Homeowner finds a stranger’s car parked on her driveway – but the law is not on her side to get it removed!Mon, 11/06/2018
A woman who found a stranger's car blocking the driveway outside her house was told by police 'Sorry, the law's not on your side' when she complained. The outraged woman was told the driver's rights came above hers - she could be charged with criminal damage if she tries to move it herself.
Anthony Joseph, MailOnline, reports:
Natalie Robbins, from Hull, was warned by Humberside Police not try to move the car unless she was 100 per cent sure it would not be damaged.
The outraged woman was told the driver's rights came above hers - she could be charged with criminal damage if she took the law into her own hands.
She was told that she could move the car but not damage it in any way, even though it was on her property.
It could sit there for days, blocking her drive, until either the owner appeared to move it, or she could find a way to shift it without harming it.
There is no criminal law against someone parking on your driveway without your consent.
Your driveway is part of your property so by driving onto it the person is committing an act of trespassing.
Trespassing, however, is classed as a civil offence not a criminal offence, meaning the police don’t have the power to make an arrest.
There was no explanation where the vehicle came from, who parked it there and she'd never seen it before.
Ms Robbins appealed on Facebook to find the owner, to little success.
Posting a photo of the dark grey saloon, she begged 'Does anybody know whose car this is?
'It's been parked on my drive since last night. Police have been notified' she wrote on the DN35 Crimewatch group.
Some people suggested blocking the car in so that it couldn't move, while others wondered who would have the nerve to park on a stranger's driveway.
One posted 'That's mad! It's not as if you live in the town centre or next to a football ground! I don't get why anyone would want to park on your drive!
'Can only guess they have left it thinking it's a friend’s house or something.'
Offers came in to help her move the car or clamp it. The car mysteriously appeared on Friday and the homeowner moved it on to the road herself the following day.
It is not known if it has been claimed yet, or if she will face a claim for damaging it during the move.
A spokesman for North East Lincolnshire Council said: 'As the land is privately owned it would usually be up to the landowner to arrange for the vehicle to be removed.'
The council doesn't classify a car that's been left in a troublesome spot as abandoned, even if it's obstructing access. They suggest that people contact Humberside Police on 101 instead.
Checks showed the car had valid tax and MOT, meaning it is unlikely to be permanently abandoned.
On social media, Nellyboy wrote 'Happened to me once. Turned out that the car had been dropped off by a garage after a service / MOT. However the keys had been put through my letter box and it wasn't left very long.
'I called the police and they did track to owner down very quickly. Surely the police could also do that in this case.
'That would mean they would be doing the sort of thing the public would like them to do.'
These unusual circumstances must be extremely frustrating for the property owner, and they raise a number of questions regarding trespassing and the law. Potentially this case is a big misunderstanding and will be resolved amicably, and hopefully the car won’t appear on her driveway again.