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Campaigners call for national guidelines on submission of dash and helmet cam evidence

Some forces currently accept public video footage while others do not

At the weekend we reported how dash cam footage of a frightening near miss submitted to Greater Manchester Police had allegedly been overlooked on the grounds that there was no complaint from the cyclist affected. Amid confusion about how different forces treat video evidence, campaigners have called for guidelines to help clarify the situation.

The BBC reports that all four police forces in Wales are to start using dash cam footage recorded by the public to investigate driving offences following a successful pilot scheme by North Wales Police.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Head of Advocacy and Campaigns said: “Cycling UK welcomed North Wales Police’s Operation Snap when we learned about it in its infancy. We saw the willingness of the force to accept video footage from both dash and helmet cams as a great step forward, particularly as they were using it to prosecute offenders.

“Cam footage is clearly here to stay and the quality is only going to improve. If forces are not willing to move with the times and accept it, then they might as well be policing in the last century.

“Currently we have some forces, such as North Wales and West Midlands, willing to accept dash and helmet cam footage and others who refuse to do so. This inconsistency needs to be addressed urgently and national guidelines for the submission of footage agreed, so it doesn’t matter whether you’re submitting evidence in Llanberis or Newcastle, the process and potential for prosecution remains the same.”

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, also expressed concern about inconsistency between different forces. “IAM RoadSmart is calling for consistent national guidelines on the standard of dash cam footage required for prosecutions, what the police will do with it and how to submit it in the correct way.”

He did however add that it was his belief that dash cams should not become a replacement for officers undertaking high profile roads policing.

Greig also said that dash cam footage didn’t always show the full picture of a crash, suggesting that it was often too short, poor quality, failed to show how a crash developed or only showed a restricted angle.

Dollimore countered: “While IAM RoadSmart are correct that video evidence will not always show the full picture of a collision, the reality is without it we’d often have nothing apart from poor recollection.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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Daviidt | 6 years ago

why do we heve bother reborting  an near misssies as nothing ever happings evening when you get footage from dash cames from other road useers!!!! as it wasnt the bike rider it effected ???

tarquin_foxglove | 6 years ago

From speaking to my local force (they don't have an online way to submit video at the moment, you'd need to go to the station & drop off the file & make a report etc)  the reason they haven't implemented a system yet is that they want a 3 tier system of online reporting, that the sender selects their preferred outcome when they submit.

  1.  For information purposes. eg: This happens a lot on this stretch of road, why don't you do a targeted campaign here? The footage won't be viewed at the time, just logged for future reference & it should be an automated process.
  2. A letter to the driver & record kept for future reference. Footage viewed by trained volunteer, who decides if driver deserving of a letter. Unlikely to be consistently resourced to guarantee enough time for NIP if incident considered serious enough but could be escalated.
  3. Incident considered for prosecution. Footage viewed by an officer, who decides on the outcome.

They just need help with the IT, training for volunteers & extra resource to dedicate an officer to reviewing all the footage.

dog_film | 6 years ago

I sent, through Police Witness, three bits of footage. It was sent to the Specials. Not the regular police. 

Taken footage in to a police station. They were more interested in the camera. 

If you don't have the resources I understand but don't make the person reporting and incident feel as if your an inconvenience? 

Pay £5 per incident as a bounty. Seriously. I'd only gage to work four hours a day. 

Richard D | 6 years ago
1 like

Been waiting over a month for an acknowledgement from one of the "good" forces that they have received my video (presented to them as a clip from each of two cameras, a slow-motion version, and the full footage from start to end of my journey), or my section 9 statement.  And I've not received any other update  either - is the close pass and assault I reported being investigated, let alone being prosecuted?

I'm a bit surprised that police forces need much in the way of guidelines in this to be honest.  The courts are almost always receptive to the best available evidence, and have not shied away from viewing video footage of alleged crime whoever (and however) the footage was shot - because the court is usually concerned with receiving the best evidence available.  I have no idea why police forces still fail to grasp this (but then, my interactions with police officers have often thrown up some "interesting" interpretations from them as to the requirements of the law).

Pub bike | 6 years ago

The Met Police site is kind of okay but then they only give you 10 days to upload evidence, and if you submit the video after the report, they generally don't pick it up in time, so they avoid following up on crimes.  In other words you have to prepare the video and report the crime as soon as you get home.

Also the site doesn't have an account facility so you have to enter your details again and again. They could have registration checking on their site but they don't so you have to use other sites.  I use Euro car parts and DVLA to get all the details.

All in all it is very time consuming esp. if you have front and rear cameras.

It would be a lot better if the Police just did more active policing and stopped the bad driving in the first place.

dominicall replied to Pub bike | 6 years ago

Pub bike wrote:

It would be a lot better if the Police just did more active policing and stopped the bad driving in the first place.

The police are far too busy now following up on the dreadful crime of upsetting someone on social media to worry about real crime.

don simon fbpe | 6 years ago
1 like

From the article:


He added footage could be used to prove innocence as well as guilt.

I am innocent until proven guilty, I don't need some muppet's dashcam to prove me innocent. It's all very 1984, and very wrong.

hawkinspeter | 6 years ago

This sounds overdue.

I was impressed with Avon & Somerset's facility:

They ask for less than 2 minutes either side of the incident, so you can chop your footage to a sensible size and upload it.

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