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Thursday, 21 August 2014
Aggressive driver threatens me with his vehicle

As you can see in the video this driver was quite irate at my using the road, and that due to the narrow road and oncoming traffic he needed to slow down and add a few seconds to his journey time.  The question is: do I report his threatening and aggressive behaviour to Kent Police? My previous experience suggests that Kent Police would only be interested if he was threatening me with something other than his motor vehicle, or if he had actually hit me with his vehicle. 


The incident occurred on Pilgrims’ Way West leaving Otford in the direction of Sevenoaks at approximately 8:25 this morning. This evening at about 21:10, I followed the advice of commenters on the YouTube video and reported the incident to Kent Police.

As I might have mentioned before, Kent Police handles these a bit differently to Surrey Police (my home county is Surrey). Whereas Surrey Police require you to fill in a form (and discourage you from reporting an incident where you do not have two ‘independent’ witnesses) the Kent Police just take a verbal report over the phone. They log the facts in their database and say that this is then passed to the ‘case review team’ who will then come back to make contact with the reporter.

So, now there’s a wait to see what happens and also to see whether they are interested in reviewing my video footage.

Update 27/11/2014:

Today I received the following letter from Kent Police, dated 24 November 2014:

I write to provide you with an update on the allegation of poor driving standards that  you recently reported.

Following a review of the circumstances it has been decided that there is not sufficient evidence which is likely to result in a successful prosecution. Accordingly no further action is being taken.

Thank you for taking the trouble to contact us. 

Your sincerely,
H. Trow
Central Process Unit
Traffic Summons Team

I am somewhat disappointed in this result.  I wonder what would have happened if someone had threatened me with a non-vehicle object, such as a club or stick: would Kent Police also have determined that “no further action” was required, or would they have interviewed such a person to establish whether they posed a danger to society at large (regardless of whether a prosecution would be successful or not).  My second concern is that the vehicle showed up on the national database as untaxed. Surely this is an area that they should have addressed with the owner, as it is illegal to drive an untaxed vehicle on the roads?

The slogan for Kent Police, emblazoned on the letterhead is:

Protecting and serving the people of Kent

I don’t feel particularly well served or protected in this case. 

Update 6/01/2015:

I have written today to Kent Police regarding their decision to take no further action on this case and requested more information on how to appeal their decision:

Dear Ms Trow,

Thank-you for your recent letter advising that Kent Police has decided not to proceed with prosecution against the driver of vehicle R961XRV who drove at me in an aggressive and intimidating fashion, threatening to knock me over at approximately 08:25 hours on 21st August 2014 on Pilgrim’s Way near Otford in Kent.

I was disappointed to learn of this decision, and I believe that the decision runs counter to the Mission, Vision, Values and Priorities of Kent Police, as outlined on the following page:

I also noted that you did not address at all my observation that the vehicle was identified as untaxed according to the national database, suggesting that the vehicle was not properly insured.

As I feel neither well served nor protected by your actions (or lack thereof), I am hereby requesting some additional information from you:

(1) Please explain what action has been taken regarding the tax status (untaxed) of the vehicle.

(2) Which specific charges were considered when you took the decision that you lacked sufficient evidence to secure a prosecution:

(a) Driving an untaxed/uninsured vehicle?

(b) Driving without due care and attention  under section 3 of the Road Traffic Act of 1988?

(c) Dangerous driving under section 2 of the Road Traffic Act of 1988?

(d) Common assault under section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act of 1988?

(e) Other? (Please specify)

(3) Were any of the above possible charges (a to e) discussed with the CPS prior to taking the decision that there would be insufficient evidence?

(4) Did you identify the registered owner of the vehicle and did you get the details of the driver?

(5) Did you contact or interview either the registered owner of the vehicle or the driver in order to question them regarding their apparent criminal acts?  

(6) Did the driver of the vehicle provide an explanation for his behaviour? 

(7) Please provide details of the explanation that was provided  which (in your interpretation) means that the action of revving his engine and accelerating at me in a manner that threatened physical violence (as evidenced in the video footage) should not simply be taken at face value for what it was? 

(8) Could you please provide me with your appeals procedure so I can appeal your decision?

Kind regards,


Update 23/01/2015:

A few days ago I received the following email from the case review officer at Kent Police in response to my appeal against their decision to not proceed further with action against this driver:

I write in reply to your email dated 6 January addresses to Ms Trow.

I would like to confirm to you that enquiries were carried out.  Firstly enquiries were made with the registered keeper of the vehicle involved requesting details of the driver for the alleged incident.  This is a legal document requesting information under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

No reply was received therefore the case file was forwarded to area for an Officer to be allocated to carry out further enquires.  This was done and the Officer visited the property of the vehicle keeper, however the property was empty.  No further information could be found in order to trace the keeper and a notification marker was placed upon the vehicle details.

To date no further information has come to light.

I can assure you that where we have evidence that an offence has been committed all reasonable lines of enquiries are carried out to enable a positive conclusion, however, in this instance the driver cannot be traced.

Kind regards
Yours sincerely

Shirley Pearce
Case Review Officer

So basically Kent Police have adjusted their story slightly: They admit that they are unable to trace the criminal and will therefore let the case lie? I am a bit confused by the earlier letter suggesting there was no evidence of an offence having been committed and the latest suggesting that they made every ‘reasonable’ effort to prosecute an (alleged) offender. 

Posted by bigblue on 21/08/2014 at 11:53 AM
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