TRF Forums

section 59 warning
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Author:  dene john [ Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:48 pm ]
Post subject:  section 59 warning

Hi All

Yesterday (19/04/09) whilst filling my motorcycle with petrol at a Tesco filling station in Glyn-neath South Wales I was questioned by two Police officers who said that due to the state of my bike i.e. its muddy condition they had reason to believe that i had been using it on forestry land and therefore were giving me a warning under section 59. When i asked what this was i was told that if i or any vehicle registered to me was stopped again it could be seized and destroyed. No paper work was issued.

I explained that i had been riding on green lanes and my bike was muddy after the Welsh Trail Riders Snowrun Enduro on the previous week. This did not seem to make any difference. My bike is completly road legal and i produced documentation to support this.

My main concern is was a warning under sec59 given due to no paper work and if so is there an appeal process as i was not riding nor had been riding illegally.

Any help much appreciated

Kind Regards to all - Dene

Author:  jazzy [ Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: section 59 warning

In order to satisfy the conditions of issue of a s59 notice, TWO separate conditions must be met.
Vehicles used in manner causing alarm, distress or annoyance
Where a constable in uniform has reasonable grounds for believing that a motor vehicle is being used on any occasion in a manner which—
contravenes section 3 or 34 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52)(careless and inconsiderate driving and prohibition of off-road driving), and
is causing, or is likely to cause, alarm, distress or annoyance to members of the public,

What is their reasonable grounds for either?

I'd write to the chief constable and complain. Threaten the IPCC if she won't play ball ... 558&n3=565

I'd include a map of where i'd been and mark where you were stopped.

Author:  Blingy Orange [ Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: section 59 warning

I feel sure that they cannot issue a section 59 on the grounds that they think you may have done something.

Either they needed to have seen you or someone report your registration number.

For Christ sake, what is this country coming to. Next they will be questioning us all when we have tescos shopping in the car, because they believe we may have stolen it, or questioning us because they believe we were drunk and un-ruly down the pub last night.

Neither of the two criteria can be met unless they have some evidence of an offence. They cannot just guess when they feel like it.

If they had questioned me about the state of my bike, I would have told them to mind their own business. Providing I was not commiting an offence right there and then, E.G a light out, a tax disk missing or an illegal number plate, how and why my bike is dirty is none of their business. I would of asked them to politely "go forth and multiply".


Author:  Adam H [ Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: section 59 warning

outrageous behaviour by the officers.

Unless your not telling us all (i.e. they have any grounds for their suspicions) this is not something I would lie down and take.

Time to get stuck in with the complaints procedures I would reckon.

Author:  dene john [ Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: section 59 warning

Hi Again

Whilst I agree about the complaints procedure i'm still a little reluctant to kick up a fuss because I'm unsure if I have been given an official S59 warning and no paper work was given. The officers explained that they were part of a large clampdown operation on illegal riding in that area on that day and they boasted that they allready had seven bikes that day???.

Whist all this happened in a petrol station forecourt and they had'nt ever seen or met me prior to this they said that they were unsatisfied with my "green laning story". With this they had reasonable cause to believe that i had been riding on forest land due to my "distance from home and the muddyness of my bike". I explained about the green lanes in the area and the ones that i had used on my route to little effect. They checked my bike via the police computer and i produced my documents.

My concerns now lie with the fact that during the course of my job as a motorcycle mechanic which requires me to transport bikes am i liable to them and or the van being seized if i were stopped.

Does anyone know if unlucky recipients of S59 warning recieve a written confirmation in the post?

Regards to all

Author:  bozzy [ Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: section 59 warning

If the officers have said they have given you a warning tthen take it that they have. S59 warnings will be recorded on the police national computer. The legislation does not specifiy that you should be served with a specific form, but if you check on most police force websites they will have a policy on s59 and in nearly all cases the officers should serve a written notice, or a written notice should be sent.
In the scenario you describe then a s59 warning should NOT have been given. As was pointed out, the requirements necessary to trigger the warning were not met.
s59 is a piece of legislation which is frequently being used by the police. It was never intended to deal with legal machines on legal roads.
I would recommend filing a complaint in the first instance. That way you can find out if a warning has been created on the police national computer against your details.
S59 requires the officers to apply a criminal test in relation to suspicion of an offence under s34 or s3. in the scenario you describe there is no way on this earth that you could be prosecuted for an offence under these.

The huge difficulty with s59 is there is no right to appeal. Again, I would advocate point out in your written complaint that the warning given was unlawful and that if as a result your motorcycle is seized in the future, you will pursue the chief constable through the small claims court to get your money back if you pay a release fee.

The officers who gave you the warning would then have to satisfy a court that they acted legally(bear in mind they are applying a criminal test so they would have to show BEYOND ALL REASONABLE DOUBT THAT AN OFFENCE UNDER S3 OR S34 HAD OCCURRED)

You have to show on a balance of probabilities it did not. I know who i would have my money on!

The abuse of s59 is something that we nationally should be taking criminal legal advice on. If misused, i see no reason why we can't reclaim release fees from the relevant police forces.

Author:  John [ Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: section 59 warning

Can the TRF not write an "official" complaint on behalf of this member?

Isn't this exactly what we should be doing?

Author:  Blingy Orange [ Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: section 59 warning

I am waiting for feedback from our National RoW Officer, as to exactly what we may be ableto do from the TRF point of view to make an example of this case as being completely incorrect and unjust.

I will report the views, when I have heard back.


Author:  doris [ Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: section 59 warning

hi, what i have found is that the legislation, SWP force policy, divisional policy (local policing) and what really happens due to some officers lack of understanding of the reform act are wide and varied

best thing to do in any instance is always try to make a mental note of the officers collar number which should always be displayed no matter what so that issues can be followed up later if need be

my brother recently pulled onto a grass verge with his brand new road legal quad that had not and will never see dirt of rain (sad git) and got threatened with one, which as it turned out never existed as it involves a little bit of paperwork, so what you tend to find on some lucky occasions is that you have had a "warning" that has been written in the pocket note book but that as far as it goes as they need to hold a record of conducting a pnc check on you and or the vehicle so that they have answers for when the check gets dip sampled


Author:  Hickin [ Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: section 59 warning

As has already been posted it looks like you are a victim of poor police action in the issueing of a section 59 caution.
As a National body we are unable to take any decisive action in this or any other case of this nature other than to provide advice to indeviduals who are wrongly issued with such cautions.
Advice was published in Trail to inform all members as to the requirements of Section 59 offences but in all cases it is the indevidual who in the firt instance has to appeal the issue of the caution, and that is what you need to do.
If we are made aware that a particular police force is abusing the Section 59 process then we would at a National level be making representations to that force on behalf of all our members.
In this case it looks like poor policing on behalf of the officers involved.

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