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  #46  
Old 22 Apr 2008
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@ matcbf60; thanks for your statement. I conclude that your police is not much different than the police in other states. So, there is still hope! Good to know.
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  #47  
Old 22 Apr 2008
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Just arrived in the US from the UK and have woken up early so these kind of threads are great for passing some time!

I guess being a good visitor to a country simply comes down to respecting the local laws and customs and not simply saying "that's not the way we do it at home so I won't here". It's so easy to take the moral high ground though but from time to time you just cannot follow the local laws for various reasons.

Is this about the police? I don't think so - they're just enforcing the law and are in the firing line in the UK mainly as a result of government policy. People's perception of the police is that they are there to tackle crime but they don't see any real action when they experience say an attack in the street or a theft of a vehicle. They just end up a statistical victim with a crime reference number and there is never any investigative action because the chance of securing a conviction is so slim. At the same time a "less serious" traffic misdemeanor often results in a fine and points on the license. As Matt says you can't argue that you did nothing wrong but it is easy to feel frustrated that the law treats people this way.

Perhaps it is high profile incidents like the Menezes shooting that bring the British police into disrepute. A very rare example indeed but it's my opinion that there are some very heavy handed police operations - anti terrorism in particular but look too at that disappeared canoeist that did a Lazarus. His wife when she returned from Panama was arrested by some very burly looking armed police at the airport - you'd have though Osama Bin Laden was coming in to watch an Arsenal match. Completely ridiculous.

It is easy to criticize without offering a solution. My view is that if you are uninsured and you get caught then there is a reasonable fine to pay and a short ban. That should be a deterrent - there's no need to crush cars in a situation like this. I hear that Customs and Excise order the crushing of many cars when people are caught "smuggling" in cheap cigarettes from the continent. It just seems wrong to do this. If you have an accident and you are uninsured then that is more serious and should result in a very large fine, ban and maybe jail in the case of serious injury being caused.

Personally I hate insurance and all it stands for - the system is just not fair. That's another rant for another occasion.
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  #48  
Old 22 Apr 2008
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Rather than go too far off topic I'll try and keep it as short as I can.
Fastship, you have said -
1) " United Kingdom = Third World Country"
2) "authoritarian almost third world nature of policing in this country."
3) " On the list of the world's countries the UK has to be one to avoid."
4) " Upon reflection perhaps my characterisation of the UK as a "Third world country" was a little unfair. On Third world countries! Banana republic would be more accurate."
5) "authoritarian, draconian way in which the police chose to deal with the crime."
6) " It is WELL in hand" in reply to emigrating.
7) "For it to happen in my own country simply confirms some of the things that have gone wrong with this country"
8) "I absolutely adore this country and will defend it with my life"
9) "it is the most beautiful, diverse and interesting island in the world and most of the people are liberal, laidback and welcoming."

You are emigrating, yes? So, do you like the UK or not?
Your conflicting statements have my poor little brain in a spin.
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  #49  
Old 23 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyMark View Post
Rather than go too far off topic I'll try and keep it as short as I can.
Fastship, you have said -
1) " United Kingdom = Third World Country"
2) "authoritarian almost third world nature of policing in this country."
3) " On the list of the world's countries the UK has to be one to avoid."
4) " Upon reflection perhaps my characterisation of the UK as a "Third world country" was a little unfair. On Third world countries! Banana republic would be more accurate."
5) "authoritarian, draconian way in which the police chose to deal with the crime."
6) " It is WELL in hand" in reply to emigrating.
7) "For it to happen in my own country simply confirms some of the things that have gone wrong with this country"
8) "I absolutely adore this country and will defend it with my life"
9) "it is the most beautiful, diverse and interesting island in the world and most of the people are liberal, laidback and welcoming."

You are emigrating, yes? So, do you like the UK or not?
Your conflicting statements have my poor little brain in a spin.
Too complex to summarise here but yes I do love this country which is why it breaks my heart to see it gone the way it has.

There are miriad reason why I won't bring up a family here and laid one upon the other they make the decision to join the other half million who leave each year rather easy. Great truths lay in small things; there is something very deeply and profoundly wrong with a country that puts a four year old little girl under surveillance.

And that is my last word on this subject. I'm off for a blast:

P.S. ORWELL WROTE HIS MASTERPIECE "1984" AS A WARNING, NOT AS A TEMPLATE.
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  #50  
Old 23 Apr 2008
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Smile

I love the English thing, really.
Among other things the U.K. has created the Land Rovers and above all the U.K. created English sense of humor.
I'm sorry about Mr Marc but this thread was a bit like a Monty Python show.

No wonder many English love those desolated places this Forum is really about.

Cheers !
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  #51  
Old 23 Apr 2008
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Too complex to summarise here but yes I do love this country which is why it breaks my heart to see it gone the way it has.
Now that I agree with 110%.
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  #52  
Old 23 Apr 2008
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Wink Monty Python's Flying Circus or Fawlty Towers - we can do it all

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Originally Posted by armadillo View Post
I love the English thing, really.
Among other things the U.K. has created the Land Rovers and above all the U.K. created English sense of humor.
I'm sorry about Mr Marc but this thread was a bit like a Monty Python show.

No wonder many English love those desolated places this Forum is really about.

Cheers !
Thanks for that Armadillo and quite right, the Brits are pretty good at organising chaos.
That will be the saving grace as to why the big brother* thing for the UK will, ultimately, never succeed.

* A statistic I read recently (warning: on the internet so it may be wrong) is that the UK has 20% of all the worlds' CCTV cameras.
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  #53  
Old 23 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by armadillo View Post
U.K. has created the Land Rovers
Very good; now it becomes personal - my beloved LR has left me alone 3 times in the Sahara last year.
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  #54  
Old 23 Apr 2008
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This has been an interesting thread, but honestly i'm quite appalled by the blood-thirsty which-hunt attitude by many of the posters. It appeared to me that Marc, who did fail to research and purchase insurance, made an honest effort to rectify the situation he got himself into, but was stonewalled by beureaucracy and in the end, got his car crushed. This is bad enough, when all the authorities had to do was jail him (which they did) Make him pay a fine (which they did) Allow him to get the required insurance and/or kick his sorry ass out of the country, but instead, like true thieves, they took everything that was his, denied him the opportunity to get it back and crushed a perfectly good car, which i'm sure the Gov't will sell for scrap. If that isn't bad enough, some people here actually applaud these actions! Marc isn't a child molester or a drug dealer. He's not selling children out of his trunk, and he didn't have an accident causing anybody personal injury. His only crime was ignorance. Is that crime really worth being denied an opportunity to fix the problem? Is it worthy of getting your vehicle crushed? If it is really such a serious offense, why are people not made aware of this when entering the country? In Colombia you are frequently warned what will happen to you if you try to smuggle drugs out of the country. In the US and Canada it is posted quite regularly the consequenses of both DUI and driving without insurance. At the Canadian boarder you are warned not to enter with firearms. When you enter Nicaragua or Costa Rica, you need to buy insurance at the boarder or they won't let you enter. In most states (that i know of) if you get caught driving without insurance, you are fined, maybe thrown in jail but rarely are people denied the opportunity to get their car back. I find this action by the UK authorities to be extreme and over the top, but i'm even more shocked at the lack of sympathy shown for such unreasonable actions. I've never felt the need to visit England, and now i think i know why.
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  #55  
Old 24 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by Mr. Ron View Post
His only crime was ignorance. Is that crime really worth being denied an opportunity to fix the problem? Is it worthy of getting your vehicle crushed? If it is really such a serious offense, why are people not made aware of this when entering the country?
Considering that he got the car from New Zealand to the UK, apparently driving through at least a couple of other countries en route, I find it virtually impossible to believe that he didn't know that he was supposed to have insurance. In the UK like the other countries I suspect that he figured it was cheaper for him to skip insurance, and damn the consequences for him AND OTHERS if he got into an accident. I don't think he was ignorant, but rather an irresponsible freeloader.

Sooo, if he gets caught without insurance he should just have to pay a small fine and get insurance? That rewards him for being a deadbeat and pushing the cost/risk to others, because the chance of him getting caught are slim. How many people would forego insurance if the only penalty was to have to get the insurance if you get caught? That doesn't make sense at all.

Your idea about posting signs about the requirement for insurance is superficially appealing, but not very practicable. Should they also post signs about the need obey speed limits or get a ticket? Or not to drink and drive? Or about the need to quarantine pets? Or about the million other things required by law in every jurisdiction? How about if people traveling somewhere spend two minutes online to see what they need to do to obey the basic rules of the road?

[EDIT: I should add that I think the car-crushing part is over the top and a real waste of resources. But, I think that the penalty should be very substantial (and have little sympathy for claims of "ignorance").

Last edited by motoreiter; 24 Apr 2008 at 01:45.
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  #56  
Old 24 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post

[EDIT: I should add that I think the car-crushing part is over the top and a real waste of resources. But, I think that the penalty should be very substantial (and have little sympathy for claims of "ignorance").
With this i agree. Never said anything about a "small fine". Make it hurt, 1-2 thousand pounds maybe? A few nights in jail, but deliberately making it impossible for him to retrieve his car and crushing it is quite draconian IMHO.
Seriously now, how many of us who have ventured beyond the security of our boarders have purchased liability insurance for every country? Is it even possible?? Gas is $1.20 a litre in N.America, and who knows what kind of prices you guy's pay in Europe, we can barely afford to leave the country, let alone buy insurance. The guy's who are slamming Marc for his un-fortunate turn of events, can you all honestly say you have purchased liability insurance for every country you have entered? If i enter a country and i know they will not only extort all my money and throw me in jail, but will also deny me any opportunity to retrieve my vehicle and crush it within a week, guarenteed i will buy insurance, or avoid it all together. I've searched for an hour, and other than this thread I can find no information stating that these are the actions taken by the Authorities in England. If i'm missing something, please enlighten me.
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  #57  
Old 24 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
Should they also post signs about the need obey speed limits or get a ticket? Or not to drink and drive? Or about the need to quarantine pets? Or about the million other things required by law in every jurisdiction?.
All these examples exist in nearly every country i've been through in the America's, including $2000 fine for littering (BC) Fereral offence to discard cigarrette buts from your vehicle (I think it was California or Oregon) And stating that insurance is mandatory (Nicaragua)
I'm still looking for a page that states that england will crush your car if you don't have insurance, please help, my two minutes is up.
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  #58  
Old 24 Apr 2008
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why are people not made aware of this when entering the country?
That statement goes to the heart of one of the problems with people nowadays. The problem that if they do something wrong they don't blame themselves, they blame someone else, anybody else but themselves.
In is never their own fault for not taking responsibility for their actions, or lack of action.
Instead they cast around for someone to blame.
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  #59  
Old 24 Apr 2008
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Car crushing in UK

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Originally Posted by Mr. Ron View Post
I'm still looking for a page that states that england will crush your car if you don't have insurance, please help, my two minutes is up.
Without getting into the moral issues that the discussion has thrown up, here is the governments position (from 2004):


Measures to crack down on the menace of uninsured motorists will include pro-active use and cross matching of databases, resulting in cars being seized and crushed.

The action announced by Department for Transport Road Safety Minister David Jamieson will require some major IT project work - to link the DVLA's Vehicle Register and the Motor Insurance Databases, allowing police to know which vehicles on the road are uninsured,

The Government's tough new approach will target the estimated one million motorists on our roads driving without insurance.


The Department for Transport plans to:
> Give the police the power to seize and, in appropriate cases, destroy vehicles that are being driven uninsured,
> Link the DVLA's Vehicle Register and the Motor Insurance Databases, allowing police to know which vehicles on the road are uninsured,

There's loads of references to this but the above came from DVLA & motor insurance databases will be linked to crack down on uninsured cars :: PublicTechnology.net :: e-Government & public sector IT news + job vacancies:
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  #60  
Old 24 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Thanks for that Armadillo and quite right, the Brits are pretty good at organising chaos.
That will be the saving grace as to why the big brother* thing for the UK will, ultimately, never succeed.

* A statistic I read recently (warning: on the internet so it may be wrong) is that the UK has 20% of all the worlds' CCTV cameras.
Check your facts Walkabout, you are wrong! In fact HALF of the worlds CCTV cameras are here in the UK - one camera for every 14 people.

As if to make the point, have a look at the graphic below of the former home of George Orwell in London to see something that ought to shock you - 24 cameras within 500 metres of his house.


Your point about the incompetance of the UK authorities is a good one. Where I live (Liverpool) as in many other cities there are "Automated Number Plate Recognition Cameras" many of which are fitted to police cars and bikes. They continuosly scan number plates and compare them to various databases (we are all under surveillance) . Of relevance to this thread, if they pick up a number plate for which no (insurance) match is available on the database the vehicle is stopped and confiscated. The occupants walk home. I have read of pregnat women, entire families and pensioners being put on the street in any weather, at any time of day or night often in not the safest parts of town.

Outside police headquaters here in Liverpool the police proudly display confiscated cars scheduled for crushing, I guess in a lame attempt to intimidate. As we see, the anomolies in the system simply make them look like pratts and they bring policing into disrepute.

You can see one of the cameras on top of a police car in the graphic below.



Here is where the "imcompetant British" and the authoritarianism starts to come into play. There is a backlog for entering insurance details onto the database so there are millions of perfectly legally insured vehicles with no entry on the database. The Police however, make no accomodation for these anomolies. Your vehicle is taken. Just as an aside, the police are pressing for this to be a chargable offence in order for them to take your DNA for their ever increasing DNA database (are you seeing a pattern here yet?). The reason that there are not more vehicles taken by the police is a combination of lack of funds for more surveillance cameras which the goverment is addressing by allowing the police to address through the levying fines from drivers to pay for more cameras and the general lack of traffic police and police in general on the street.

The government will introduce the National Identity Register (a database) (NIR) which physical manifestation will be mandatory Identity Cards which dehumanise and reduce every person in the UK to the level of a vehicle who can be tracked. After applying for permission to live in your own country and paying up to £350 for this card which allows you to live in your own country you too will be subject to the same kind of anomolies that the vehicle insurance issue has thrown up but on a massive scale. We are seeing the authoritarian way the police deal with the problem of insurance "computer says NO" - so lets hope when you have your ID cards and you are stopped by the police (or any of the millions state officials the NIR will make you accountable to) and asked "Your Papers Please" you too don't end up being crushed. Well metaphorically you will be, not physically. Probably.


This is a newspaper article from the Police area where this guys truck was taken from him by the police:-

Insured driver's anger as police crush car

Paul Britton
6/ 2/2007


A MOTORIST is considering legal action after his car was crushed by police who wrongly accused him of driving it without insurance.

Fruit and vegetable delivery driver Steven Booth, 36, from Farnworth, near Bolton, was stopped by a patrol car as he drove to work in Bolton.

The father-of-four said police told him they could not find his details on a national database, although his insurers had renewed the policy four days earlier.

The car, a K-registered Peugeot 205, was towed away to a garage and impounded.

Mr Booth's wife Rachael, the policyholder, took the AA insurance certificate to a police station the following morning, but the couple were presented with a recovery charge of £105 and refused to pay.
The bill rose by £12 for every subsequent day - and the car was crushed 14 days later.

Today the AA, who confirmed Mr Booth was fully insured, called on police to take a `balanced approach'.

Police bosses, however, are understood to be angry at delays in updating the database. They are investigating whether the seizure was lawful, but said a notice of disposal was signed at the garage by the Booths.

Mr Booth, who has complained to the Independent Police Complaints Committee, said: "I said I would produce my documents and they said they did not do that anymore, they seized uninsured cars.

Money

"Everything was legal but they wanted £105. It was just after Christmas and I couldn't afford it. I borrowed the money, but when I went back the garage was closed. I went back there and was told it had risen to £117. The police should not have taken the vehicle off me so why should I pay? I did nothing wrong and everything was legal.

"My 10-year-old son has autism and we have had to get buses to the hospital."

Insurance bosses and police have launched separate investigations into the incident.

The AA, which acted as insurance brokers, confirmed the insurance was renewed on January 4.

The AA's Ian Crowder said: "Mr Booth did not do anything wrong. We believe this is not the first time it has happened and we are making representations to the police to try and make sure they take a balanced approach."

'Responsibility'

A police statement said: "It is the responsibility of insurance companies, not police forces, to ensure that insurance policy details are updated on the national motor insurance database. When deciding if a car should be towed for insurance or licence violations, officers must show `reasonable belief' that an offence has taken place.

"Due to inaccuracies on the motor insurance database officers should not only rely on details held there to constitute `reasonable belief'.

"Inquiries into the exact circumstances are ongoing, but at this stage it appears unlikely that the car was towed unlawfully.

"The insurance policy holder for the car in question signed an official document at the recovery centre on January 8, authorising the company to dispose of the vehicle.

"Despite providing a service where recovery fees can be reimbursed under certain circumstances, GMP has not received any request for reimbursement following the seizure of this car."

The above is not an isolated incident so you can see how easily this New Zelander got caught up in the UK's Kafka-esque system. In point of fact, even having insurance in the UK he just may have had his vehicle crushed anyway.

PS - before a massive backlash forced them to back down the UK government, as part of their national road pricing scheme proposed that every vehicle be fitted with a "black box" which would allow it to be tracked by satelite 24/7. Even when you take your vehicle to the Sahara they would have been able to track you!
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