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Speed Gun Warning

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AB Editor | 15:47 Wed 05th Jan 2011 | Motoring
32 Answers
A man in Grimsby has been prosecuted for flashing his headlights at other drivers to warn them of a police speed trap.

The man believes it is his civic duty to warn others of the speed trap. The police believe he was obstructing the police officers from doing their duty.

Source: BBC News

This poll is closed.

Do you believe he was doing his civic duty, or stopping the police officers from doing their job?

  • He was doing his civic duty - 26 votes
  • 72%
  • He was stopping the police doing their job - 10 votes
  • 28%

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Stats until: 08:59 Sun 21st Apr 2024 (Refreshed every 5 minutes)


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I think in this case there was video evidence against him and that video evidence and the fact that nobody was detected speeding was the basis for the assessment that nobody was speeding - a bit bizaar when you think about it but there you go.
It's a bit comical that fixed speed cameras have to have warning signs and be painted yellow, but the Police object to him drawing attention to this one.

I thought the intention of speed cameras was supposed to be to slow traffic, not catch offenders.
As I heard it he wasn't nicked for the flashing, which most would view as a kindly act and probably crime prevention. I believe when he was stopped he had a go at the police and that's what he was nicked for. Sounds like sticking your head into the lion's mouth.
He could argue that the Police were creating a hazard .. and he was warning other drivers about that hazard.
-- answer removed --
I have now ordered a few 'bait' T-Shirts.
Any takers? £3.99 each.
I get the headlines from the Grimsby Telegraph emailed every day as I used to live there.

This man (Mr Johnson I think) became very verbal and abusive when the police stopped him. He said one of the officers told him they were only going to have a word with him but since he became abusive they were going to give him a ticket. It all snowballed from there. He got a £440 fine in the end.
all he has to do is tell police he was trying to stop a crime being committed. let them prosecute there aint a court in the land will covict him.
-- answer removed --
I also posted this in response to a question by R1Geezer:

I took the view that as the first duty of a police officer is to prevent crime, Mr Thompson’s action was assisting the police in that duty and therefore the prosecution was wrong. However, having read the details of an appeal in the High Court which barmaid kindly provided:

I’ve had a change of heart.

Their Lordships in their wisdom determined that there was a finer point of law involved. To save you trawling through the whole case notes, in summary they decided that the issue is what else had occurred which the defendant’s action may have influenced. They decided that if a crime (i.e. speeding) had already been committed or was about to be committed a police officer would have a duty to take action to detect or prevent that crime. Anybody interfering with this duty (i.e. obstructing) is guilty of an offence. However, if no offence was committed or about to be committed there could be no obstruction.

The Magistrates obviously took the view that Mr. Thompson was warning drivers who either were speeding or were possibly going to speed that they would be apprehended by the speed trap and so they decided he had obstructed the police.

The appeal case addresses a fine point and I can understand their Lordships findings with regard to drivers who were already speeding, but cannot quite agree with the decision with regard to those who were about to speed. They may have slowed down if they saw the speed trap themselves or if they saw Mr Thompson’s warning. Either way a crime has been prevented and Mr. Thompson assisted the police in that duty.
I always flash my lights. If the police had stopped me, i would have lied through my teeth. The man in question got stroppy. It's like a red rag to a bull to our boys in blue.

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