Jump to content

Police Activity on The Plain


Recommended Posts

Would appear the returns were greater than the costs.................or is that the cynical view ?

Yeah pretty cynical I think.... They will almost certainly have signed the change originally, not to mention the statutory signage at the start and end of the change when the change to route was proposed, but who thinks a rogue greenlaner decided he didn't want to abide by it and maybe removed it...? It only takes one :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How long ago was this move implemented?

And wouldn't it be great if there were some signage if a route has been moved!

I've been informed by a friend who goes onto the plain fairly often, that the by-way in question was altered around 4 years ago

Well it seems this move was implemented a fair while back so no excuses really. Some thoughts - hasn't the 'old' track grown over and become less visible? Or are that many people still using it illegally? I guess this is the cause of the police presence.

Signage? Well, after 4+ years I would hardly expect it to still be there, so that's an unfair expectation.

I know the onus is on us all to check up on the routes we drive, but this action strikes me as a little heavy handed.

Well I think I still stand by this comment. Even on the tarmac'd (sp?) highway it is common to get a warning first if you're not a known offender.

Your attitude towards the police is in my personal opinion disgraceful...

...It is all too easy to slag off the police, but they are the first people you turn to when things go wrong.

In defence of Ruuman's comments, some of us have just been unlucky enough to only have bad experiences with the police. I don't know anything of his experiences so I cannot say how justified his feelings may be.

Yes it is easy to slag 'em off, but this is often down our own bad experiences with them.

In my own experience whenever I have had to turn to them I've been left wondering why I bothered them.

Break ins at our farm by the takewhatyoulikeys, farm gates damaged, fences cut so the thieving scum could gain entry, livestock left able to get onto the road etc. They couldn't even be bothered to turn up despite the fact that this has happened three times now. And yes we were having a bad day after all this.

My parents garage was broken into and items stolen - again a similar lack of interest. I think we were lucky to get a 'thanks for letting us know' and a crime number.

So you get the idea why I don't have great feeling towards the boys in blue?

And yes I have friends in the force too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been watching this thread run and thought it was time to add my 2 pence worth!

Having been lanning on the 'Plain many times I have to say that you need to be very well prepared on the correct rights of way, as in many places the legal ROW is less used than the adjacent military track etc and hard to track on the ground. I have found that the wardens and police are very understanding of these problems and as long as you pass the attitude test and are obviously making an effort to stick to the ROW and driving sensibly then they treat you with accordingly good manners.

I can only presume that in the case of the OP they failed some part of the attitude test, or the Police involved had a strict mandate to fine all those off the ROW at that point.

That said, I can understand the negative attitudes shown by Ruuman and others. I used to drive a fully race prepared Mk1 Escort around on the road and despite my best efforts to drive legally, I did find myself pulled over once or twice :ph34r: I found that most Officers just wanted a chat about the car, once they found everything was legal and I had passed the attitude test. Apart from one Officer one night in Salisbury, who pulled me over for having a tail light out (I was driving below the speed limit etc). First he told me off for stopping in an 'unsafe place' when I had pulled into a side road off the dual carriageway. Once stopped in a safe place and the faulty tail light discussed I promptly produced a spare bulb and replaced the offending item, the Officer then proceeded spend the next 40 minutes reading his motoring offences book looking for something else wrong with the car. During this time my once super attitude slowly worsened until I suggested that he put his book away and F@~K OFF. He then offered to arrest me. A brief return of my good attitude managed to convince him that nothing was wrong with the car and he should let me go. Now, this chap was obviously a thwack and is the kind of jobs-worth who gives the Police a bad name, maybe it was this guy on the 'Plain that day?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh bloody hell, one poorly worded insult and I’ve kicked it all off.

Right firstly I should have properly explained myself better. I shouldn’t have blanket insulted all police officers in general. I must admit the actions of SiWhite and the letters from Wiltshire council warning of thefts have actually given me a little faith recently that there are still good ones about.

But, my experience of the police and the CPS over the past years has been poor to say the least, maybe my beef is purely with Surrey and Sussex Police.

Like Mickeyw experiences, mine are exactly the same along with all my friends.

The final straw was when my bike was stolen from my local, it was on CCTV and I managed to get the number plate later on. Police were informed of the incident and victim of crime number issued. Was told an officer will come and view the CCTV.

I phoned up the next day to update the case with the vehicle plate to be told, the case had been closed off. I asked why, “no chance of recovery”.

I ‘m a reasonable person, I know mistakes can happen so asked for it to be reactivated and updated. Two months later I finally get a pretend officer to view the CCTV after the case had been repeatedly closed and god knows how many phone calls.

I was told there was nothing they could do. In the mean time I’d already figured out where the little sh*t lived and if I didn’t involve the police could have recovered my bike or at least some of it’s worth myself.

Now I would love to say this is a one off, but it isn’t. I’d argue if the case had not been repeatedly closed maybe the response would have been faster. But in my cynical mind the real reason the case was closed off immediately was so the resolution time didn’t skew the stats.

This brings me neatly on to points mean prizes. I didn’t mean for the officers directly involved, were talking force commanders and county councils. End of the day you present a spreadsheet saying you have prevented 10% more vandalism over last year, the budget for policing is less lightly to be cut. The OP case above is a perfect example, here we have what appears to be an honest mistake, a group of vehicles somewhere there not supposed to be.

Now when the force commander presents his stats, there isn’t a category for “offroad”, but there is for “vandalism”, “antisocial behaviour”, “traffic offence” etc. Something like this can quite easily count in all of those and an unscrupulous statistician can happily bump up figures this way. All for a couple of hours worth of police time, no CPS involvement, nice easy rubber stamp crime, hell!! the fines might have even covered the officers time. On paper, it looks fantastic. The reality is you really tiddle the public off and breed a serious us and them culture.

If I were in the officers shoes in the OP story. I wouldn’t have issued the tickets, would have taken all their plates. If it’s a genuine mistake, they won’t do it again. If they do it again throw the book at them. This way the public image is improved, everyone leaves happy and if they are stupid enough to do it again you hurt some genuine criminals.

Fair enough I don’t have all the facts, but on the face of it if someone is greenlaning, has a map and is on something previously open and still looks open. I can see how it happened. Also the tiny fine suggests it was a paperwork exercise. I’m sure 30quid is nowhere near the maximum. Maybe they are told to fine anyone they see. But I always believed it always came down to the officer’s discretion in cases like these.

Bishbosh, no idea why you want to know what I do, but at the moment I’ve become self-employed as an IT consultant, with a fair amount landscape gardening and welding while the weather is nice. Previous to that I was an IT manager/project manager/statistician in the public and private healthcare sectors for 8 years. Yes I do take pride in my work.

Yes the police are an easy target and many people hate them purely because they are the visible sign of authority. I’m not one of these people, my low opinion stems from direct experience and the experience of those nearest and dearest to me. I used to defend the service, it’s not an easy job and dealing with so many walks of public life and only seeing the bad parts of society is carp.

But the fact of the matter is the only “visible” policing I see these days is standing at the side of the road in a minimum group of 4 pointing a laser gun at rush hour traffic. Again nice rubber stamp 60quid fine. Especially seeing how my local area seems to have had all its national limits downgraded to 40mph for no reason, but that’s another story.

Right I think I’ve waffled along for long enough. To clarify, sorry for blanket insult, I know there are some good cops out there. But I haven’t met one for a while I’m afraid. Maybe if any of you are at London to Brighton I’ll buy you a drink and you can convince me otherwise :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well it seems this move was implemented a fair while back so no excuses really. Some thoughts - hasn't the 'old' track grown over and become less visible? Or are that many people still using it illegally? I guess this is the cause of the police presence.

The track in question is across the MOD's 'Driver training area', as you can see, it is an absolute maze of tracks, God alone knows how anyone ever managed to correctly navigate the original BOAT!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK has everyone has their say?

Please now keep to the topic as it will help to inform those who plan to use the plain to fully investigate where they are permitted to travel.

Any more side swipes (including me!) and I will lock the thread.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The track in question is across the MOD's 'Driver training area', as you can see, it is an absolute maze of tracks, God alone knows how anyone ever managed to correctly navigate the original BOAT!


Chris a helpful post, it would be interesting to know which track the police believe is legal. Is it a route available on satnav?

I would have a copy of the satellite photo with me when attempting the track if only to ask for clarification from a warden or police officer if stopped or challenged!

The other option is to waypoint the route into a GPS from the latest definitive plan as held by the relevant Council.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


If you refer back to page 1, there is a link to the OS 1:50k for the area. The BOAT is correctly marked on there following the 'Cat1' or 'All weather' track around to the north of the driver training area. Following the route as it is today is a doddle as long as your map shows it.

All the 'Cat1' tracks are marked on the OS map, and in fact (almost) all are also permissive BOATs. Most of the tracks pictured on the aerial photo are just tracks on the chalk whereas the 'Cat1' is graded and packed gravel - though from above there is little contrast. Following it before the diversion must have been a nightmare!

Actually, if one were to challenge a ticket and show that aerial photo in court I suspect the magistrate would be persueded that following the track was impossible - even though, as I stated, it should be easy in practice.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I knew I had seen this somewhere recently, but could not find it before. In the current SPTA news-sheet for July there is an extract from the bylaws relating to vehicle and other activity on the SPTA. I wonder if these rules were posted ahead of this 'clampdown'.

Note 3 at the bottom may be relevant to the OP, or might not, depending on where he was.

Sorry, the formatting was lost on the copy/paste process.



This précis is only a guide, full details are displayed on the bye-law signs on the Plain

Précis of Salisbury Plain Military Lands Bye-Laws 1981

Control of Traffic: cyclists, riders & drivers are to:

2. (2). (a). Comply with all signs.

2. (2). (b). Drive with due care, attention and consideration for others.

2. (3). Use lights as if on a highway.

2. (4). (d). Be “road legal” (i.e. taxed, MOT, insured etc).

3. Prohibited Activities. Unless on military duty or with specific permission to do

something (e.g. licensed shoots, licensed burger vans and tenant farmers):

1. a. Enter an area which is enclosed (Note 1), or has signs banning or restricting

entry, or is under cultivation.

1. b. Enter any plantation of trees.

1. c. Ride/drive on anything but a road suitably constructed and made up for

vehicular traffic (Notes 2 and 3).

1. d. Carry out a trade or business.

1. e. Gather for public meetings.

1. f. Camp, caravan, bivouac or sleep out.

1. g. Dump rubbish of any kind or abandon cars.

1. h. Damage, cut or remove plants, trees, wildflowers etc.

1. i. Remove sand.

1. j. Pasture any animal.

1. k. Pursue, kill, shoot, catch, snare or trap game, fish or other animals. Take eggs

or destroy nests.

1. l. Damage, spoil, deface or remove anything.

1. m. Dig or search for anything.

1. n. Be in possession of a metal detector.

1. o. Post or affix bills or notices.

1. p. Possess cross bow, fire arm, air gun, ammunition or explosives.

1. q. Fly model aircraft.

1. r. Hang glide, parascend or fly a kite.

2. a. Loiter, commit any nuisance or behave in an indecent or unseemly manner.

2. b. Cause nuisance, annoyance or injury to another.

2. c. Do anything liable to cause a fire.

2. d. Fail to keep a dog or any animal under control.


1. Enclosed. Means “fenced, hedged or walled” and includes buildings.

2. Byelaw 10. Nothing in these byelaws shall affect the lawful use of a public right of

way or layby or parking place provided for users of the right of way.

3. Driving Off Road. Under the Highways Act a driver may only leave a road (a

PROW) by 15 yards and then only to park. This is also applied to permissive stone tracks,

concrete and tarmac roads on SPTA. Dirt tracks are not “made up” and their use is therefore

an offence unless on an appropriate PROW e.g. Byway for vehicles.

4. This précis refers only to items which apply to Schedule 3 (Training) Land.

5. Imber Ranges, Larkhill Artillery Range and Bulford Ranges have additional bye-laws

which restrict unauthorised access. Details can be found on their range boundaries.

Lt Col A J Cattermole RA, Range Safety Officer, SPTA 06/07/2010

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

The police didn't want to know when yobs told my wife they were going to beat her and threatened my pregnant friend. Seems the police would rather be out giving £30 fines.

Police in my area are an utter waste of time. The real crims get off free while petty crimes get the police helicopter on the case.

My scum bag uncle being a drugs dealing scum bag who beat his then girl friend and threatened my wife also got off free every offense. Slap on the wrist for every crime. Not even a fine.

Edited by headhunter
This post contributes nothing to the topic - please rant elsewhere!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My scum bag uncle being a drugs dealing scum bag who beat his then girl friend and threatened my wife also got off free every offense. Slap on the wrist for every crime. Not even a fine.

You are quite right. It is, after all, the Police who decide to prosecute offenders, and it is also the Police who determine sentencing in Court. Nothing whatsoever to do with the CPS or the Judiciary.... :rolleyes:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website you agree to our Cookie Policy