Captain Ranty’s Lawful response to the Policy Men.
(emboldening my me)
“Two bobbies just knocked on my door. A drawn out conversation follows. I am CR, Cop1 did most of the talking with a sneering comment from Cop2 now and then.
(After opening the door)
Cop1: We are here to talk to you about a speeding offence which ocurred on 23rd September. Can we come in?
Cop1: Oh. It will be really awkward writing without something to lean on…..
(I say nothing).
Cop1: Let’s get on with it then. Are you Captain Ranty of number 5 Ranty Barracks?
CR: Am I obliged to answer any questions?
Cop2: Yes! Yes you are.
CR: Under what law?
Cop1: Under Section 6, of the…
CR: Stop. That is not a law. It is a statute. I am not obliged to obey any of those.
Cop2: If you are going to be awkward we can just as easily take you to Fraserburgh police station*.
*This station is 40-odd miles away. Why did they not offer to take me to Banff, about 8 miles away?
CR: Sure. We can do that. I have nothing else on today.
(Neither cop says anything).
Cop2: Getting back to statutes, you fully insure your car. Are you not obeying that statute?
CR: So, what of it?
Cop1: Either you obey them all or you obey none. Which is it?
CR: For the time being I choose to insure my car. It protects me from idiots on the road.
Cop2: You can’t pick and choose which to obey and which not to.
CR: Of course I can.
Cop1: Let’s carry on. Is this number 5 Ranty Barracks?
CR: What does it say on your paperwork?
Cop1: 5 Ranty Barracks.
CR: Then I guess it is.
Cop1: What is the postcode?
CR: What does it say on your paperwork?
Cop1: (sighs) Well, I just thought you might help me out. I’ll check. (Reads his own paperwork). Yes it is. (Writes it down in his notebook). Now then, are you the owner and registered keeper of XX XX XXX?
CR: Legally, I don’t own it, no. Although I did make all the payments on the car.
Cop1: Who owns it then?
CR: The DVLA. Legally speaking, once you have registered something with someone, title/ownership passes to them.
Cop1: (writes this all down in his notebook). Right, I am putting you under caution. (launches into the caution). Then says “Do you understand?”
CR: No. I choose not to.
Cop2: What does that mean?
CR: All three of us know that the word “understand” means something different to you guys. (Both of them looked away from me for the first time and stared down at the ground).
Cop1: Were you sent Form blah de blah to fill in by CI Wallace?
Cop1: You sent it back blank, that is why we are here, to get all the details.
CR: I know. The three statutes quoted on the form don’t apply to me. I certainly don’t have to fill forms in.
Cop2: Yes you do!
CR: No. I don’t.
Cop1: I am charging you under the Road Traffic blah de blah for speeding and Section 7 of the blah de blah for not completing the form you were sent. Do you understand?
Cop1: We have everything we need. You will be told in a letter what happens next. I don’t suppose you will sign my notebook?
Cop1: Fair enough. We’ll be off then.
CR: Very good. Nothing personal lads, I wasn’t being difficult for the sake of it. You are doing your job, and although you don’t understand why, so am I. I am different to everyone else, I have a fairly unique lawful status.
Cop1 and Cop2: Yeah, we do know. Thanks for your time.
CR. No problem. Have a nice day.
And off they toddled.
Thing is, I got the sense that they really did know where I was coming from, but their job is to enforce statutes (mainly) and to collect that all important revenue.
My oath (made three years ago) remains unviolated. I harmed no-one by travelling at a slightly faster speed than the posted limit. Conditions were perfect: dry road, bright day, and only me on that particular stretch of road at the time. No traffic on the other side of the road either, for that matter. No-one was killed or injured, no-one suffered loss, and at that moment in time, no-one was at any risk of being harmed.
I suppose the next step will be a summons. I will accept their invitation to appear under certain conditions. I still expect this never to reach court, but if it does, I will have won long before I get there. I still have several defences. This was just round one.
One final note: at all times during the chat with the boys in blue I remained calm and polite. That is important. I am also happy to admit that I was a little nervous. It’s one thing writing about it, and quite another when you have to try and remember it all when you need it. Even though I am well prepared for court, I will no doubt be nervous then as well.