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(Post Link) post #1 of 7 Old 06-09-17 Thread Starter
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4 hours later "We have completed investigations..."

What are police doing to spin the investigation of a single overturned car out to four bleedin' hours, before they even let anyone on the scene to clear up?

From the BBC Live Hampshire News this morning:
Quote:
Posted at
9:18
M3 closure: Police investigation concludes
The latest from Hampshire Police on the closure of the M3.
The motorway has been shut from 05:30 after emergency services were called to reports of an overturned car in the carriageway.
We have now handed the road back to the Highways Agency as we have finished our police investigation at the scene. The Highways Agency will be clearing the road of any debris to ensure it is safe to reopen.
Meanwhile, thousands of travellers lose millions of £££ in lost productivity as they wait on surrounding roads (edit to add - the accident itself was on the northbound carriageway, just off the top of this map).
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Last edited by ChrisH77; 06-09-17 at 09:14.
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(Post Link) post #2 of 7 Old 06-09-17 Thread Starter
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Ok, it's sad that the driver died.
Quote:
10:02
BreakingMan dies in M3 crash
A man has died after his car crashed on the M3 northbound between junctions 12 and 11 shortly after 05:00.
Hampshire police said the driver of the Vauxhall Astra, a 45-year-old man from Bournemouth, was pronounced dead at the scene. No other vehicles were involved.
His of kin have been informed
The motorway was closed for several hours while police investigation work was carried out.
Due to the seriousness of this collision the motorway had to be closed for a couple of hours to ensure a thorough investigation of the scene. We know that this has caused significant disruption to motorists this morning and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Inspector Kirsty Shannon
Hampshire Constabulary
Why? How do they use all that evidence that so many officers have spent so many hours collecting? Is there so much evidence to collect, or are they mostly looking for whatever they missed? What is the downside of sweeping over with a camera from a few angles, then quickly clearing the road?
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Ok, it's sad that the driver died. Why? How do they use all that evidence that so many officers have spent so many hours collecting? Is there so much evidence to collect, or are they mostly looking for whatever they missed? What is the downside of sweeping over with a camera from a few angles, then quickly clearing the road?
They need evidence for an inquest, and quite possibly for a prosecution. The police get slagged off when they get it wrong; let's not slag them off for trying to get it right.
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(Post Link) post #4 of 7 Old 11-09-17 Thread Starter
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Think I've got to the bottom of it now, having referred to College of Policing documents: Road Policing (RP): Investigating Road Deaths and CLEAR (Collision - Lead - Evaluate - Act - Re-open) Leaflet.

To minimise delay and congestion, "the RP lead investigator should ensure that road closures are appropriate and proportionate to the needs of the investigation. Forces should adhere to the CLEAR guidance in discharging this responsibility". However, that is secondary to the mandate to investigate: "The RP lead investigator must begin a road death investigation by adopting the mindset of unlawful killing, until the contrary is proved substantially. Collisions that involve serious, life changing injuries should be responded to, investigated and reported in the same way as road deaths (that is: by adopting the mindset of unlawful injury, until... etc.).
...
RP lead investigators should not release a scene until they are satisfied that it has been fully exploited for investigative opportunities. Advancing the investigation takes precedence over the need to reopen roads".

All entirely reasonable and necessary when there has indeed been a crime: recklessness, drink, drugs, distraction, unroadworthy vehicle, no license, etc. The police will collect the prime-facie evidence, plus enough further evidence to make the charge stick, and take notes of the obvious conditions and features of the road that might have contributed to the seriousness of it. It has to be done.

Problem comes when the accident involves a single vehicle and it was really just an accident. The 'crime scene' mindset leads the investigators into an exhaustive search for something, anything, they can photograph or bag up for court as evidence of wrongdoing. But since there's nothing to find, the road remains closed for somewhat longer than if there was criminality to be prosecuted. A substantial waste of everyone's time.

It seems that many (most?) other countries start from the 'it's an accident' mindset, which changes if there's something obvious about the drivers, the vehicles (tyres, tachographs), or the apparent speed/paths to collision, sufficient to trigger an investigation. But mainly, they take photos for a narrative account of what happened, clear the road, and everyone gets moving again.

My rant of the OP was, if anything, about a philosophy of policing too much about catching and prosecuting someone, and not enough about supporting people and protecting society - as evidenced by their enthusiasm for a criminal in the hand at a road accident, and their disinterest in burglary and assaults where the bird, or the evidence, or both, have left the scene, rendering a successful prosecution unlikely.

I think I understand now. Rant over. Thanks to anyone who took time to read, and/or apologies for taking your time. I'll go back to polishing my Alfa now.

Last edited by ChrisH77; 11-09-17 at 16:14.
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Problem comes when the accident involves a single vehicle and it was really just an accident.
But who can say at the outset that it really was 'just an accident'? Ok, single car overturns on m/way, driver dies, statistically no doubt it would be accidental and no-one else involved. Should the police, on the basis of that probability, haul the vehicle off the road and let life go on?

But what if there had - against the odds, granted - been foul play? A shooting, eg, would be pretty apparent early on but tampering with the vehicle could be a lot more difficult to pin down. And in that event, trajectory and eventual resting point could be critically important. Which, amongst other things, would require lots of photos, measurements etc.

By the way, I checked just now and found that sunrise in Hampshire today was just after 06:30. When would it have been sufficient light for evidence-level photos? Dunno, but presumably some time afterwards. So there's a big chunk of that 4 hours right there.

Sure, the UK cops are pretty pedantic. Here in Bulgaria, they probably would've kept one lane going all the way through the process. But which would you prefer, at the end of the day?
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The M5 was shut nigh on 20 hours easy yesterday,
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(Post Link) post #7 of 7 Old 17-09-17 Thread Starter
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Yes, saw that. A very complex accident with a lot to learn to avoid another like that, especially days after 2 killed by a similar HGV crossover on the M1. No argument with taking time to fully exploit the investigative opportunities - understand and improve safety.

But "unlawful killing" in the case of a single occupant of a single vehicle? Surely not?
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