Letter: Police tried to fine me for tyres that were perfectly legal

Josh Harris, who suffers with severe arthritis was made to stand in the cold for 45 minutes by police as they questioned him in the recent joint operation with the IWC and DWP. They then tried to fine him, saying his tyres were below the legal limit. He proved them wrong.

We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers. This one sent to us last week by Josh Harris of Wootton, after he was pulled over by police in their joint operation with the Department for Work and Pension. Ed

I was pulled over in one of these Police ‘Spot Checks’ where they seem to be checking anything and everything about you.

I am registered disabled with quite severe arthritis even though I am only 22 years of age, I also drive a high performance sports car – I have worked for years to pay for it myself as well as insure, maintain and tax it as well as pay crazy amounts to the taxman on fuel duty!

I believe I was pulled over today because of the type of car I drive and the fact I am a younger driver, in no way is this random.

Forced to stand for 45 minutes
I was made to stand out in the cold and wet weather for almost 45 minutes while they did many checks on both myself and my car, questioning things including where I was going and for what reason – why should anyone have to disclose this information?

I was then told my tyre tread was below the legal limit, even though the car passed an MOT three weeks before.

Had the tyres tested
I called their bluff, as I had someone working in a garage within view of where I was pulled over bring a tread measure gauge over, where it was confirmed they were actually on and over in other places the legal limit and not under!

To add to this, tyres had already been purchased and were awaiting fitting on the weekend due to colder weather coming in. I’d been advised that they would probably be over the limit for the MOT this time next year – the car was in no way dangerous as the police were making out!

Thinking on my feet
The outcome of me thinking on my cold, damp feet is that they not only couldn’t get their extortionist recovery company to impound my car but also they couldn’t fine me.

I don’t feel how I was ‘randomly’ pulled over is in anyway right as well as the personal questions asked.

I had to stand out in the cold damp weather and was repeatedly expected to bend down to look at some tyres which turned out to be perfectly legal.

It was not how I was wanting to spend my afternoon!

Image: Steve Garner32 under CC BY 2.0

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Sunday, 16th December, 2012 12:24pm


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19 Comments on "Letter: Police tried to fine me for tyres that were perfectly legal"

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Disgraceful Josh, but given the government agenda against the disabled hardly surprising I’m appalled to admit.

David Pugh:
“All hard-working, honest Island taxpayers should have nothing to fear from such operations continuing to take place in order to identify the small minority of people who are abusing the benefits system.”


Josh this is typical of the police when given absolute power. If you have the collar number of the officer who tried to charhe you make a complaint through the IPCC. Despite its title they are not independent but if you allow them to get away with this they may ensnare someone who is not a s capable as you in proving there innocence.


It is the case that those entering the public services are not of the best calibre. A chief constable admitted that many police officers entering the service were a bit thick. A similar situation arises with young ladies going into nursing where their low skill levels make it difficult to cope with the training.

“young ladies going into nursing” I think you will find that the academic requirements for nursing have risen considerably in recent years, to the extent that you now need a degree (or will do from next September). Whether this is a good thing is debatable, as it was formerly considered a vocation, and there used to be a good entry path, with training, for those who simply… Read more »

Yes, & it sounds as though ‘young ladies’ will per se have ‘low skill levels’! Young women are as intelligent as anyone else, of course. But Brian probably didn’t mean it to come across like that…


My reference to “young ladies entering the nursing profession” is a quote from a BBC Radio 4 programme concerning nursing sisters who have undergraduates on the ward as part of their training. They cite these trainess as having poor English and numeracy skills. Rather unfortunate when attempting to write patients’ notes if illiterate, or possibly fatal not knowing the difference between 0.1ml and 1.0ml

You were fantastic Josh, even more so because you were under quite a bit of physical duress throughout. I think it entirely wrong for there to be random stops with no prior indication that there might be something illegal about a car. It is potentially disruptive of someone’s private life in all sorts of ways, yet often without cause, it seems. That’s bad enough as regards interfering… Read more »
martin william wareham

Well done Josh so glad you shared your experience with us.Jumped up pip squeak Politicians like Conservative Council leader David Pugh should reflect on their own lives before casting Judgement on others less fortunate.A very good article from Hofton County Press online. Intimidation on this scale has no place in our society.Well done Josh for standing up to the Jackboots but beware of reprisals


In stark contrast to Newbery who thinks this sort of behaviour is excellent.

I agree that there could be reprisals in the form of further checks on Josh, as the authorities won’t like to have been shown up so effectively & may want to take him down a peg or two. I hope Josh does get a handy lawyer in case he needs his interests protected. Perhaps the Disability Alliance, if still in existence, or some other such organisation, can… Read more »

Last week someone wrote a letter to CP alleging that only rusty vans were getting pulled over!

Dennis Firth
When the DWP conduct an investigation they are bound by the same codes of practice as the police “P.A.C.E.” If you read your codes of practice properly you just might see that the manner in which the operation was conducted would probably be classed as illegal. You cannot just stop and search without reasonable grounds IE, his name, his color, his creed, his appearance or even if… Read more »
I do not believe it
I am not surprised by Josh’s experience given that our island boys in blue, or rather menacing combatitive looking black nowadays, are:- (a) not always the sharpest knives in the constabulary drawer (b) operating on an island where they are largely immune from current correct political thinking (c) not operating in an area like Brixton, Hounslow or Sparkbrook where they might anticipate the populace turning out and… Read more »
When I attended teacher training college for Further Education, the lecturers would always illustrate a dense class by beginning with “now suppose you had a class of police cadets…” I was surprised at this until I started teaching practise. One day there was this almighty noise coming from a corridor. When I arrived at the scene, two police cadets were knocking hell out of each other with… Read more »
First of all, well done Josh for defending yourself, and I hope the cold wet weather didn’t affect your arthritis too much! I have had issue with this ‘fad’ for setting up a virtual roadblock outside Newport FC ground for a while now. In MY opinion the Police (and associated groupies) MUST have a reason to ‘pull you’. They cannot simply do a ‘routine’ stop as these… Read more »

I wish the Police would concentrate on solving crime and not in persecuting innocent members of the law abiding public. Of course,us law abiding citizens are easy money for them.Cash cow innocent motorists are easy meat for them.

I might also include an observer, living in the vicinity of The Balcony Club in Ryde. He told of disgaceful behaviour by the revellers exiting the place at 2.30am – drunk, fighting, urinating on residents’ property. A group of 8 inactive police officers were standing at a safe distance watching the proceedings. He implied cowardice but I could not possibly comment. Motorists going to work are probably… Read more »
Don Smith

Josh! I do so hope that you have made an official complaint.
Sue them; there are plenty of solicitors who would take up your case on a no win no pay basis. Had they taken you to court, they [Police] would have been believed; they always are. Birds of a feather stick together.

My wife and I still remember the 31.01.2005 – Less we forget.


Choose your solicitor wisely, not just on a no-win-no-fee advert….