Norfolk UK: Criminal Damage to Cars Not A Crime

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
norfolk uk criminal damage to cars not a crime

To say motoring-related police enforcement and green-justified taxation has driven a wedge between the average UK citizen subject and Her Majesty's government would be an excellent example of British understatement. Literally every day we hear news of another "us vs. them" story, whereby motorists face new charges and/or the police punish them for what is, let's face it, normal behaviour (a.k.a. speeding). To wit: one in three of all licensed UK drivers have points on the license. And the hits keep happening. The Daily Mail reports that "a leaked memo has revealed that rank-and-file officers in the Norfolk force have been told that incidents such as car vandalism should not be classed as an offence when there is 'no idea how it happened.'" From the memo: "We appear to be making things difficult for ourselves by 'criming' things which aren't actually crimes. One example is where a car window is found to be damaged, no entry to vehicle, no witnesses and no idea how it happened. This has been recorded as criminal damage, even though there is no evidence to suggest it fits the definition. If there is no evidence of someone intending to destroy or be reckless then there is no crime." In other words, Norfolk crime figures are getting a bit of Shiatsu. I know what you're thinking. "The Association of British Insurers said claims for criminal damage would not be affected if police refused to issue crime numbers." So, if a 'scrote pushes a tree onto your car in The New Forest, does your car really exist?

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4 of 15 comments
  • Orian Orian on May 06, 2008

    Apparently those in the UK pay the Police to go after people caught mooning said speed cameras: No worries - the driver won't be charged, however they want to talk to the owner to find the mooner.

  • Morbo Morbo on May 06, 2008

    Whenever I think things in the People's Republic of New Jersey are bad, these UK stories pop up and make me feel better. Then I realize we're only 10-20 years behind the UK in reaching these levels of crime and non-punishment.

  • Cyril Sneer Cyril Sneer on May 06, 2008

    I see nothing at all wrong with this. This is a simple matter of classification based on evidence. If there is no evidence that a crime occurred, the incident is not classified as a crime. If your window is broken, nothing is taken, etc, then it is possible something fell from a tree, etc. Any indication of vandalism would still be treated as such. Quite simple, and sensible. Now I`m not about to start defending their traffic policies...

  • 2ronnies1cup 2ronnies1cup on Jun 16, 2011

    I'm very pleased to say that my experience of dealing with the Police over a case of petty vandalism is vastly different. When my car suffered a broken window and attemted breaking of the steering lock last year, I couldn't be more pleased by the local Police's level of service. An officer called on me within 20 minutes of calling in the discovery, organised a forensic unit to take fingerprints, called up the station to see if there had been any other break-ins reported locally (theory was that seeing as they had failed to take my car, they may have tried another nearby). I was advised to keep the receipt for repairs, and given a card with the name and desk phone number of the officer handling my complaint. I received a letter two weeks later to tell me that a suspect had been arrested and charged, and some time afterwards another letter informing me that the suspect had been found guilty at trial. The letter was accompanied by a form for me to claim Criminal Compensation from the convicted man, which covered the cost of repairs. Maybe someone from my local Constabulary should go over there and show them what serving the public really means?