Getting Your Video
If you're experiencing particular problems obtaining any information relating to your case please follow this link to our disclosure page.
You must write to the CPS requesting "disclosure of the video evidence", explaining that you need a copy in order to obtain opinion of independent experts and the verification of your speed. You can do this retrospectively if you've already been convicted.
The following is a quotation from the CPS website:
"The video film on which evidence is recorded of an incident is a document for the purposes of the Magistrates Court (Advance Information) Rules 1985. The Divisional Court in the case of < R. -v- Calderdale Magistrates Court ex parte Donahue and Cutler 2001 Crim L.R. 141 > has held that there is a duty on the Prosecution to disclose on request by the Defence a copy of any video recording forming part of the prosecution case prior to plea before venue being considered."
This link will take you to the relevant section.
The CPS stated, in open court, that every citizen "is entitled to a copy of their traffic video". We are all to be treated equally under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), so if you have any trouble obtaining your video refer the CPS to case number 3324563 held at Gwent Magistrates’ court on the 24th January 2001:
The key document is the Notice of Adjournment. This innocuous looking document is very important; it's a binding Notice from one of Her Majesty's Courts and you cannot undo the words on such a document. You'll note the reason for adjournment as being:
"For Crown Prosecution Service to provide a copy of the video to defence."
You'll also notice that it's addressed to the defendant, not to his solicitor! In practice, however, we had a great deal of trouble getting a copy of the traffic video. As we've said, every citizen has to be treated in the same way under the provisions of the ECHR. This means that you're entitled to a copy of your traffic video. You need to understand that the police collect evidence, but it becomes the property of the CPS when you're prosecuted. Even if the police don't normally provide copies of traffic videos to the public they'll have no choice, because it's not up to them to decide.
As you can see this solicitor seemed strangely reluctant to hand over the video as instructed by the court - almost as if a person or persons unknown lent very heavily on them to try and prevent the traffic video from entering the public domain. If you watch the video you'll understand why we feel we could've had so much trouble obtaining the video.
The following letter finally secured release from the solicitor. We're lay people so we don't understand the significance of the words. If you're a solicitor perhaps you could help explain!
29th September 2000
Mr H. Williams,
Watkins & Gunn,
Dear Mr Williams,
By not sending me the traffic video you are depriving me of my legal right to my personal property. Please send it to me IMMEDIATELY.