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

    • Don’t know if that is a good advice… actively going to the police to talk about an offence…

      I find that police, when interacting with them, they will try to nail offence to those who they talk to at that moment. They lied and construct imaginary sequence of events to fool people to admit guilt even when they are innocent.

      Police prey on the naive, make them think they have a solid case. Where, unless you can recall perfectly AND have a witness, they have a strong case against you. They try to tell you that the only way out would be to admit to the crime to get a warning/fine. Otherwise your face is out on public display and sentence through the court.

      It’s a bit sad that my view of the police has fallen this low. Unfortunately the police I have interacted within recent years that lead me to my current view of the broken system.

  • +3 votes

    Just join the sovereign citizen movement and claim you don't recognize the commonwealths law. Won't work but will be an entertaining update.

    • A bulletproof plan, apart from the fact that the NSW Road Transport Act (2013) isn't a commonwealth law.

    • Here’s an interesting quote for you…

      John Adam expanded upon the rationale behind Blackstone's Ratio
      It is of more importance to the community that innocence should be protected, than it is, that guilt should be punished; for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world, that all of them cannot be punished….when innocence itself, is brought to the bar and condemned, especially to die, the subject will exclaim, 'it is immaterial to me whether I behave well or ill, for virtue itself is no security.' And if such a sentiment as this were to take hold in the mind of the subject that would be the end of all security whatsoever

      Wish more people would understand such idea instead of quickly condemning people… (edit: like what appear to happen to George Pell)

  • Your identity is not stolen is it? Their is a rampant car cloning that does happen. Have you had any new/used cars for sale?
    https://business.carsales.com.au/insights/auto-industry-news...

    Their also is VIN cloning happening as well. If your serious and you have had no involvement, research into it further.

  • The legislation relevant to their request is Road Safety Act 2013 Sect. 177.

    Under this section, it is indeed an offence (as the custody / owner of a vehicle) to fail to identify the driver. Under this legislation, you must indentify the driver. The prerequisite to this legislation is that it must be alleged a/the driver of your vehicle was involved in an offence.

    It's defence if you can reasonably show you had no reasonable way of knowing who was driving at this time.

    It may be fightable if they're unable to provide evidence that the driver (of your vehicle) was involved in traffic matter. (For the purpose of Sect. 177(1))

    http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/nsw/cons...

    If you have any easily accessible evidence that your vehicle was somewhere else at the time (ie CCTV), I would consider gathering this for a speedier resolution if they file.

    In the mean time, avoid answering any questions.

    Note you're legally required to provide your name and DOB to police. Refusal is a seperate offence. Beyond this you're free to state you don't wish to answer any further questions, though obviously understand the implications of S177 should you be lying about your story… Seek legal advice immediately in that case…

    General information / not a lawyer - speak to a lawyer for specific expert advice.

  • If they are being overly intimidating over the phone toward you, i would suggest getting an app to record phone calls, just make sure you make them aware you are recording the call as it is illegal to do so without consent. Even if you don't want to do that, just tell them you are recording it anyway, their tone and the way they speak to you will change dramatically, and they will refrain from making threats.

    • All the cops have to say is "I don't consent to this call being recorded" and you're back at square one, albeit having needlessly antagonised the police.

      The police aren't threatening OP. They are asking for information that they are legally entitled to under law. The issue with these particular cops is that they're idiots who can't organise themselves well enough to take a statement from OP at an agreed time and place.

      • You are well within your rights to record interactions with law enforcement, not that i would recommend it in all cases as it can antagonize the situation, but at least if they are making threats of fines and punishment that are unwarranted, it would avoid such things from happening during the phone call. Because they are acting on behalf of the government as a police officer, i am sure that they have to consent to video and audio recordings.

        They have two opposing sides of a story, they are clearly not being objective about it, and have chosen the side opposite to OP.

        • You are well within your rights to record interactions with law enforcement

          You can record such interactions for your own personal enjoyment, and that's about it.

          7 Prohibition on installation, use and maintenance of listening devices

          (1) A person must not knowingly install, use or cause to be used or maintain a listening device—

          (a) to overhear, record, monitor or listen to a private conversation to which the person is not a party, or

          (b) to record a private conversation to which the person is a party.

          Specifically:

          (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to the following—

          (d) the use of a listening device to record a refusal to consent to the recording of an interview by a member of the NSW Police Force in connection with the commission of an offence by a person suspected of having committed the offence,

          (3) Subsection (1)(b) does not apply to the use of a listening device by a party to a private conversation if—

          (a) all of the principal parties to the conversation consent, expressly or impliedly, to the listening device being so used, or

          (b) a principal party to the conversation consents to the listening device being so used and the recording of the conversation—

          (i) is reasonably necessary for the protection of the lawful interests of that principal party, or

          (ii) is not made for the purpose of communicating or publishing the conversation, or a report of the conversation, to persons who are not parties to the conversation.

          Relevant legislation here.

          Note that Subsection (2)(d) indicates that…

          Because they are acting on behalf of the government as a police officer, i am sure that they have to consent to video and audio recordings.

          ..is not the case.

          • @Nomadesque: While this may very well be the case for audio recordings over the phone to members of the public, if a police officer, for some reason refuses to give consent then you can also refuse to talk to them over the phone. As for video and audio recordings, it is perfectly legal (at least in NSW) to record a police officer in a public place, or a private place that you own, or if the owner of the place gives you permission to record, whereas this is obviously not the case for the average citizen.

            • @ColstonAUS:

              While this may very well be the case for audio recordings over the phone to members of the public, if a police officer, for some reason refuses to give consent then you can also refuse to talk to them over the phone.

              Then you'll receive a nice note or letter from the police with the same demands that would have been stated over the phone, as OP has done.

              As for video and audio recordings…

              I fail to see how that applies to OP's situation or the original incorrect advice that you provided; to which I was responding.

              If they are being overly intimidating over the phone toward you, i would suggest getting an app to record phone calls

              Reference.

    • It's legal to record to protect your legal interests. It becomes a one party basis in that situation.

      Examples where I've seen it apply:
      You have a restraining order against someone who is calling you continuously. You record a call to prove they're harassing you in violation of the order. This recording can be used as evidence and isn't illegal as it's to protect your legal interest.

      Unable to find this case source, sorry.

      Legislation (see (3)):
      http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/nsw/cons...

      Not a lawyer etc. Seek legal advice…

      Note DO NOT publish or transfer recordings without legal advice.

      • It's legal to record to protect your legal interests. It becomes a one party basis in that situation.

        That's true, but I'm fairly sure that refusing to provide information that the police are entitled to ask for under state legislation wouldn't be considered as protection of your legal interests.

        Also, I don't think that "the mean police officer didn't speak to me nicely when informing me of my legal obligations and implications for not complying" would be a valid defense in court.

        • refusing to provide information that the police are entitled to ask for under state legislation

          One would need to seek legal advice prior to making this assumption. OP isn't comfortable speaking to them prior to having the allegation (against the driver) particularised, along with evidence HIS car was involved. I believe OP has this entitlement. If it went to court, OP would have this entitlement - prosecution would have to prove it was his car involved.

          Also, I don't think that "the mean police officer didn't speak to me nicely when informing me of my legal obligations and implications for not complying" would be a valid defense in court.

          It likely wouldn't go to court if OP followed my note and didn't publish or transfer recordings - how would police lawfully find out the recordings exist?

          I didn't speculate on what reasoning OP would use, rather gave an example of where it would be in ones legal interest. If OP wants specific advice he/she should contact a lawyer and not OzBargain, lol.

          • @Username456: The wording of the legislation refers to "lawful interest", not "legal interest".

            Lawful interests are interests which are not unlawful; its meaning is similar to the expressions "legitimate interests" or "interests conforming to law".

            https://techsafety.org.au/blog/legal_articles/legal-guide-to...

            Hence why recording someone not complying with a restraining order would be considered a lawful interest.

            I think you'd have a hard time convincing a judge that not complying with a provision in the Road Transport Act (2013) that carries a penalty for non-compliance represents a "lawful interest". YMMV.

  • my 2c, there's a couple of ways of looking at it

    1. Ask for the details of the person who is making the claim against you (if you were involved in the accident, they should have provided their details at the time, so it shouldn't be a privacy issue).
    2. If there's no damage to your car, they'll have difficulty proving anything.
    3. The other party was likely pressured to nominate the license number after damage to their car (3rd party insurance can be covered upto 5k in SA, probably similar in NSW - if the other party can be identified), if that's the case, it's insurance company chasing you through the police because the other party happened to pick your number plate out of thin air (or, if they matched car to plate, they saw your car on the street and took the details)
    4. Provide your details to the police, they have a claim about you, if you don't provide details they can issue an infringement, if you make every effort to meet with them, then there's nothing they can do other than attempt to prove it was you. In saying that, they've been to your house without an appointment, tell them you need a specific time and would be happy to meet them at your home (I wouldn't go to the station, but I'm a jerk like that)
  • meet your legal obligations, advise of the vehicle owner.

    Other than that, ozb-ers have a history of not been truthful. On that basis you're probably guilty and should turn yourself in.

  • What kind of details were they asking for? If they were after your drivers licence number, that sounds like a phishing scam. They have that information. You're not under any obligation to provide information to anyone over the phone regardless of what they say.

    Even the card could be fake.

  • Aw man, this story has no ending….

    • Maybe OP got done and is currently in remand. Case closed.

      • The OP has been online making other posts. I'm happy to join a lynch squad!

        • There's nothing to update

          Been almost 2 weeks since I head from original officer, she told me she was getting a local officer to come to my place to take a statement and so far it has still not eventuated. I'm done chasing it up!

          • @harthagan: 2 weeks, and you posted the thread 1 week ago, your orignal post said the officer said you must go into the station (thats after you got dicked around) , now you say she said she would have someone come out

            Original

            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.

            Now

            Been almost 2 weeks since I head from original officer, she told me she was getting a local officer to come to my place to take a statement and so far it has still not eventuated

            Would you like to clarify.

            If its the latter then you have "complied" until they come to you and you refuse to give your statement in writing.

  • If you have honestly 100% done nothing as alleged - then I suggest you clear it up once and for all with the investigating officer.

    If you are just talking tough on OzB and know something of the incident - then talk to a solicitor.