back to article Wannabe W1 DOW-er faked car crash to track down reg plate's owner

A man from Bristol, England, lied to a government agency to get his hands on a private number plate reading "W1 DOW", a court has heard. In a hearing at Bristol Magistrates' Court, Miles Savory – director of Accident Claims Handlers – yesterday pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining the personal information of the plate's owner …

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  1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    So it turns out he's actually an 'unsavoury' character : -)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I am really shocked that someone who runs an accident claims company would ever resort to underhand and not quite legal practices, really shocked I tell you.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        and why does he want widow on his numberplate? for when he's chasing ambulances?

        1. jmch Silver badge

          "and why does he want widow on his numberplate?"

          Sad attempt to earn sympathy from ladies and/or show availability?

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Wouldn't he want "W1DOWER" then?

        2. Ogi

          > and why does he want widow on his numberplate?

          Similar reason to the guy he wanted to buy it from? Or maybe he owns an early Porsche 911 and wanted an appropriate plate?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    And what about the DVLA?

    Did they say:

    Thanks you for calling. Can we have the crime reference number and the Police station dealing with the case. Once we have that we will pass the information onto them and they will pass the details on.

    or:

    Sure no problem, here you go.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: And what about the DVLA?

      Why would the DVLA do something logical and helpful like that?

      1. Aqua Marina Silver badge

        Re: And what about the DVLA?

        I think the DVLA should be reported to the ICO for failing to have stringent checks in place. It looks like they give out info without any kind of due dilligence.

        1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

          Re: And what about the DVLA?

          Due diligence check was probably done initially against the company, so that any requests from them could be honoured without having to go through the rigmarole of a check each time.. Once initial trust has been established, the trusted party can (if they are so inclined, and he was) abuse that trust.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: And what about the DVLA?

            "the rigmarole of a check"

            The "rigmarole" could include requiring the crime number as per the OP and making 1 in N checks with the police. It's called "having a process in place".

            It raises the question of how DVLA will respond to further requests from this guy's office in future. If they really do make the thorough checks which now seem appropriate it could cost him a packet.

            1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: And what about the DVLA?

              Well in some countries everyone is entitled to look up any vehicle / owner details.

              So is it that big a deal?

              I realise there will be knee jerk privacy enthusiast downvotes , but it works in other countries - proper civilised countries i'm talking ... ( i think its Norway)

              They also make public how much everyone earns

              1. Peter2 Silver badge

                Re: And what about the DVLA?

                It's not publically available in the UK, and he broke the law in obtaining the information under false pretenses.

                So yes, it's a big deal in this country.

              2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                Re: And what about the DVLA?

                "privacy enthusiast"?

                What are you then? A privacy invasion enthusiast? Any authoritarian's wet dream.

        2. Goldmember

          Re: And what about the DVLA?

          "I think the DVLA should be reported to the ICO for failing to have stringent checks in place. It looks like they give out info without any kind of due dilligence."

          Big upvote for that. They've passed my details on to various cowboy private parking "companies" without any checks, and even allowed one of my previous cars - which was stolen and had been reported as such - to be registered to someone else and taxed.

          It seems that not only do they not have 'stringent' checks in place, they seemingly have no checks at all.

          Fuckers.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And what about the DVLA?

            As long as they go after the individuals responsible and don't fine the DVLA (ie tax payers).

            Like that's going to happen.

          2. TonyB

            Re: And what about the DVLA?

            Perhaps the system should be changed so that when a private (non police) entity asks for ownership details, you are also sent a copy of the response. And if it shows that the enquiry came from 'Ethical Parking Limited' and a week later you get a penalty demand from 'Bovver Boy Parking', you know that EPS have passed on your details to BBP (probably the same person, but legally separate entities so presumably in contravention of DVLC rules) and on receipt of a complaint, DVLC should stop both entities from accessing their data.

    2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: And what about the DVLA?

      I think the first question by the DVLA was "And how would you like to pay?"

  3. Len Goddard

    W1DOW

    I read that as widow, not window. So, not only an idiot but an idiot who cannot spell.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: W1DOW

      Windows on your mind? What's worse, not being able to spell, or not being able to read?

    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: W1DOW

      "I read that as widow, not window. So, not only an idiot but an idiot who cannot spell."

      Is this a Linux thang?

      1. Patrick R
        Windows

        Re: W1DOW

        At least (with W1ND0S) there could have been an IT angle.

      2. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

        Re: W1DOW

        I regret not buying L18NUX when it was up for sale a decade ago.

        1. Spanker

          Re: W1DOW

          There was a bloke at our City firm who paid a fortune for G3WAP, for his 850i if I recall.

          Not worth much now I guess.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if F3 LON is available for him...

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      It's a pity C0 CK is banned for the chap.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Let's fund C0 CKUP for him and force him to use it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Or F1 NED but I think PR15 SON would have been more appropriate here.

          1. ukgnome Silver badge

            he will have to make do with PR 1CK

            1. Sampler
  5. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
    Trollface

    They have internal combustion engines in Bristol now?

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      They didn't call it the Bristol Olympus (as seen used in the Vulcan, and Concorde) because it was made in Kent mate.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "They have internal combustion engines in Bristol now?"

      IIRC they used to have SOHC 2l engines back in the days when there were still side-valve engines in use.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
        Trollface

        Shame they were based in Filton, not Bristol.

  6. KingStephen

    Has he told his wife ...

    ... exactly why he wants that plate?

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Has he told his wife ...

      I suspect he probably drives a black car?

      Black widow.

  7. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    The article didn't mention

    how much the victim received ....

    1. Swarthy Silver badge

      Re: The article didn't mention

      my guess would be that the victim received "The satisfaction of seeing the perpetrator punished for his misdeeds"

      In Other Words: SFA

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Accident Claims Handlers Ltd

    https://companycheck.co.uk/company/03877804/ACCIDENT-CLAIMS-HANDLERS-LIMITED/companies-house-data

    Do they still have access to DVLA data after this?

  9. Test Man

    I think it's worrying that the DVLA readily give out personal data without any due diligence. In this case, if a crash happened with someone's vehicle, why aren't they asking the obvious question of "why aren't your insurance company asking us for this info?"?

    1. Aqua Marina Silver badge

      He managed to get the data by misusing his position, Director of "Accident Claims Handlers Ltd". The kind of company people use when making insurance claims.

      1. DJ Smiley

        Says it all really...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And do they still have access to DVLA data after the incident???

    2. jimbo36

      Because in the UK

      a) It is possible to self-insure, but as it's so expensive its only done by businesses

      b) You may be trying to settle without the use of an insurer.

      A better question, as mentioned by other people, would be "what is the crime reference number".

  10. zebthecat

    BE11 END

    1. Huw D
      1. Laura Kerr
  11. Spudley

    Somewhat unfortunate for the victim to be named in this article (and presumably in public elsewhere), given that the whole point of the case was that his privacy had been breached.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      My thought too. Still, one assumes that be knew that a court case would make his name public and yet he wasn't so fussed that he didn't proceed. The public don't have his contact details to pester him.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did he get the plate in the end?

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