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Is submitting close pass footage to the police a postcode lottery?

One reader's experience in Norfolk contrasts with story we posted about Derbyshire Constabulary...

When we published an article earlier this week about a cyclist who had submitted 25 videos of poor driving to Derbyshire Constabulary, resulting in just one motorist receiving a warning letter, we said that we suspected there was a postcode lottery going on with regards to whether certain police forces took action on such footage.

It’s clear to anyone who follows discussion on Twitter relating to the safety of cyclists that certain forces stand out – in particular the road safety teams of West Midlands and Surrey Police.

Our article on Monday, however, prompted reader Paul to get in touch about his experience with Norfolk Constabulary.

He put together a video (above) showing 11 incidents, eight of which resulted in the motorist concerned receiving a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP).

> Cyclist submits 25 videos of poor driving to police – but only one motorist receives a warning letter

Paul told us: “I thought I'd send these clips in to try and balance out Pompey Cyclist’s experience of the police not acting on footage of close passes.

“My clip shows 11 incidents, eight of which resulted in the police sending the owner of the vehicle a notice of intended prosecution, one of which I ended up going to court for (the black Range Rover) and the final two were sent warning letters.

“I don't know the final result for the letters of intended prosecution, the policeman I was in contact with talked about ‘due care’,” he continued.

“The court visit resulted in three points plus a fine and costs.”

Paul added: “In total over the past 18 months since Norfolk Constabulary launched their dashcam webpage I've sent them footage of 94 incidents.

“In 42 of them I haven't been informed of the result, 42 have resulted in notices of intended prosecution being sent to the vehicle owners, seven have been sent warning letters, I've been to court once and two resulted in no further action.”

It’s not a bad hit rate, and as we said earlier, there does appear to be something of a postcode lottery at work … in other words, the success you get from the footage you submit depends on the police force it is given to.

If you send footage of close passes and other incidents to the police, we’d be very interested to hear your own experience in the comments below; be sure to tell us which police force is involved, and feel free to add links to any footage.

Meanwhile, one senior police officer is taking an interest in Pompey Cyclist’s submissions … Detective Superintendent Andy Cox, the road safety lead at the Metropolitan Police.

Unfortunately, since the incidents didn’t happen on his patch, there’s not much that he can do on them other than perhaps having a word with colleagues in Derbyshire and get them to take such evidence more seriously.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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