A Crime Scene. - Cardew


I think it's a year since this has been raised - or at least thats what a search revealed - and then the thread sadly degenerated into the usual pro/anti police argument.

Without going into the specifics of any particular incident, we are all aware that many accidents/incidents on our roads result in the area being declared a crime scene - with the inevitable long delays.

As far as I am aware this is a fairly recent practice and it is surely without doubt that our roads are closed for much longer than yesteryear.

Does anyone know if a crime scene was always declared after major accidents?

Or:

Is it in response to a new law?

Is new Home Office guidelines?

Is it new Police protocols?

It would not appear to be the usual culprit - namely a Brussels inspired directive.
A Crime Scene. - cheddar
Usually a crime scene is declared after death or serious injury.
A Crime Scene. - PoloGirl
Hasn't this been, ahem, done to death?

A Crime Scene. - R75
Hasn't this been, ahem, done to death?


Probably, but does that make it any less relevent?
A Crime Scene. - Altea Ego
Yes it has been done to death, and I have strongs views about it. The problem is it keeps popping into the forefront of peoples motoring experiences because it happens with such alarming regularity and with such affect on peoples journeys.

Just to restate my views. Major road closures, for very long periods of time, while an accident investigation team sift through every atom at the site are not generally required. It does not happen anywhere else, and is a direct result of a blame culture.
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
A Crime Scene. - Collos25
If the Highways agency have anything to do with it they would keep oads closed at the drop of a hat to make themselves look important ,they must be one of the most useless incompetent people on the planet.Took them three hours to put some cones out on the M62 last week in response to a HGV turning turtle and forgot to order the recovery crane, shut all day for a couple hours work even the driver was not injured then to cap it all they did it again on the M62 on Sunday morning the cars invoved were in a field not even on the road but they still shut the road down for the day, Pathetic.
A Crime Scene. - Dalglish
Does anyone know if a crime scene was always declared after major accidents?

>>Is it in response to a new law? Is new Home Office guidelines? Is it new Police protocols?
>>

cardew: the answers may be found in these previous replies:

This Nanny State - Fullchat Tue 29 Jun 04 00:16
www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=23286&...e

Road Closures - Flat in Fifth Fri 19 Mar 04 13:28
www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=20881&...e

A Crime Scene. - Cardew
Dalglish,
I have re-read those links and it doesn't answer my query. Agreed, it states that certain accidents are to be treated as a crime scene - and that is not in dispute.

However that wasn't the case some while ago, or if it was, we didn't have such long delays. So what has changed and WHY?
A Crime Scene. - Dalglish
I have re-read those links

>>

1. as fullchat says in his first link, it has something to do with health and safety. to quote fullchat
...... a "scene" it has to be protected and made into a safe working enviroment. As to how that is done is up to the Officer in Charge. ....
as to when the step change happened in interpreting h&s rules to lead to raod closures, i do not know.

2. i asume you found the new link for the acpo "road deaths manual". that probably has a bit more to the reasoning behind current trends to shut down roads. the procedures for deciding on road closures are detailed in there (particularly in respect of identifying, protecting and securing the scene). and in one para it also blames the ec human rights legislation:

Article 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) suggests that ?when
an individual dies in suspicious circumstances? there is a requirement that the police
conduct a ?thorough and effective investigation capable of leading to the identification
and punishment of those responsible and including effective access for the relatives to
the investigatory procedure?. ... ....
This manual aims to standardise the way in which the Police Service investigates road
deaths and serious injury collisions. ....
Although the term ?road death? is used throughout this manual, the same procedures
and investigative practices could be applied to any incident at the discretion of an SIO. ..
The aims of all investigations are as follows:
● Investigate fatal and serious collisions to the highest possible standard. ....
This manual ..... provides a definitive document to assist all those involved in the investigation of a road death. ..."


all this probabaly will not satisfactorily answer your original question.

p.s. in my view, it is the standardisation of procedures and adoption of them as "absolute rules" which has taken away the freedom of the officer on the ground to use commonsense and good judgement. again, i do not know when this step change happened.

A Crime Scene. - daveyjp
Like most other departments the Highways Agency will have sub contracted most of their work to private companies. It was a bit more than a couple of hours work though.

Removing wagon, removing it's full load of sweets from the carriageway, cleaning carriageway of the diesel, replacing a long stretch of crash barrier (over 100m I'm led to believe) and replacing lighting columns which had been damaged.
A Crime Scene. - Cardew
The subject wasn't raised to discuss if it is warranted to close the road for such long periods, but to find out if anyone knows why procedures have changed.

Is the declaration of a crime scene a police initiative, government legislation or ?????

I have never seen any announcement that wef a certain date new procedures are in force etc. These days the police are pretty good with their publicity explaining new legislation - child seats for older kids etc.

It would be interesting to know why it was introduced, especially as most legislation of this type is as a result of an EEC ruling; and I don't believe procedures have changed in Europe.
A Crime Scene. - Bromptonaut
Suspect there's no one answer to this but rather it represents the convergence of several strands of modern life, some positive and some regrettable. Scene of crime may get the mention in the traffic reports, but there will be other reasons as well.

First of all if there is a suspicion of crime, be it a fatality a suspicion of reckless or careless driving or a breach of health and safety regs there is a much greater concern to preserve evidence untainted. There may be a wait for IT and other forensic kit, and personnel trained in it's use, to arrive on scene. People today do not accept accidental death as something that happens, they want to know the exact cause and preferably have some body or person held accountable. . While those at the scene are working at least ot some extent against the clock defence lawyers will have unlimited time and funds to apply 20/20 hindsight to the investigation. The media will blowing any alleged mistake into a headline scandal

Rescuers, investigators, and later salvage crews etc. need to work in a safe environment; not aided by traffic squeezing by. Rubberneckers on the opposite carriageway only add to the hazard.

And finally can we exclude the possibility of a passing motorist claiming to be traumatised by being allowed past the scene and seeing the "carnage". I was born in 1959 and remember seeing shapes under blankets at the side of the road passing accident scenes in the sixties. Parents and a whole working generation who'd lived through WW2 coped, and rationalised such sights in the minds of the immediate post war generation such as myself. The same trait has not been passed on in those born after the seventies.

A Crime Scene. - Honestjohn
I agree with TVM over this. But that was not Cardew's original question and many thanks to you all for such a restrained, well informend and intelligent dicusssion of it. (no irony implied.)

HJ
A Crime Scene. - mike hannon
Where's Dwight Van Driver? Not far away I hope.
A Crime Scene. - Westpig
I think you will find that policy, over a period of time, has changed. This may well be down to a degree of advice or guidance from the Home Office, but is not due to legislation and is more likely to have come from within the police.

In the old days accidents, inc those with deaths, were treated as 'one of those things that can happen' with a degree of inevitability. I by no means denigrate the following, but most of the investigation would have been conducted by a Police Constable (who would be fully qualified in accident investigation, with a City and Guilds etc) supervised by a Traffic based Sergeant.... and that would have been that.... with a report to the Coroner.

It was an anomaly that if someone was found dead, in suspicious circumstances, in the same road etc, then that death would have been investigated by a 'murder squad' which would have had a Detective Superintendent in charge, with maybe a Detective Chief Inspector as an assistant, two Detective Inspectors, five Detective Sergeants
and 25 Detective Constables and a load of civilian support staff etc..... with a major investigative process put before the coroner.

Someone worked out that a road based deaths should be just as important any other death, so steps were taken to address this.

Those steps include taking a road death scene more seriously.. and that includes the forensics and photographs etc.... which takes time and the scene has to remain sterile for the results to mean anything...

The Constable still does his bit and it is still mostly traffic based, but the investigation has been 'upped'.

As a slight aside, but along the same lines...... accidents in the Met Police area are no longer called RTA's (Road Traffic Accidents) but RTC's (Road Traffic Collisions)...because accident suggests no one is to blame, but collision does and most have some blameworthy element to them.... a tad politically correct maybe, but probably accurate.

A Crime Scene. - midlifecrisis
A road death is still investigated by a PC (without 'City and Guilds'!) and the SIO is a Sergeant. There will be one officer assigned as and FLO and that constitutes the investigation team. A report will be prepared by an Officer from the Collision investigation unit and passed to the OIC to aid the investigation. The officers usually have to conduct the investigation in between answering all their other usual commitments.

As mentioned, a death not involving a vehicle will ahve a team of aroun 50 assigned to it.

It is absoutely necessary to close a road when an incident occurs. If nothing else, to stop me getting run down by al the imbeciles who drive past cones, signs, spotlights, vehicles in order not to be 'inconvenienced'.

And to answer the original question. The current standards were introduced about seven years ago.
A Crime Scene. - Hamsafar
If you have seen a city centre at night where people have been attacked, the crime scene doesn't last as long as a crash. There is rarely ever such fuss. I think they make such fuss when injuries ocurr on the road, as they are creating the stats they use for installing more spy cameras.
A Crime Scene. - midlifecrisis
Ashok...as someone who investigates Fatals..but is also opposed to the blanket use of cameras I can safely say you're talking codswallop!!
A Crime Scene. - nortones2
It is strange that highway deaths, and near misses, are so scantily resourced, from the investigative point of view, compared with non-traffic deaths. Maybe its because the perpetrator is more readily detected, but what of hit and run incidents? Does the resource increase or remain as stated if the driver runs away?
A Crime Scene. - midlifecrisis
The manual states that a 'hit and run' incident should be attended by at least a DS. Never managed too get one out though. Even if a murderer is arrested straight away, they will still have a dedicated team of 40-50 to deal with the case.

I've been doing Family Liason when I've been called on the radio to attend another incident. It puts you in a very difficult situation to say the least!
A Crime Scene. - Altea Ego
Ok, so please answer me this. Why do the Britsh Transport Police have targets to aim for in getting the line open again after a "guzzunder" If they miss the target time questions are asked.
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
A Crime Scene. - midlifecrisis
Don'y know..you'll have to ask them! However, when I've been to a train incident, I've kept the line closed as long as I need too! (It's harder to get BTP out to my neck of the woods than it is CID!)
A Crime Scene. - Cardew
MLC,
Thanks for this.

If I understand you correctly this change in policy is not as a result of any new UK or EEC legislation, but new police protocols?

The decision on how long a road remains closed after a RTC is largely down to the interpretation of the new guidelines by a policemen at the scene?

However unless I have missed something, we have been given no reason why it was felt necessary to change those protocols? or what consideration has been given to the considerable impact this change has on traffic flow?
A Crime Scene. - Cardew
Sorry, and thanks to westpig as well.
A Crime Scene. - midlifecrisis
The road stays closed until we've safely removed casualties and measured up the scene. Sometimes it's a couple of hours, sometimes it can be four or five. It all depends on the nature of the incident. It's certainly nothing to do with the EU.

It's nothing to do with compensation culture. It's about doing a professional job and conductng a professional investigation.
A Crime Scene. - Dalglish
... Sometimes it's a couple of hours, sometimes it can be four or five.. ..

>>

should we take comfort in knowing that in some other non-motoring cases, such as that of the woman pc in bradford, see
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bradford/4451508.stm
or other recent outrages in london, it can easily take a week or more before normal access is allowed.

A Crime Scene. - Hamsafar
8< SNIP 8<

Anti police rant removed - DD
A Crime Scene. - Cardew
Although nothing wrong with this post as such, the reply to anti police rant also removed. DD
A Crime Scene. - Honestjohn
I think we all respect what midlifcrisis is telling us. The trouble is it can cost tens of millions of pounds in lost time, as when the A3 was closed for more than 12 hours in June to investigate the apparent hit and run death of a cyclist and a whole chunk of Surrey became gridflocked. The other side of the argument also includes any deaths or injuries caused by the resultant congersion, bit of course that is very difficult to quantify and not the point Cardew started with.

HJ
A Crime Scene. - Fullchat
However unless I have missed something, we have been given no reason why it was felt necessary to change those protocols? or what consideration has been given to the considerable impact this change has on traffic flow?>>


Its called 'accountability' and giving a better service to the victims and relatives. Unless a thorough and professional investigation is done then several months down the road loopholes will be exploited in the courts and the guilty walk free.

I've dealt with fatals and serious RTCs over 20 years. Certainly the ammount of qualified and detailed work that goes into them has increased immensly, but the procedures have changed little.

In the early stages no one knows EXACTLY what has happened and all the evidence is pieced together. What you have to remember once the scene is opened - thats it, there is no going back. The scene becomes contaminated.

The Police are aware of the frustration and inconvenience caused to thousands of motorists and the potential impact on the economy. Certainly I look to opening the road as soon as possible but not until the job is finished.

Unfortunately you just have to accept some things in life and that you will suffer inconvenience, but that life! Whats the alternative?
--
Fullchat
A Crime Scene. - Dalglish
... accept some things in life and that you will suffer inconvenience, but that life! Whats the alternative?

>>

i agree that we have to accept some justified inconvenience, based on a risk and cost-benefit analysis of lessons learnt from past incidents.

the alternative: do what the other top economies of the world do - usa, japan, germany, france and, dare i say, china.

one example of the ludicrous unaccountable procedures we get in the uk is that of the "potential of exploding gas cylinders". the "emergency services" declare these scenes to be a real threat to life.

time and time again you hear of the easy option being taken every time of closing down railways and roads which get within the huge "safety zones" around overheated cylinders (without doing a proper risk and cost-benefit analysis of lessons to be learnt from past cases). and remember how the london roads were clogged up for days when tower bridge was closed off due to a batman&robin/superman protestor who had managed to get up the structure to unfurl his banners?

the answer is that just as when a decision is taken to send in armed police to a scene, the same decision and authority chain should apply to decisions to close down major roads and railways.

i.m.o. it is time to bring back some commonsense in to these ludicrous slavishly followed procedures.

A Crime Scene. - midlifecrisis
We shpuld do a 'cost-benefit analysis' where someones life is in danger. Funniest thing I've heard for a long time.

Basically the same as saying " We can afford to let two people die today in order to save a few quid!"

I'm not sure what you're on about regarding armed Police. I was, until recently, also an AFO and for the life of me I can't see any connection.
A Crime Scene. - Cardew
We shpuld do a 'cost-benefit analysis' where someones life is in
danger. Funniest thing I've heard for a long time.
Basically the same as saying " We can afford to let
two people die today in order to save a few quid!"
I'm not sure what you're on about regarding armed Police. I
was, until recently, also an AFO and for the life of
me I can't see any connection.


MLC,
Unusually, you seem to have misunderstood the thrust of Dalglish's argument; or concentrated on the gas cylinder remarks which were not central to the overall discussion and, with respect to Dalglish give the opportunity to divert attention from the issue.

It seems that without legislation of any sort, a practice has developed where the decision on how long to close roads has been delegated to the police(at PC/Sgt level) at the scene. That seems to me an abdication of responsibility by senior officers.

His analogy to Firearms, as I understood it, was that a senior police officer is involved in authorising in arming police.

Surely it is relevant to question why Britain alone seems to feel that such exhaustive investigations of every road traffic incident are necessary when other Western countries do not.

I also seem to recall in earlier threads you have agreed with the complaints about the cutback in police traffic patrols and highlighted the role they have in prevention of accidents. I suggest tying up traffic police for many hours does not help.

However to me the import point emerging from this thread is that it appears this practice has simply developed; and it would appear without due consideration for all its consequences.

In my opinion our political masters should ensure that the Police hierarchy rethink this policy.
A Crime Scene. - Armitage Shanks {p}
From a purely personal viewpoint, the only one I can have, I would not be best pleased to miss a friend's funeral, a grandchild's christening, the flight taking me on a one month trip to NZ or whatever, because a motorway had been shut because of an accident. I suggest that any investigation which takes place will

1. Be carried out professionally
2. Not often cause anyone to be charged with any offence
3. Not bring anyone back to life
4. Not prevent similar accidents occuring again
5. Not serve any really useful purpose
6. Seriously inconvenience thousands of uninvolved people to no real benefit.
A Crime Scene. - nortones2
Fatal injury by flying gas cylinder debris is a fact. What would you have the authorities do? Walk on by?
A Crime Scene. - midlifecrisis
I can only speak for my force of course. The vast majority of Fatal RTCs will not be investigated by dedicated traffic officers (ie motorway). My unit has responsibility for roads policing, firearms, fast response and every other pile of poo that happens to arise. Having said that, my units handling of fatals is recognised as best practice within the force.

As for 'senior officers' . A firearms incident is handled by a Gold controller at headquartes (usually Supt or higher) advised by a TAC advisor (usually PC or Sgt). While they will make decisions or arming the officers or not, the nitty gritty decisions are stil made by the guys holding the guns. Quite frankly, a senior officer wouldn't know a fatal investigation if it jumped up and bit him on the nose.

All I can say is this, from my experience as a of Family Liason Officer. God forbid, you ever lose someone close in these circumstances. You will understand why we do what we do and be grateful that we are able to provide you with some answers. (And we prosecute more people than you think).
A Crime Scene. - Adam {P}
I couldn't care less how long a road was closed for if someone had died.

It's our own fault too with this ridiculous blame culture - some has to be held accountable.

I'd rather the roads were closed for as long as necessary in order to investigate how and why it happened. In the minority with this view I know but there you go.
A Crime Scene. - Armitage Shanks {p}
Adam. No "There you DON'T go" - the road is shut for hours because of an accident! You are going nowehere! Seriously, I can see why it is done, I can't see the real and benefit and no one has come up with a really good reason, yet.
A Crime Scene. - midlifecrisis
Then you're not absorbing what I've said. I think the ony thing that would 'inform' you is to spend a day or two with a Roads Policing Unit and wait for a fatal. When you see what is involved and why, it might change your opinion.

The only other option is to push everything into the ditch at the side of the road and hope that we haven't made anyone late for their tea!
A Crime Scene. - Armitage Shanks {p}
MLC I am not sure who is not absorbing what you've said. The situation is not a straight choice between men in white suits combing a road for evidence or shoving the wreckage into the ditch and clearing off! The sensible answer lies somewhere in between, I suggest. I don't think that all accidents need this approach; is all this data which is created published anywhere that it can be read and studied? Does it reduce the likelihood of further or similar accidents occuring? If it isn't useful it doesn't need doing! We need a middle path with an appropriate response to a given situation! Driver crashes and dies due to a wasp in the car, no one else involved, not a major event. Driver on a mobile phone ploughs into a queue of stationany vehicles and 6 people are killed, Major incident, law broken, investigation and charges highly appropriate! Tailor the response to the relevance and degree of what investigation is required.
A Crime Scene. - midlifecrisis
But how do you now that the first driver died because there was a wasp in the car. I don't think the wasp would be available for a statement. On arrival there will be a crashed car and a dead occupant. What caused the crash will be determined by the following investigation. A major incident can actually be easier to investigate than something with no obvious causes.

I could also take you to a number of scenes wherethe road layout/surface has been changed due to the findings of an investigation.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I've spent nine of my twelve years in the force dealing with fatals. If we didn't need to close the road, we wouldn't.
A Crime Scene. - defender
Armitage your comments are spot on,one example of your point to MLC I can give was when an american tourist was driving down the road and automaticaly pulled to the wrong side when he met a car on a corner ,he admitted what he had done but the road was still closed for nearly four hours ,thankfully it wasnt fatal but there was no need for that legnth of closure especially as the only witnesses were involved and all saying the same thing ,there was no alternative route (diversion over 100 miles)
A Crime Scene. - Cardew
MLC,
Since the motoring era began there have been RTAs. They were no less of a tragedy then, than now.

They have RTAs in Europe, USA, Australia etc and I suggest the police are no more efficient than ours, yet they have traffic moving in a fraction of the time.

What most of us is cannot understand is why Britain alone experiences such delays, why it is a recent phenomenon, and why the responsibility for length of these delays is delegated to the lower echelons of the police force.
A Crime Scene. - midlifecrisis
Cardew the 'lower echelons' (never descried myself as that before) dictate the length of time the road is closed for because:-

1, the senior officers haven't got a clue
2. We are the officers on the scene and know what is needed/required

I only have experience of a fatal in the USA involving a bus. It was a sweep up and move on. No investigation took place at the scene and the result was an assumption decided at the end of the day.
A Crime Scene. - midlifecrisis
Defender...If only it was that simple. Unfortnately people have a habit of changing their accounts just prior to a court case when the implications have had time to get in their head. We must be able to dispute said descrepancies with proper evidence.
A Crime Scene. - Armitage Shanks {p}
MLC - I respect the experience that you bring to this thread; I also accept that my 'wasp' example wasn't very well thought thru! However, some people here are saying that black is black, some say white is white and there isn't any grey involved! I understand your comments re road surfaces; however, my local council find it cheaper and easier to put up a sign saying "Skid risk for 800 yards" than to address the problem and do some resurfacing! Perhaps a fatal accident would get their attention, but that isn't what we want is it?

A lot of people, whose journey has been really severly disrupted by an overturned artic full of frozen chickens aren't going to be personally bothered why it happened, or whose fault it was, they are just fed up with being delayed. SFAIK none of this painfully gleaned information is ever published or made availble to the public for study or comment.

I am off to Italy for 10 days and I'll see how they do things there and report back. Knowing the Italians there should be plenty of accident s to study!
A Crime Scene. - Altea Ego
MLC
I am a staunch police supporter to the extent that I say we we need more well equiped traffic only officers with full powers,. and I dont mean Highway (agency) men!

Your comment
"if we didn't need to close the road, we wouldn't."

Fair enought, there will always be a need to close roads. If there is a danger to the public is one and the other is to enable the safety of services crews working at the scene. No problem at all with any of that.

The road should be opened as soon as A: its is safe for the public to do so, B: All Emergency crews involved in life saving and clear up operations have dispatched the scene and the carriageway is passable. Two hours max on average I would say.

What gets up my goat, is the road being closed for 8 hours, so all the cars can be left in place, helicopters dispatched to film the scene from the air, photographers dispatched, lasers deployed, all sorts of stuff going on.
And why? so someone can have blame pinned on them, prosecutions need to follow.

Why the blame culture? Is it because we have the worse RTA death rate in the word? No we have one of the best. Becuase the death rate is exploding out of control? No its steady and has been for years. There are more deaths in accidents at home than on our roads.

So why then this obsession in treating this like a war crime scene where mass genocide has occured? I dont know the answer to that one,.


My opinion is such that unless there is suspicion that someone has acted deliberatley recklessley or dangerously (and a quick witness trawl will confirm or deny that) then you shovel the bodies in the bloodwagen clear up and move on. Victim Suport? what the hell does that have to do with policing? Thats a new one as well. Who wants police dispatched to dab tearfull eyes and give group hugs?
It should be a "Mrs Smith? Young jhonny died this afternoon in a car smash. Body is at xxx hospital. Sorry, good day!"

And before you say thats all right for you to speak, I have buried 6 close relatives, some of them in traggic and disturbing circumstances. Where do I claim my victim support vouchers from?
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
A Crime Scene. - madf
"So why then this obsession in treating this like a war crime scene where mass genocide has occured? I dont know the answer to that one,."

You might ask: "why do people do stoopid things like reprorting Cherie Balir for child abuse?" (as in the very recent incident I hasten to add: where 6 police investigated..

Answer: cos the people who do it have to justify their existence. Not to answer to anyone about the traffic chaos.. Lets face it, if it happened in any US state the local Chief of Police repsonsible would be voted out of office.. or COULD be.

Now who appoints our Chief Constables? And who is responsible for police actions and reports to the local community?

(This is NOT a dig at police but at structures and organisatin).
Answers to Mr John Reid at the Home Office.

There is zero local accountability for the local senior police officer: (and by accountability I mean accounting for answering for the efficiency or otherwise of the police force)


madf
A Crime Scene. - Cardew
Cardew the 'lower echelons' (never descried myself as that before) dictate
the length of time the road is closed for because:-
1, the senior officers haven't got a clue
2. We are the officers on the scene and know what
is needed/required


MLC,
Well of course senior officers should have a clue.

Surely the whole point of a command structure is to consider the wider implications of the longer road closures and give direction from the top down.

However we keep coming back to the central point which hasn't been addressed. What has changed in recent years for the police(at any level) to 'suddenly' decide that more thorough, detailed and, above all, time consuming investigations are necessary these days? I repeat: What has changed?

If there are good reasons for this change of policy why are we not informed? Instead we have massive delays, an alienated public, accusations of wasted Police resources at a time when much minor crime doesn't merit police attendance.

All in all a massive own goal.

A Crime Scene. - midlifecrisis

"My opinion is such that unless there is suspicion that someone has acted deliberatley recklessley or dangerously (and a quick witness trawl will confirm or deny that) "

I'm afraid, TVM, that you're lack of dealing wth witnesses comes to the fore here. Two people stood side by side at a scene can give totally different, conflicting accounts. And repeating my point earlier, what happens when there are no witnesses.

Clearly we'll never agree, but you'd better get used to roads being closed, because nothings going to change soon!
A Crime Scene. - Altea Ego
Get out of it. With your experience you could cast your eye over an accident scene, check the PNC for a few number plate matches, talk to two three people and decide if its going top end with a carless driving or a causing death by dangerous charge. 15 minutes I reckon.
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
A Crime Scene. - Adam {P}
>>15 minutes I reckon.<<

That sounds a trifle ambitious to me. 20 maybe but 15? You've been on the sherry.
A Crime Scene. - Dalglish
the following points are made purely for clarification -

cardew : thanks for correctly interpreting what i was saying in previous post ( timed at Wed 20 Sep 06 07:57 ).

nortones2: exploding cylinders may kill or maim people on some occasions, just as cars kill and maim people on the roads. if we accept your line of implied thinking, you would get the emergency services permanently shutting down all the roads to forever prevent cars from going on to the roads.

midlifecrisis: cost benefit analysis is a fact of life. it may not percolate down to the lower echelons, but it is certainly taken account of at some higher echelons. from distant memory, i seem to recall that the dept. of transport place an "average" value on saving each human life in the uk at about £1.3million and that of serious injury at about £150k. these figures are used in many instances to assess risk and cost-benefits of expenditure or actions.

now, let us get back to discussing the original question asked by cardew.

A Crime Scene. - helicopter
I have restrained myself from entering this argument because the last thread which I started after a fatality on the M25 caused a major gridlock led to some very anti police comment and thats the last thing we want.

Fullchat and MLC are doing a very difficult job in a professional manner I am sure but the incidence of such closures is becoming more and more frustrating .

In the last two weeks I have been caught up in a gridlock around Purley in South London due to an accident the A23 .Traffic was diverted round residential streets causing chaos. I believe this major road was closed for at least three hours during rush hour. Chaos ensued.

Last Friday I was caught on the A14 in a major jam in what turned out to my untrained eye a fairly minor accident on the Orwell bridge. At least 6 miles of jams as I came on A14 where it was already gridlocked and I just had to sit and fume for an hour or so.

Finally last Sunday - no Police problem here but someone closed Blackfriars bridge and the Embankment for what looked like minor roadworks - kerbing etc ( five guys and a couple of wheelbarrows. ) It took me one hour from visiting helicopter junior in Islington to get south of the river - maybe five miles with Fleet st , Strand, Whitehall all solid , what was all that about ?

Why do we have to put up with it? It just seems to take longer and longer.
A Crime Scene. - Dalglish
.. Why do we have to put up with it? It just seems to take longer and longer.

>>

i shall start by writing to the minister, and copy it to my local mp and the chief constable.

perhaps others who feel the same should take similar action too.

A Crime Scene. - Westpig
i think maybe a middle way is needed........... the fact that we have some seriously impressive road death figures compared to other places in the world is because we take these things seriously, have well trained & motivated staff who deal with them and the technology and/or working practices that have evolved over the years have constantly kept us moving with the times and kept us ahead of the opposition for want of a better expression...

however......... the increasingly extremely serious delays that are being discussed here have caused discussion about the proportionality of the extent of those delays to achieve the better investigation.

it is far too simplistic to state that a scene can easily be assessed, even with a driver there saying what has happened........ because.......... people lie, get things wrong, change their minds etc, etc.

If someone dies, rightly it is thought of as the most serious of things for police to investigate....... do we really wish to emulate those places in the world that would shrug their shoulders and state the equivalent of "oh well... next".

human life is precious, including those that use /drive cars etc and a decent investigation will narrow down the factors that caused it, with a view to preventing that from happening again.... all manufactureres have used accident data to improve their vehicles, the grossly negligent are supposed to recieve a decent sentence as a deterrent ( i appreciate they often don't).... if you brushed the accident aside too quickly none of these things would happen

IMHO we should be requesting the powers that be (so a letter to your MP and/or Chief Constable) requesting that elements of the proportionality are looked at, so that ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) can issue guidance to traffic departments on the other issues involved e.g. Economic considerations as well as that of the individual death etc.
A Crime Scene. - Fullchat
Well we have had some interesting points of view , stirred up a real hornets nest - sorry wasp nest!

For those who believe we should sweep up cars and bodies and open the road in 20 minutes, please just think of the impact of the bill knocking on your door and telling you one of your family is dead. You would want answers and you would want someone held accountable. And if that person got off on a technicality or because of a less than thorough investigation then you would not be best pleased. And who would you blame - yes the Police.

Casualties may appear ok at a scene but can deteriorate. Again another judgement call do we wrap up then and there and hope for the best or do we investigate for likely eventuallities? Yes we do an investigation because when the scene has gone its gone.

As regards the wasp in the car - I had to chuckle! Have you ever tried to get a wasp interpreter? Seriously and I appreciate that you accept that it may not have been a good example; it is possible that in the case of an apparant single vehicle collision it could have been a deliberate act on behalf of a third party and thats Murder. Until you have all the evidence and facts then how will you know?

I can sympathise with someone stuck for hours on end in a jam - late appointments, missed flights etc etc. I have secured scenes and turned vehicles round and got them off at the previous exit but it all takes time.

I will make one observation and that is that the large volume of traffic places a very high demand on our road network. One hiccup at the wrong time and everything grinds to a halt. There are few alternative routes that can cope with the high volume catered for on the main networks - hence gridlock.

--
Fullchat
A Crime Scene. - Cardew
I will make one observation and that is that the large
volume of traffic places a very high demand on our road
network. One hiccup at the wrong time and everything grinds to
a halt. There are few alternative routes that can cope with
the high volume catered for on the main networks - hence
gridlock.


A statement with which we would all wholeheartedly agree.

Logically this would suggest the Police would attempt to streamline procedures to minimise delays.

Instead, without explanation, it would appear that the police at the scene have gone in the opposite direction and introduced more comprehensive procedures which inevitably increase delays.
A Crime Scene. - drbe
i think maybe a middle way is needed........... the fact
that we have some seriously impressive road death figures compared to
other places in the world is because we take these things
seriously, have well trained & motivated staff who deal with them
and the technology and/or working practices that have evolved over the
years have constantly kept us moving with the times and kept
us ahead of the opposition for want of a better
expression...


I disagree. I consider that the low road death rates is almost entirely due to the (generally) high standard of driving and road discipline. In this country, we (generally) tend to obey rules and regulations.

The fact that we have well trained personnel investigating accidents when they do occur, does very little to prevent the accident occuring in the first place.
A Crime Scene. - Westpig
i meant it wider than that, but probably didn't state it thoroughly enough because i was in danger of going into too much detail

what i meant was decent investigation into full circs can:

question the road signs, condition of road, sufficient lighting, performance of vehicle, how vehicle detiorated in the accident, other factors e.g. pedestrians, phasing of traffic lights, distractions, speed limit etc, etc, etc

how do we now have airbags, decent seat belts, collapsible steering columns etc.

because someone has studied accidents very closely........ and the best stats are those at the scene before it has been moved

it doesn't prevent that accident, but sure as anything can prevent the next one and the next one and so on
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car