Driver recommended for prosecution because police officer forgot fixed penalty notices

Published Date: 04.11.2015

A motorist who drove the wrong way down a one-way street was recommended for prosecution because a police officer had forgotten his fixed penalty notices, an investigation by the Police Ombudsman’s Office has found.

The driver said that after being stopped in October last year, the officer told him that as he did not have any fixed penalty notices he would be referring the case for prosecution instead.

When interviewed by a Police Ombudsman investigator, the officer admitted that he had said this. He also stated that at one stage he had considered charging the driver with dangerous driving, before recommending a charge of breaching a traffic sign after consulting with his supervisor.

The Public Prosecution Service initially directed that the driver should be prosecuted, but later withdrew the charge and issued a caution instead.

In a letter to the complainant, the Police Ombudsman investigator wrote: “This Office concluded that it was unfair that you were not afforded the opportunity to have this matter dealt with by early disposal and were instead reported for prosecution due to the officer’s error in not having fixed penalty notices.”

The Police Ombudsman investigator recommended that the officer should be disciplined, and this has since been implemented by the PSNI.

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