Friday, December 18, 2009

The "In-Car" DVD & my copy

It occurred to me this morning, that I didn't ever receive a copy of the 'in-car' DVD taken the night I was booked for riding a bicycle without a helmet.

I had an opportunity to view the DVD when the brief of evidence was (finally) served, but it was returned after the hearing. This puzzled me at the time, and upon further inquiries from 'anybody & everybody' who knew a thing or two, I discovered that a copy of the in-car video should have been included for me to keep.

So off I trotted to the Police Station at lunchtime to discover what happened to the footage of the 'night in question'.

The sergeant who actually booked me was not at the station but rang me later on this afternoon. He was curious to know why I wanted it, and intimated that it may not have been taken as the in-car video only 'kicks in when the lights have been put on and we wouldn't do that for a bicycle booking'!!! - (really!!! that's interesting! so it was completely unncessary!) Well, I told him that one had definitely 'kicked in' because I had watched it with my lawyer just prior to the court case. He proceeded to inform me that he would have to find out whether I would be allowed a copy as some defendants have been sharing their videos with the public at large ("like on television") - can't we do that? and if not why not if we're happy for that information to be shared?

The rest of our conversation was classic:
"are you wearing a helmet now?"
"I'll have to come up to Scone and book you again"
"surely you have better things to do with your time - I know you have better things to do with your time"

...however notwithstanding all the chit-chat I'm intrigued to know what the answers are to the following qustions:
- what is the purpose of the in-car video?
- is it done for my protection or the policeman's or all of us?
- why wasn't I given a copy to keep, given that it was (and still is) part of the brief of evidence against me?
- why are there unspoken constraints on the sharing of its content if I want to share it given that I am the criminal here?

...oh! ok! I'm chasing a principle - but if I'm going to be filmed and that 'film' is included in the brief of evidence against me then surely I ought to get a copy - otherwise it just seems like a pointless waste of the limited time and resources of the police... what do you think? what's the likelihood of me getting it? or is the likelihood of me being booked again higher? and will my bike be impounded this time as he warned me in March? and if it is, can I photograph it being taken away in a paddy wagon?

...we'll just have to wait and see! - watch this space!

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