourt without paying, but if they did it clearly was not you and the Police should surely have been able to submit that your bank statement was clear evidence that it was not. This was a total waste of the Police's time, and any prosecution would clearly have failed had it got that far.

angels - well done to your mother-in-law for putting another scumbag where he should be.

IB 4138 - while the lady's behaviour might have appeared odd, you can't charge her with wasting police time for being careful! To her you could have been planning to carry out an aggravated burglary. Sign writing on the van would therefore be a good idea, imho.

29th Apr 2004, 13:10
"Sign writing on the van would therefore be a good idea, imho"

Yes! Excellent idea, must remember to suggest it to the gang next time we go robbin'! :}

29th Apr 2004, 13:57
The plates also have to carry the name and postcode of the maker.

Here's an extract from the relevant DVLA regulations:-

"The British Standard also requires that a number plate must be marked with the following information: -

The British Standard Number (currently BS AU 145d)

The name, trade mark, or other means of identification of the manufacturer or component supplier. (The company who actually make the number plate.)

The name and postcode of the supplying outlet. (The 'supplying outlet' is taken to mean a company whose business consists wholly or partly of selling number plates.)"

So buying a new number plate made by 'Bloggs Ltd', from Halfords, the plate presumably has to show both the 'Bloggs Logo', and the Halfords name and postcode.

29th Apr 2004, 14:05
Edited cos I answered my own question (mental note to self - must get out more)

"In September 1998 the Vehicle Crime Reduction Action Team (VCRAT) was established by the Home Office to develop and implement a strategy to meet the Government objective of reducing vehicle crime. VCRAT recommended the introduction of a statutory registration scheme to control the supply of number plates, as well as the introduction of additional security features on number plates. The first part of this strategy was implemented in January 2003 with the establishment of a register of number plate suppliers in England and Wales.

The object of the register of number plate suppliers is to regulate the industry in order to reduce the opportunities for vehicle crime. This is achieved by ensuring number plates are only sold to a purchaser who can show entitlement to a particular registration mark and can provide verification of personal details. Number plate suppliers are required to maintain a record of each transaction for a period of three years. This is an important source of information for the investigation of vehicle related crime. There will be a full review of these arrangements towards the end of 2004. The registration scheme introduces a series of checks and controls when a number plate is sold, but it does not deal with the theft of number plates nor with the self-assembly of plates. This paper puts forward proposals aimed at completing the process of creating a secure number plate system"

29th Apr 2004, 14:19
You have to be registered (as -Spanky- subsequently discovered):-

"From 1 January 2003 all number plate suppliers in England and Wales will be required by law to register their details with DVLA. From that date a business will be unable to trade as a supplier unless it is registered."

And this closes another option, suggested earlier:-

"Are stick-on number plates legal?

No, number plates must meet the British Standard requirements and we are not aware of any self-adhesive number plates that are able to meet these requirements."

29th Apr 2004, 14:50
Mrs Spork was impressed a couple of days ago on seeing a TV prog about number plate cloning in the UK. For about a year or so now, we've heard of many cases locally where it's obvious that something fishy is going on, but "the authorities" response is just to rigidly insist on fines being paid or whatever.

Said TV prog apparently showed some UK police forces have finally twigged that people driving on cloned plates often have some very good reasons to be out and about unrecognised. And they're following it up with excellent results. :ok: Some police forces though, are apparently not interested. They just want the money... :sad:

29th Apr 2004, 17:07

that's bullshit! A minor incident was turned into a major one that cost police time and money by this..........

As spanky says...house robbers go around in Corporate uniforms with vans saying "Bill the Burgalar, Phone me to tell me when you're out and I'll empty your House" on the side!

If we had been planning to rob someone, we were very, very unlikely to have parked up outside the target property for half an hour....and one police man in one car was all that was needed to check us out.....not the airbourne cavalry and some moron in an Audi who thinks he's god!

The woman was expecting someone from our Company to call at the appointed time, which we did. The call was not unsolicited. All she had to do was phone our office to check out the situation. Instead she called a major incident!

What happens when her postman goes on holiday? Is the poor sod who delivers her mail subjected to such stupidity.

There is being careful and going to far.

She overstepped the mark and the police response was OTT.

29th Apr 2004, 17:08
Thanks for all your replies Ppruners (except that unspeakable bounder Proot!).

I hadn't thought of cloned plates - a bit worrying that! The only consolation there, is that I have now sold that particular car. Indeed, I didn't mention it in my first post, but I sold it about a month before the first police visit.

On the minus side, what the incident has done, is make me somewhat paranoid about filling up with petrol, in case I ever genuinely forget to pay. Nobody, least of all the police, would believe it was an oversight.

The Invisible Man
29th Apr 2004, 17:10
, in case I ever genuinely forget to pay. Nobody, least of all the police, would believe it was an oversight.

Nor would I ya dispicable bounder:E

Can't spell dispicable but ya know what I mean!

Thievin cad, thats better.


A man who would stoop so low as to blame others!

Wasting police time, a thread dedicated to you !

Hurry up Lukeafb1, I can't wait all night for your reply.

Thats six edits I've done, Stuck for words are ya???

29th Apr 2004, 17:13
Have you thought of changing to LPG?

29th Apr 2004, 17:27

I think others who don't know your background, should be told the truth.


Torquil Proot only finished his last stretch some six months ago. What was it Proot, three years for attempting to steal the British Constitution?? The man is as mad as a March Hare!! I also notice he's found some way to bump his supposed post total. Zero last week and over a 1000 this week. Who is he kidding? He even has to get his mother Freda to write his posts for him and as you will have noticed from her last post, she can't spell either!!.

:E :E:p

29th Apr 2004, 17:52
This remided me about this little story. A few years ago my wife and me were driving to my sisters in our own cars ,following each other,I needed to fill up, so I rang her and said Im pulling in to the next garage,She said good Idea I need fuel as well, so we duly went to the next one and both filled up. Then I said I will pay for yours Ill see you later and she drove off.
Well when I went in to pay the guy was jumping up and down having a fit "shes driven off" hes shouting ,I said well I dont know the cheek of some people, then I said I tell you what my mate I m feeling in a good mood today so Ill pay for her fuel as well as mine.
Well the look on his face was priceless.

29th Apr 2004, 20:37
Angels - again, well done to the MIL for her presence of mind.

As to IB4138's case, the old dear did the right thing, the fact that the law decided to call in a chopper etc when a patrol car would have been as efficient... If I was supervising whoever made that decision I'd want a good explanation. On face value it sounds like their SOP's need a good reworking.

As to the original post, I presume you had an alibi? it sounds like the Police found your explaination plausible, so why were you "harassed"?

If I were you I'd contact the local OIC and mention words such as Malicious Prosecution etc. In other words, the evidence presented doesn't warrant the continued investigation. I suspect that the service station owner has contacts...


29th Apr 2004, 22:00

Alibi? Alibi? What do you think the bank statement was, chopped liver?? I didn't say I was harrassed, never mentioned harrassment. Wot you trying to do, get me more harrass.....er..visits from the law?? You a trouble maker or somethin'.....or are you a business associate of that fiend Proot??:{

30th Apr 2004, 09:12

I dont know the area where you had this problem but unless I was on double yellows or something the "chief traffic warden" would have been given a few words along the lines that you dont even have to speak to him. Suspicion of crime is way outside their legal terms of reference

30th Apr 2004, 15:16

In fact, Lukeafb1 does this quite regularly :eek: he fills up the tank at one filling station, goes home and syphons the 40 quidsworth into jerrycans in the garage, then pops out to another filling station to fill up again and pay by check :}

Means his gas costs him 40p a litre instead of the 80p everyone else in Tony's enlightened Island pays :8 :uhoh: :ok:

(from Paradise where gas is 13p a litre and you can hear mosques singing 5 times a day :) )

The Invisible Man
30th Apr 2004, 19:10

How coincedental you should have the same thoughts as I.

Need I say more :E

Lukeafb1...... me thinks you have been rumbled !

1st May 2004, 02:23
Whether it's plate cloning or dodgy cctv I don't know but I was actually stung with a Central London congestion charge, while at work at Plymouth airport (Devon, about 250 miles away!!!)

Luckily I had despatched the morning flights and had signed, timed paperwork that I could produce to prove where I was.
Don't how I'd have got around it otherwise as it was the correct make and model of my car too!

1st May 2004, 03:32
Had a guy who used to work for me who we had to get out of jail here for "plate cloning".

He had lost the plate from the back of the company pick-up, and temporarily got out a paint can and painted the number.

Vigilant Saudi Cop spots it and the guy was thrown in jail until we got a letter from the company to say he wouldn't do it again, that we'd get a new plate, and paid the fine!

1st May 2004, 11:45
I recently had a need to get some plates made before receiving the V5 document for the car. Impossible from any legitimate number plate makers.

However it is still possible to get plates made without the documentation and all the change in regulations has done is make it more difficult for the average law abiding citizen to get something done. Like so much pointless legislation from our control freak governments. Handgun legislation certainly worked , didn't it?

Criminals will still manage quite happily to obtain plates as they always have done.

2nd May 2004, 09:51
I will, of course be sewing Proot and ExSimGuy.

Both of them will be sewn into a pair of large sacks and deposited somewhere the water is very deep. Both of you watch your backs from now on!!:E :E

Although in Proot's case, this is an ongoing objective.

2nd May 2004, 16:38
Hey - you better have good "contacts", cos even Bin Liner's Boyos haven't managed to get me yet - and they're in the same country :hmm:

Martin Baker - the only way to fly ;)

The Invisible Man
2nd May 2004, 16:44
Be careful ExSimGuy,

Lukeafb1 has got some pretty ruthless contacts in the Girl Guides.

They can do some serious damage with their handbags!! :E

4th May 2004, 13:35
I have now put the matter in the very capable hands of Felicity “Mad Dog” Prendergast and Clarissa “Gut Muncher” Pangbourne. The contents of their handbags boggles the mind. Mad Dog is particularly keen to get her hands on Proot’s accoutrements!

I expect Pprune will have a couple of vacancies for membership in the not too distant future.
:E :E

The Invisible Man
4th May 2004, 18:47

I accuse you of blatantly high-jacking your own thread. It started as Wasting Police time and ended up wasting valuble Ppruning time. Idle threats of vengence mean nothing to me. Dont forget I took on Marcel West in "Scams assorti".

I hope I have friends in high places, who at the drop of a hat, can zero your posts, zero mine, change over our titles, anything they see fit. It just takes the word from me, so be careful.

I eagerly anticipate the next Mornington Crescent game. I have had many a Pm from members who cannot wait to "sink their teeth" into you!

ExSim Guy has requested the rule book, and even now is practising the moves and counter moves. He will indeed be a good player.

The expected vacancy within PPRUNE may indeed be your own:E

5th May 2004, 07:33

"A good player"??? Not if he's taking a leaf out of your book!! And he should, ALL of them, then deposit the whole lot in the trash, where they belong:E :E