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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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If you're the driver of a mechanically propelled vehicle (car, motorcycle, bus, lorry etc.) that's involved in an accident on a road or public place and:

  • a person, other than yourself, is injured
  • damage is caused to another vehicle or to someone else's property - including street lamps, signs, bollards etc.
  • an animal, other than one in your own vehicle/trailer, has been killed or injured (animal means any horse, cattle, ass, mule, sheep, pig, goat or dog)

You must stop and provide your details and in some cases produce your insurance certificate. If you don't you must report the matter to the police - it's against the law not to. For a fuller explanation of accident law see the additional accident questions.

Some car parks can be classed as public places e.g. supermarket and some multi story car parks. However, car parks belonging to private organisations where members of the public would not ordinarily be permitted are not classed as public places and accidents occurring there should be reported directly to your insurance company. If in doubt it is better to report the matter to the police and be guided by their advice.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.