Road Safety News
 

North Wales Police renews call for dash cam evidence

Friday 10th February 2017

North Wales Police is to continue running a campaign which asks people to submit video and photographic evidence of motoring offences.

Since its launch in October 2016, Operation Snap (#OpSnap) has seen 58 offences processed – ranging from driving without due care and attention, failing to comply with a red traffic signal and failing to comply with a solid white line.

North Wales Police has released a video (featured) showing a number of submissions and is calling for all road users to continue to submit footage and photos.

Operation Snap was launched in response to the ‘ever increasing’ submissions of video and photographic evidence from people who have witnessed driving offences on roads in North Wales.

The initiative has the backing of the Crown Prosecution Service and is intended to make North Wales’ roads safer for all users.

To support the initiative, North Wales Police has developed a streamlined back-office function to automate the process of accepting footage or photographs.

An email containing instructions showing how to upload footage or photographs is sent to anyone who contacts the police with evidence, together with a statement pro-forma and guidance notes. From there, a police officer reviews the evidence and takes a decision on any action that is appropriate.

North Wales Police Roads Policing Unit says several other UK police forces are interested in the initiative.

Sergeant John Roberts, North Wales Police, said: “We’ve had a really positive response so far and I’d like to thank everyone who has already submitted footage. We’ve also been overwhelmed by the response from colleagues in other police forces who are keen to see this initiative being rolled out in their area.

“We hope that people will feel safer and reassured by our efforts to tackle bad driving across the region. This is all about making the roads safer for all and we hope that Operation Snap deters people from taking any unnecessary risks.

“If you have footage from a dash cam, your pedal cycle cam or any other source that you feel supports you as a witness to an alleged motoring offence, we want to hear from you."


Related stories 

Drivers in Wales to be prosecuted using ‘dash cam’ evidence
16 October 2016


 

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I'm sure the police are always aware of the possibility of hidden agendas when receiving complaints from any individuals about other individuals anyway (not just drivers - could be neighbourly disputes) but as in the examples above on the video, the incidents don't seem to involve the observer at all and are incidents of poor driving captured by impartial observers who happened to be there, which is presumably what the police are asking for, rather than a film of say, someone's ex-wife checking her make-up in the rear view mirror.

The incident I referred to in my last comment was about a careless driver I reported which, as I say, the police took at face value and acted upon it. Had it been a mischievous complaint on my part, I think they would have sussed somehow - perhaps I just sound honest!
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (1)
+3

Dave Finney is alluding to a very important aspect of submitting video evidence of motoring offences. Those submitting the evidence may have antagonised or even have some grievance against the people they are reporting, a number of online video clips of "incidents" only show the final moments and while an offence may have been committed the victim may also be equally guilty.
James, Armagh

Agree (4) | Disagree (5)
-1

We learn something from every close call, or report of less than perfect driving. Whilst not every video clip will provide evidence on which to generate a warning letter, or even a prosecution, every one submitted "takes the temperature" on the safety out there on the roads. In the same way that wayward vehicles on an O licence register on an Operator Compliance Risk Score, which rates the operator green amber or red, and from this DVSA develops an intelligence-led use of resources, so a pattern of poor driving by an individual or at a location with regular times and places can prompt action, to monitor traffic at key times, or adjust road design and management to remove the potential for a road layout to be a major factor in some crashes.
Dave H

Agree (5) | Disagree (6)
-1

Steady on Dave. The idea is to encourage witnesses, not put them off. What else are you going to insist on?..strip-searches? No history of overdue library book fines? Glowing school reports?

I reported a relatively minor incident recently to Cheshire Police - it was all done over the 'phone...to their credit, they took it seriously, spoke to witnesses, checked CCTV etc. and reported back. They didn't come round and dig up my patio or interrogate me under a spotlight and no oaths were necessary. If anything goes to Court, that's when the oaths are important.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (15) | Disagree (7)
+8

We must be VERY careful when asking citizens to provide evidence to prosecute other citizens. We require Police officers to maintain a high standard of integrity precisely because an accuser must be beyond reproach. The same must be maintained when the accuser is a fellow citizen. I propose the following as a minimum standard:

1) The video evidence must include at least 10 minutes of continuous footage prior to the incident.
2) The accuser must certify under oath that they were the driver.
3) The accuser must certify under oath that the Video footage is entirely original (no editing whatsoever).
4) The accuser must be cautioned that any offences by the accuser will be prosecuted ahead of any offences by other citizens.

These would, I believe, go some way to satisfy those who may be concerned about the integrity of such prosecutions and we may then see an improvement in road safety that could be sustained.
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (9) | Disagree (19)
-10

It's good to see that they are actively encouraging evidence to be sent in, where historically they may have only reluctantly accepted such reports (without the video evidence). If this is taken up by other forces with the same encouragement and it is widely publicised, I think it could over time, with enough contributions make a big difference. Publicity is vital however, as the wrongdoers need to know that they are more likely than not, to be reported.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (13) | Disagree (5)
+8