Plea to Police - Please Charge Us!

SKAT are concerned that Northern Constabulary under the direction of the Fiscal at Dingwall Court are refusing to use the flawed New Roads and Streetworks act to charge protesters. we intend to try and force the issue on 28th November and urge members to take part. We will supply copies of the following proforma letter. Any interested contact John Campbell on 01478 61 2627.

To the Chief Constable - Northern Constabulary - Sir,

New Roads and Streetworks Act 1991 - Section 38 - Skye Bridge

I write to notify you that on 28th November 1998 at or about 11.30am it is my intention to attempt to evade payment of the toll on the A87 extension (Skye Bridge Crossing). It is not my intention to cause an obstruction of any kind and if asked to move by an officer of the law I will do so. Although I intend to attempt to evade payment of the toll, it is not my intention to succeed, indeed in the light of recent experience there is little likelihood of successful evasion.

You will no doubt be familiar with the terms of Section 38 of the New Roads and Streetworks Act which reads as follows:

38.- (1) A person who without reasonable excuse refuses or fails to pay, or who attempts to evade payment of, a toll which he is liable to pay by virtue of a toll order commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

I take the unconventional step of giving you advance notice of my intention to commit an offence because it is my belief that the legislation mentioned is flawed and this is the only means available to me to challenge it. In order to waste a minimum of Police time I have enclosed a table giving relevant details - age - date of birth etc. I reiterate that it is not my intention to cause an obstruction of any kind, and should your officers wish to direct me into the wide lane to avoid blocking traffic I will be happy to comply. It is my belief that as the law stands and in the light of High Court judgements, it should be sufficient for a charge of attempted evasion for me to drive across the bridge and not present myself at the toll booth.

I call on you as an officer of the law to apply the New Roads and Streetworks Act as written by Parliament.

cc. Inspector at Portree Police Station - The Fiscal at Dingwall Court - The Lord Advocate - The Secretary of State for Scotland - The Scotsman - The Press and Journal - The Herald - Associated News enc. Data sheet

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Copyright Ray Shields, 1998.

Most recent revision, 26 October 1998