Illegal quad bikes

The request was successful.

Dear Thames Valley Police,

Are your officers aware of the laws concerning Quad Bikes? A photograph was posted on social media this week clearly showing that the bike in question had no registration number and had four passengers on it. This bike was on the highway and a police car is clearly seen passing it without challenging the driver (police car registration number: OU17 BJJ) . Can you tell me:
Is it illegal to ride a quad bike on the highway without a registration plate?
How many passengers can a quad bike legally carry?
Are all your officers aware of the legislation regarding Quad Bikes?
Why this person was not challenged when the bike was clearly in sight when the police car passed it ?

Yours faithfully,

Rita Harding

Public Access, Thames Valley Police

Dear Rita Harding,

Thank you for your email. Please accept this reply as an acknowledgement to your email . We will respond within due course and within the legal requirements. We trust this assists.

Kind regards

Jasbir Ahluwalia| Public Access Assistant
Joint Information Management Unit | Hampshire Constabulary & Thames Valley Police
Telephone +44(0)1865  542051 | Internal | 300-6455
Email Address [email address] or [email address]

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Public Access, Thames Valley Police

Dear Ms Harding

 

Thank you for your request for information.

 

Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) places a duty on
Thames Valley Police to assist applicants in making a successful request.
Section 1(3) of the same act states that a public authority need not
comply with a request where it has informed the applicant that it needs
further information to identify and locate the requested data. Therefore,
please could I ask you to consider the following:

 

·         You have requested information regarding a specific image you
have stated was posted on social media. I have been unable to locate this
photograph. Please provide me with a link to the relevant image so that I
can make further enquiries as to whether the information that you have
requested is held.

 

I have placed the request on hold pending your response. If I do not hear
from you within 20 working days then I will consider the request to be
invalid.

 

Regards

 

 

Darren Humphries  | Public Access Officer

Joint Information Management Unit | Hampshire Constabulary & Thames Valley
Police

Telephone 101 or +44(0)1865 542051 | Address Thames Valley Police
Headquarters, Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, OX5 2NX

 

Information Management Helpdesk:

Hampshire        [1][email address] / 02380
479580 (internal 4631754)

Thames Valley   [2][email address] /
01865 542051 (internal 300 6329)

 

 

 

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Dear Public Access,

Please find link posted on the 12th January as requested. As you can clearly see the bike has pulled over and is sitting dangerously on a bend, there are 4 passengers and they are not displaying a registration plate. The squad car is barely feet away from them and did not stop to advise them or question them. I can safely say that had these people not been hunt supporters, they would probably have been arrested and their vehicle seized.

https://www.facebook.com/Bedsandbuckssab...

Yours sincerely,

Rita Harding

Public Access, Thames Valley Police

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Harding

Please find the attached response from Thames Valley Police to your request for recorded information.

Regards

Darren Humphries  | Public Access Officer
Joint Information Management Unit | Hampshire Constabulary & Thames Valley Police
Telephone 101 or +44(0)1865 542051 | Address Thames Valley Police Headquarters, Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, OX5 2NX

Information Management Helpdesk:
Hampshire        [email address] / 02380 479580 (internal 4631754)
Thames Valley   [email address] / 01865 542051 (internal 300 6329)

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Dear Public Access,
Please note that the photograph was merely an example of one of many incidents that has frequently been witnessed and evidenced by photographs on social media. Please read the request carefully and you will see that I have not asked a question about that particular incident. Therefore, the first part of your answer is irrelevant.
I have framed my questions below more simply to avoid any misunderstanding.
1. Are your officers aware of the laws concerning Quad Bikes? The fact that you would have to contact every officer in the force to ask if they are aware of the law is very concerning. Perhaps a copy of the link that you provided could be sent to each force (by email which is free!) would be a more productive way of disseminating the information and ensuring that your officers are informed of the law which is that that all vehicles on the highway should have registration plates (both back and front) in full view and free from mud regardless of what highway they are on at the time.
2. Is it illegal to ride a quad bike on the highway without a registration plate? In your answer you stated that it was not clear whether the bike had a number plate or if it was covered in mud. This did not answer the question.
See legislation below.

Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994

43 Obscured registration mark.
(1)If a registration mark fixed on a vehicle as required by virtue of section 23 is in any way—
(a)obscured, or
(b)rendered, or allowed to become, not easily distinguishable,
the relevant person is guilty of an offence.
(2)A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
(3)In subsection (1) “the relevant person” means the person driving the vehicle or, where it is not being driven, the person keeping it.
(4)It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he took all steps which it was reasonably practicable to take to prevent the mark being obscured or rendered not easily distinguishable.
3. How many passengers can a quad bike legally carry? If the quad is registered as a light agricultural vehicle then only one passenger is allowed by law. Unfortunately, as you stated in your answer, the registration plate is totally obscured (also illegal, see legislation above) and unfortunately no action was taken to find out if a crime was being committed. If it is for road use then it needs to show clearly a registration plate.
4. Why was this person not challenged? I would accept that it would be difficult (not impossible) to find this information. However, as there is a great deal of photographic evidence of terrier men flouting the law every week with police officers present, I imagine that arrests or fines would be a very rare occasion therefore, not an impossible task.

Yours sincerely,

Rita Harding

Public Access, Thames Valley Police

Dear Ms Harding

Your further request has been assigned the above reference number and will now be considered.

Having read your previous request carefully, as you suggested, I cannot see that you have not asked a question about that particular incident since you asked quite specifically "Why this person was not challenged", which can only apply to this particular incident. Therefore the first part of my response is, in fact, quite relevant.

Also, your assertion of 'the law which is that all vehicles on the highway should have registration plates (both front and back)' is incorrect. The exemptions to this can be found in The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001. This is available online.

Whilst you are correct that my statement "It is not clear from the image whether or not the bike has a rear number plate or whether any number plate is obscured with mud. It cannot be said whether the vehicle is registered as a light agricultural vehicle in which case the rules are different" does not answer the question regarding the legality of riding a quad bike on the highway without a number plate. This was covered in the preceding sentence ("The law regarding quad bikes and number plates is explained here https://www.gov.uk/quad-bikes-the-rules&...).

Regards

Darren Humphries  | Public Access Officer
Joint Information Management Unit | Hampshire Constabulary & Thames Valley Police
Telephone 101 or +44(0)1865 542051 | Address Thames Valley Police Headquarters, Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, OX5 2NX

Information Management Helpdesk:
Hampshire        [email address] / 02380 479580 (internal 4631754)
Thames Valley   [email address] / 01865 542051 (internal 300 6329)

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Dear Public Access,

What a great shame that you do not put as much effort into researching problems within the police force as you do to evading questions from the concerned public. At a time when popularity for the police is at an all time low, I would have thought that this would be a helpful exercise in how to actually assist your officers to investigate and solve a crime.

It is quite evident from your manner that you have no intention of answering the questions asked and are in fact enjoying finding ways not to answer directly. The use of illegal quad bikes however, is not a source of amusement but a dangerous and irresponsible act. In the wrong hands they can be lethal. Photographs are posted on social media almost every week of these vehicles riding around the public roads with 3 or 4 passengers and no registration plate. The police are witnessed to be taking no action whatsoever even when asked by the public. It is quite evident to everyone involved but the police that something is very wrong with this situation and something needs to be done about it. If you wish to be part of that problem then I (and many others) intend to escalate this subject until we find someone who is willing to answer the questions in a proper and professional manner.

Yours sincerely,

Rita Harding

Peter Bowyer left an annotation ()

I'd suggest that you're addressing this to the wrong people - have you tried contacting your local neighbourhood police team? Details on www.police.uk or call 101. They'll happily discuss the problem and can do something about it. The FoI team can't.

Public Access, Thames Valley Police

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Harding

 

Please find the attached response from Thames Valley Police to your
request for recorded information.

 

Regards

 

Darren Humphries  | Public Access Officer

Joint Information Management Unit | Hampshire Constabulary & Thames Valley
Police

Telephone 300 6309 | Address Thames Valley Police Headquarters, Oxford
Road, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, OX5 2NX

 

*** Have you done your Managing Information training? ***

 

Links to the training package:

o [1]Hampshire (operational version)  
o [2]Hampshire (non-operational version)
o [3]TVP (operational version)           
o [4]TVP (non-operational version)

 

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