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If someone is putting pallets, cones etc to reserve a parking space is this a council issue/ highways or a police issue? There are not parking restrictions on the road they are just saving a space for when they get home. If it's police what is the offence? If it's council/ highways what can they do?

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I think this would be a council highways issue. Nothing preventing anyone moving said cone/pallet to park there themselves. Find quite often people tend to give themselves ownership of a public highway outside their address when they have no right. Dont think this is a police issue, unless anyone thinks otherwise

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Just move the cones and park there if you wish. It could possibly be obstruction of the highway but it's a bit thin. If the person then has issues with you moving the objects then this could lead to police involvement.

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Phone the council to remove the rubbish.

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It is an obstruction of the highway but good luck in finding a police officer interested enough to acknowledge that and to deal with it as such.

The problem if you move them is where to put them. You could just cause another obstruction or get accused of theft/damage of the offending items.

Sent from me using witchcraft

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Preventing parking is hardly obstructing free passage is it. I think Section 149 would be more appropriate. As for the theft/damage allegations well that's sounds way to Daily Mail for my liking! Move it so you can park, if it persists call the council.

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The very first 'beat incident' I did in training school was dealing with an obstruction of the highway. A shopkeeper had put a wooden trestle in the road outside his shop to reserve a parking space. We had to ask him to move it and if he didn't the correct action was to report him for the offence of causing an unnecessary obstruction of the highway. To my knowledge that offence has not been repealed.

As I said.though, good luck in finding an officer interested enough.

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Are you suggesting officers should be interested enough, or that we are massively busy so hard for us to concentrate on these incidents.

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Are you suggesting officers should be interested enough, or that we are massively busy so hard for us to concentrate on these incidents. 

Sometimes jobs need to be prioritised but I also have seen how over time some officers have decided that certain offences are not for the police to deal with anymore.

Bigger picture - police are too busy to deal with this ongoing problem. So the caller moves the cones. Cone owner gets annoyed and remonstrates with the cone mover, this escalates into a public order incident or an assault so instead of ten minutes of politely telling someone they cannot reserve their own parking space on a public road it's arrest, statements, bail, re-interview, prepare charges, prepare file, half a day in court.

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Ah, but you get a detected crime in the are and the matter is 'resolved' statistically and moved onto neighbourhoods jurisdiction. Thats a lot of boxes ticked.

But seriously, i dont think that someone putting cones in place to keep a parking space is either unreasonable or really causing an obstruction.

By the same measure, putting a car in the same place would have to amount to an obstruction of the highway. If its blocking something then why not, If its just keeping a space that would otherwise be used then thats the way it is.

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But seriously, i dont think that someone putting cones in place to keep a parking space is either unreasonable or really causing an obstruction. 

But it is both.

A person has a right to park a car lawfully and no one else has any right to move it without their permission.

In the circumstances described a MoP has no right to place a cone to selfishly reserve a parking space and another person has every right to move it.

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The very first 'beat incident' I did in training school was dealing with an obstruction of the highway. A shopkeeper had put a wooden trestle in the road outside his shop to reserve a parking space. We had to ask him to move it and if he didn't the correct action was to report him for the offence of causing an unnecessary obstruction of the highway. To my knowledge that offence has not been repealed.

As I said.though, good luck in finding an officer interested enough.

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This is something that has been discussed elsewhere.

Whether the offence is technically made out in the strictest sense, what the courts have come to accept as an Obstruction is another matter altogether and what amounts to an obstruction, for the purposes of enforcement and prosecution, is now largely dictated by case law.

You are right, the offence hasn't been repelled, but how the courts have interpreted it over the years means that what you were taught at training school all those years ago isn't necessarily valid now.

For an offence of Obstruction of the Highway to proceed, it must be shown there was an "actual" obstruction to the free passage of the highway as opposed to a "potential" obstruction. Anything less will not suffice.

It must also be shown that the obstruction was an unreasonable use of the road.

One such case, which forms the basis of some case law, relates to a burger van - or similar - being parked in a lay-by at the side of the road without the appropriate authority in order to ply their trade. A prosecution for Obstruction was mounted but failed as it was ruled that, not withstanding a lack of permission to do so from the appropriate authority, it was not an unreasonable use of the road.

Whether or not the OP would be lucky enough, as you put it, to find an Officer interested enough to deal with it is a rather moot point really - it simply wouldn't succeed as a prosecution in my opinion, especially as it would only be a potential obstruction that might be readily and easily moved by the OP or anyone else for that matter.

I'd say, personally, this is more an environmental issue for the council to deal with.

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As above, i have dealt with quite a few and if it ends up in court the amount of obstruction evidence requires is quite massive. Part of the road being coned off and easily unconed would simply not make it.

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On the topic of obstructions in the highway, is parking on the grass verge considered to be illegal when there are no parking restrictions and neither the road or footway are obstructed as a result? Also, the verge is not damaged as a result of the parking. Reason for asking, we have received a parking fine from the Local Authority for parking on the verge but knowing a bit about the Highways Act and Road Traffic Act, I think that the Local Authority do not have grounds to issue a fixed penalty notice. Is anyone able to offer some advice? I have currently written to the Local Authority to appeal against the fine so wait to hear from them before taking the next step.....

Thanks in advance :)

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Just to add to my last post, the Fixed Penalty Notice we received offers a reduction in cost from £70 to £35 if paid within so many days. Having attended a Highway Law course some years ago, I was told that this practice is illegal and that it effectively constitutes a threat that not paying quickly results in the charge increasing. Does anyone have any views on this? I know that this practice exists with fines in quite a few areas but if it something that shouldn't be happening, maybe more people should know that this isn't correct - or legal(?)...so that if necessary, they are not frightened to challenge.

Thanks.

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