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The Law >> General Law >> Police Reports scheme wide-open to abuse.

Message started by RoyBean on Dec 6th, 2007 at 3:40pm

Title: Police Reports scheme wide-open to abuse.
Post by RoyBean on Dec 6th, 2007 at 3:40pm
Seeing this thread, I have had a similar experience, in that I was the victim of a false accusation of assault, in this case made by a person who is well-known for making all kinds of nonsensical complaints.

In my case I was issued with an Official Warning, and a Report circulated to all Scottish police departments. This report will stay on file for two years. IMHO this is a lot more serious than a fixed penalty, and I need to fight it.

As the case is under investigation  by the Complaints Commission I think it would be inappropriate to  give any specific details at this stage.

The thing that really concerns me, though, is that this was done purely on the basis of anecdotal evidence from a single family. There was no other evidence, and no independent witness. It was also done at extremely short notice, such that I was given no time in which to counter the claims with evidence of my own.

Since that time I have presented solid evidence that my accuser is an untrustworthy witness. The police seemingly accept this evidence and now agree that I am the party who is 'in the right' - but they say that there is no mechanism available to them by which an adverse Report can be removed from records once it has been filed.

This really does beg some searching questions as to what Scottish Law has actually come to. It would seem that you can now acquire a 'record' purely on the basis of a malicious statement. Furthermore, you have no right whatsoever to defence, and even should your accuser be later proved untrustworthy, there is no provision by which the smear on your character can be removed.

It also would seem that this situation is wide-open to exploit - Although lying to police carries stiff penalties, a fabricated statement referring to incidents which did not happen -or which nobody else could possibly have witnessed- is relatively safe from detection, thus the fabricator can proceed to make false statements with very little risk of prosecution. Neither does the fabricator need a proper corroborating witness - it seems that the word of a relative, child, employee, wife, or the like will be accepted without regard to their questionable status as an independent voice. I imagine my accuser must have thought-over these points carefully before deciding on this course of action. Or else, as I suspect, they were 'put-up' to it by someone with legal knowledge.

The distinction here, as I see it, is that in conventional Scots Law such an accusation would have no chance of making to to court, let alone the case being won, without evidence, and without independent witness. Therefore under traditional circumstances there would have been no point in pursuing such an action. Yet, the existence of these unchallenged Written Warnings and Reports offers the malicious person an 'evidence-free' roadmap to attacking another person for whatever reason.

Personally I think this whole business of Fixed Penalties or Official Warnings / Filed Reports needs a rethink. It's the kind of summary justice you might expect in Saudi Arabia, not Scotland. And, it's wide-open to abuse by blackmailers and the like.

Title: Re: Police Reports scheme wide-open to abuse.
Post by RoyBean on Jul 18th, 2008 at 7:37am
Just as an update, the case went to court, and the prosecution's case failed on the two plaintiffs' evidence being substantially different.

In fact, the main plaintiff was blatantly lying in the witness-box on at least one occasion. The court system places great stock in statements spoken verbally under oath, but IMLE this shows just how little value an oath has in ensuring the truth is told.  :-?

So in one sense elation at victory, but in another it's been six months of anxiety and costs for me... and for an outcome which could reasonably have been predicted from the start.  Reinforces my claim that it should never have been prosecuted.

Title: Re: Police Reports scheme wide-open to abuse.
Post by little mo on Aug 11th, 2008 at 7:44pm
Having just read both your posts - I can totally sympathise with you - I had a business in a sector which suffer high turnovers of staff - that aside we had an employee whose husband was caught driving whilst on a drink driving ban - it was part of a police campaign. Anyway, she blamed me as having told the Police and set out to in her words 'ruin me'.  She managed to get a number of people to say that I had said and done different things and eventually managed to get the police to charge me with various offences that I had most definately not done.  The upshot of all that was it cost me 20k in legal fees including a QC for several days and the losss of my business.  Like yourself it did eventually get to court and was thrown out after 2 days because the QC could see straight through each of them that they were complete liars and the Sherrif threw the case out.  

My point is similar to yours - any idiot can say things and manipulate others to say things and to prove ones innocence can cost thousands and change the course of someones life.

I have done it like you - but lost a business, income and savings - ALL to prove our innocense!!!!

Good Luck

Little Mo

Title: Re: Police Reports scheme wide-open to abuse.
Post by little mo on Aug 11th, 2008 at 11:08pm

Just to add on, I did start another company in a different sector and was able to build it up very successfully - so all was not lost - rather really just very annoying - but hopefully the old saying 'what goes around comes around' so heres hoping.

Little Mo

Title: Re: Police Reports scheme wide-open to abuse.
Post by semper_vigilo on Aug 22nd, 2008 at 1:23pm
Best evidence, two seemingly credible eye witnesses. Only the courts can decide if a witness is credible sadly. With the Scottish Crime Recording Standards the police must crime even the most fanciful tales of woe.

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