Contacted by NSW Police about traffic incident which never happened

At the end of last year my parents got a call from police stating they needed to speak with me regarding a traffic matter. My parents gave me the officers name and contact number and I called her up. She said that someone had reported being involved in a collision with a car that was registered in my name.

I explained that I had not been in any collisions and that no one else had driven my car on the day in question. She told me that regardless they (nsw police) needed to see me in person to take down my driver details. I told her that I wasn't going to give up my driving details when I wasn't involved in any traffic incident because I don't want to get a phony insurance claim against me for an accident I was never in.

Anyway I never heard anything further about it until 2 weeks ago I got a card left on my door from the police. On it was written to email the police officer otherwise I would receive a fine. I emailed him and he arranged a night to come over and "see me" but he never came. When I called the following day he said he was working at another station but that he needed me to come there that day or I'd get a "big fine". I went there and waited for over an hour for him before having to leave without getting to see him.

Anyway since then the original female police officer who I spoke to at the beginning is now calling me again and saying I need to go to any NSW police station immediately and give them my details.

I still don't see how I'm legally required to give over my details unless I was involved in the alleged incident/collision. Is there a law saying that I must comply with this request? The last time I spoke with her she threatened with charging me with something if I don't do what she says.

<EDIT>

I should have mentioned the original officer did give me some details of the “incident” just the date, time and location. It was in a suburb over an hour from where I live and somewhere I have never driven before, let alone on the day in question.

Comments

  • It's not up to the op to assess whether they were involved in a collision.

    If the police ask the registered owner who was driving a car at a particular time and date, the owner is required to tell them. If the owner does not, they will be charged with that, regardless of whether a collision actually happened or not.

    Read the link provided by string bean.

    Up to you, OP, whether you comply or not.

  • Ummm, they have your registration details anyway. If they are cops, cooperate.

  • +27 votes

    If they want something from you, get them to submit that in writing. All communications in writing, even setting up appointments.

    If they want something from you, they need to come to you. If they miss their appointed time, it's not your problem. You need to have all this on record.

  • They already have your rego number and in turn your license details, address, etc - what additional "driver details" could they need?

  • The closest info I can find which relates to this specific situation is from here:

    https://www.armstronglegal.com.au/traffic-law/nsw/car-accide...

    "What Actions Might Constitute Failing To Notify Police Of Car Accident?

    If are involved in an accident and despite someone being injured, you don’t contact the police.

    If you are involved in a crash and your vehicle must be towed away, and you don’t report the matter to the police.

    If you are contacted by a police officer regarding a crash they suspected you were involved in, and you fail to respond to their requests to provide the required particulars.

    What The Police Must Prove:

    You were the driver of a vehicle in an accident; and

    You failed to provide the required particulars to the police.

    Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

    In general this offence is finalised by way of a traffic infringement notice, a fine of $330 and a loss of 3 demerit points. You will not be required to attend court if given an infringement notice from the NSW Police or the Roads & Maritime Services (RMS).

    However, you have the option to elect for the matter to be heard in the Local Court before a Magistrate if you wish to request the Court’s leniency or do not believe you are guilty."

  • Does the OP have an Android phone? If so, Google may have collected tracking data for their location for the relevant date and time period that could help establish that the OP wasn't at the location of the crash. Check out Google Timeline.

    Also, where was the OP at the time of the crash? Do they have an alibi?

    • Not sure why OP needs to divulge their timeline, or any details for that matter. If OP is claiming innocence or non involvement, it should be up to the other party to prove otherwise.

      Reading out a rego is not sufficient. I can get a rego number anywhere.

      • Telling the police that it could not have been you because of a provable alibi seems like a reasonable idea to me.

        According to my TV, witholding such information could harm your defence in some countries!

        • witholding such information could harm your defence in some countries!

          The most harmful thing one can do when dealing with the law is to volunteer information.

    • I once thought to use Google to prove I was at work a day the contractor claimed was not a work day (to avoid paying Sunday rates). It showed me arriving at work. The only problem is it said I somehow flew from Sydney to Newcastle in 5 minutes before flying back to Sydney for the last leg of my trip and I was at my place of work 10 minutes later.

    • If any court would accept Google location data as evidence of anything I would not trust any of their decisions… Not only can you make it show anything you want it to, you can also give your phone to anyone.

      It proves absolutely nothing whatsoever.

  • Why don't you get a Traffic Lawyer to draw up a Stat Dec that says your vehicle was elsewhere (and state where it was).

    Might resolve things and exclude you from further inquiries.

  • It might be id theft scam

    a free government-funded service which will work with you to develop a specific response plan to your situation and support you through the process.
    https://www.idcare.org/

    if you can show us the letter and removing sensitive content for us to see it.

      • How can you be advised by phone on 9 April 2018 for something that happened in December 2019???

      • +13 votes

        This letter is just a mess on so many levels…

        • Legislation quoted is wrong they're mixing up the Road Transport (General) Regulation 2013 with the Road Transport Act 2013.
        • Title of s177 is changed.
        • Convinently omits subsection 2 from s177.
        • Typos and strange sentance structure.
        • Dates (years) clearly incorrect.

        Considering the intent of the letter it is very clear that you're dealing with a pretty low-level operator.

        • And those types are usually the most arrogant know it alls who use the bullying tactic

        • To be honest with you, even the writing seems odd, why would you say "this matter is under investigation by the police" if you are the police? Why not say this matter is currently under investigation.

          Dates are a big one, you were told by phone a year before about a crash that happened a year later? Also it goes title and then info, wheres dear x? Is it hidden OP (fine if it is), but if they're asking YOU to produce info, then they should say WHO YOU are?

          Also wheres the contact info, its saying you HAVE to do it, but not how, goal 1 for any letter is to have a clear way to do something.

          Lastly this is the first "warning" that you need to "make yourself available"? Normally point 1 is to say "this is a warning as you have NOT made yourself available". You will NEED to make yourself available in the future otherwise yada yada. Typically a warning is given after you not doing something? Which they haven't said at all here? And then at the end they state this is your first written notice? So is it a warning or your first notice?

          Is there a refernce number of some sort on the page somewhere?

          Honestly if OP wern't being told to go into a police station, I would almost believe this was fake, maybe made by someone trying to get your info. Or they think its you and this is their way to get it?

          • @trustnoone: The thing is, you don’t have to make yourself available to the police. You can offer to assist with their enquires but you are not compelled to actually do anything.

            Remember your right not to say anything.

          • @trustnoone: It has my name at the very top (albeit misspelled lol)

            It also has the constable's name and the number of the local police station at the very bottom of the page.

      • Today Tonight/A current Affair would have a field day.
        Maybe actually turn up to a police station and ask (with the info redacted, is this a letter to expect from the police/report it as a scam and see their reaction.

      • Do police even send postal letters like this?

        • Was left under my door.

          It seems the only time the constable has come to my residence is unannounced, when I have not been at home. Every time when he has told me that he will be there on a certain night he has been too busy to make it.

      • +1 vote

        OP - how were you served the letter?

    • Lol I'm the one being mucked around. Twice the officer in my area was supposed to come over, he wouldn't give me a time window either. Both times he failed to come. Then a third time he insisted I come to the station to see him and when I got there he was too busy to even see me

    • If that's the definition of perverting the course of justice, we can fit anything in there.

      Not letting the police but the queue. Police had to queue, didn't spend as much time with their kids. Police distracted. Perverted course of justice.

      • But sometimes talking to them and providing a written statement will prevent more serious and ongoing problems.

  • Ah, some police are thugs in uniform. Rock up with a classic NWA song playing and the rest is history.

    • The guy I've been dealing with in my local area is a real thug. My neighbour told me that when I wasn't here he was banging on my door for like 5 minutes and calling out my name at the top of his voice.

      Every time I've spoken with him on the phone he has been nothing but rude and arrogant. At one time he tried to get me to come down to the station at midnight (that was in mid April during the height of the covid lockdown)

      • You can't use covid as an excuse. NSW residents are allowed to leave their homes for essential trips.

        • And he can’t be forced to go to the station. If police want a statement they can be nice about it. OP has not broken the law.

          And before you come in with ‘but surely you want to prove you had nothing to do with it’ it’s important that we live in a country where we aren’t presumed guilty and have to go about proving our innocence. The police have to prove guilt.

          • @Vote for Pedro: They're not forcing OP to come to the LAC and provide particulars. They're advising OP that they have the legal power to issue the registered operator of the vehicle with a fine in accordance with the Road Transport Act.

            • @whooah1979: Then they should do so. OP has tried to be helpful. They should stop dicking OP about.

              Likely they haven’t issued a fine is because they don’t have the grounds.

      • I'd file a complaint against him if I were you

      • Cop called you near midnight?
        Bashing on the door yelling your name out?

        Sounds like they want you for something else, or there’s some mayo on this story.

        • No I had been waiting all night because he said he was going to come. Then I called his station at roughly 10.30pm and they put me through to him.

          He said he was working on something else and to come to the station at midnight when he would be available. And this was after 3 fails on his part. After that I have not spoken to him since and that was in late April. He threatened me with the "big fine" one last time before i hung up on him in disgust.

  • It’s quite possible that the incident involved a vehicle that has been confused with yours. Maybe the rego/make/model/colour was similar enough and when entered into the system they got your details.

    You need to sort it out with the police. It sounds like it’s not going away so ignoring it will not help.

    • Can no one read? Op has tried to sort it numerous times.

      • Be that as it may, it is potentially a serious incident they are investigating. The OP has not yet formally provided a statement relating to the incident. The OP has only verbally told the officer. There may be some requirement of a formal statement to be lodged.

        If in doubt about the necessity to formally respond the OP needs to talk to a lawyer, not OzBargain.

        • If it is that serious, the police will seek and be granted a questioning warrant.

        • Op has tried to talk to the police. Should ha take every day off work and wait at the station in the hope of talking to someone about an alleged offences he had no part in?

          • @brendanm: If the allegation is serious, eg hit and run, then yesthe OP does have to formally respond else they’ll be considered guilty and non cooperative which makes things worse.

            It appears that the police system has had some hiccups and possibly escalated because they perceive the OP is being difficult

    • Confusing similar licence plates on same model cars is one of the negative side effects of NSW's sequential licencing allocation. I think they register the same new car models in batches, which is why the first 2 letters are often the same (from my casual observation). Then you have old cars like mine that were re-registered a decade ago and make you wonder what the car has been through…

  • Last time I checked anything civil was too hard for the police to handleand was a matter between the drivers parties. I'd guess the driver is pushing for damages and has said it was a hit and run in order to pursue hence the inquiry.

  • Ignoring the police won't do you any favours. I'd call the officer back and say you want to speak with legal aid for some advice and then you will come in. People on here saying to just ignore it is terrible advice to give.

    IANAL but the cops just want a chat at this stage to find out if the other party is a BS artist or they've confused silver for grey or a 1 for an I.

    I would suggest you start gathering any details of where you were that day. If you have google maps timeline on, print out those details if it clearly shows you as nowhere near the scene of the accident and as you say it was an hour from your house, it should be a 5-minute conversation.

    Is there a law saying that I must comply with this request? The last time I spoke with her she threatened with charging me with something if I don't do what she says.

    Again, IANAL but cooperating seems like a good idea? When an officer asks for your details, normally you need to comply. If you weren't involved then you don't need to worry. Let them do their job to find out what happened.

    Has anyone else driven your car? Housemate? Friend? Family? Etc?

  • The relevant act states that I must give the information when required to do so by an authorized officer.

    I can't see where it says I must take a day off work to go to the police station and wait like an idiot for someone to get around to taking them down. Or that I have to stay at home all night waiting for someone who may or may not show.

    I've made myself more than available to the NSW police, if they can't be bothered to do their job that's not my issue.

    • That's fine and correct.

      Phone the station. Ask to speak to the member. If they are there, get their email and email them the answer to who was the driver. If they are not there, speak to a Sgt or above, get their email and email them the name of the driver.

      You have then complied with nominating the driver.

      If the car was not being driven at the time in question, tell them that but also nominate who had possession of the car.

      If police need more info, just get them to email you their questions. Given the COVID restrictions, it is MORE than acceptable to communicate via email.

  • So typical of any govt agency.

  • Few years ago, I got a phone call from a police officer saying I was involved in a fight at the stadium which I have never been to and they requested me to see him the next day. I paid a visit to the station and waited for hours before two officers saw me. They took my details and showed me a photo of someone which I don't know. It was just 10 minutes talk and I have not heard from them since then. The most important thing is my name is cleared. So, just visit them and sort thing out. P.s police just do their job to find out who was involved in the accident.

    • police just do their job

      No they don’t. If they were then they wouldn’t spend all their time attacking law abiding people and inventing new rules and regulations to sting normal people on.

      There are plenty of drug dealers, rapists and thieves they should go and sort out. But of course, actually doing their job is too hard so instead they just spend their time on traffic offences.

      • Heh. Yes, If you were ever a victim of hit and run or you were punched in the face, the cops should deff not bother investigating your case. They gotta better and more serious/important things to do, glad you agree.

        • Happy to double down. Police are lazy, manipulative thugs that are nothing more than extensions of the police state. They provide 0 value to any community and exist only to break communities apart.

          • @ausmechkeyboards: Just because you or your family has done something illegal and had the police catch you, it doesn't mean they are bad.

            • @samfisher5986: Haven’t done anything illegal, I’m just not a statist who worships an extension of the military.

              The police have decided it is illegal for you to defend yourself and assume full responsibility for your protection. They’ve gone so far as to put you in jail if you try to defend yourself against an attacker.

              So why is it that I can’t blame the police for things that go wrong? Why am I not allowed to ask why police don’t do their job when crimes still take place?

              Either the police fix all crime, or they allow communities to be able to regulate themselves. All we have now is a complete erosion of rights and freedoms with more victimless crimes and no less violent crime.

              If you think people should have their entire lives ruined because they had a bag of weed or should be fined hundreds of dollars for going 5km/h over arbitrary speed restrictions then you’re part of the problem.

              OP is a great example. Being harassed and threatened by a power tripping state employee when he has done nothing wrong. Maybe he’s a criminal too in your books?

              • @ausmechkeyboards:

                why police don’t do their job when crimes still take place?

                There was a crime. OP was apparently identified by a third party as being involved. Police are trying to get a statement from OP, is that not their job? Should they just ignore it, and screw the guy whose car got bingled?