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Massive public support in Scotland for police to bring in video reporting system to catch dangerous drivers

Police Scotland among five UK police forces without online video reporting system – Cycling UK poll shows they are out of step with public opinion

Three in five people living in Scotland want police to introduce an online video reporting system to help catch dangerous drivers, according to a poll commissioned by Cycling UK, which highlights that Police Scotland is one of just five forces across the UK that has not yet implemented such a system.

The national cycling charity, along with the AA, RAC and 30 other organisations, wrote to Police Scotland in March this year calling for police to introduce a facility that would enable members of the public to upload footage of poor driving, as 40 police forces nationwide have already done.

> 10 tips for submitting good quality camera evidence to police

Now, a survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Cycling UK has found that 59 per cent of Scottish adults back the Scottish Government – which has announced a Vision Zero target for road deaths and serious injuries by 2050 – working with Police Scotland to roll out such a scheme, which the charity says saves between eight and 12 hours of police time on each case.

Some 17 per cent of respondents said they opposed the idea, while an identical percentage were neutral on the issue and the remaining 8 per cent said they did not know, according to the poll which was conducted online among 1,204 adults aged 16+ between 16-20 April, with the results weighted to be representative nationally. The question posed in the survey was:

To what extent would you    support or oppose the Scottish government working with the police in    Scotland to set-up an online system that allows the public to upload    footage of dangerous driving on Scottish roads?

Some 24 per cent of survey participants said that they strongly supported the proposal,  with 35 per cent saying they somewhat supported it. By contrast, 10 per cent said they were somewhat opposed, and just 7 per cent that they were strongly opposed to the idea.

Jim Densham, Cycling UK’s campaigns and policy manager for Scotland, said: “The Scottish public want to see this life-saving measure brought in.

“The evidence shows it will save police time and hold dangerous drivers to account. The decision is a no brainer and we hope the government will work with Police Scotland to make our roads safer as soon as possible.

“Introducing this new system would be a signal of intent from both the government and Police Scotland on making good on the Vision Zero target,” he added.

“Road crime is real crime – the submission of video evidence will help ensure it is dealt with appropriately, while also freeing up valuable police time to deal with other serious crimes.”

AA president, Edmund King, commented: “There is now evidence that the majority of road-users, including drivers, and a major coalition of road and safety groups support a camera footage reporting system to make the roads safer in Scotland.

“AA members have been supportive of our ‘ThinkBikes!’ sticker campaign for some years and this initiative, targeted at dangerous drivers and riders, can further improve road safety for all.”

Police Scotland regularly carry out operations targeting drivers who overtake cyclists too closely, with the latest happening just yesterday in the Leith area of Edinburgh and resulting in six motorists being stopped and spoken to after making close passes on a plain clothes police officer on a bike and given advice on how to overtake safely in future.

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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Safety | 2 years ago

Having had a whinge on this forum before about Polis Scotland I am pleased to see this article. Having also prwviyosly whinged about lack of response from Greens to my correspondence I can report yesterday I received a reply from Lorna Slater MSP (minor minister?) staff member saying she would write to Polis asking them to introduce facility. I won't hold my breath but it is perhaps a start. And as TheBillder suggests will send link to report to her.

ayewalters | 2 years ago

Take it a stage further and link video library to a supporting database of "offender" vehicles that could be perused by motor insurance penalties for poor driving might help. Just a thought...

NPlus1Bikelights | 2 years ago

From recent cycling in Aberdeen and Edinburgh I can state:

Top bandwidth use in Scotland 2022
1. Youtube
2. Netflix
3. Prime
4. Police Scotland video reporting system

Velo-drone | 2 years ago
1 like

This would be good.

But multiple sources confirm that it is established practice for Police Scotland to demand two sources of evidence before they will even contemplate investigating careless/ dangerous driving incidents - and that they will insist that an officer must interview the 'witness' (i.e. the victim of the dangerous driving) in person, regardless of if that person e.g. does not live in Scotland and therefore it is not practicable to send an officer to them.

The real issue therefore is the need to shift the operational approach from one of taking every effort possible to avoid investigating such incidents to begin with, to one where they start from an assessment of the risk of harm, and in cases where this is high that they work from the basis of the minimum they need to pursue enforcement action.

wtjs replied to Velo-drone | 2 years ago

it is established practice for Police Scotland to demand two sources of evidence before they will even contemplate investigating careless/ dangerous driving incidents

All of these police dodges are designed to do exactly what you think they're designed to do: to make it as difficult as possible for people to make complaints. They long for the good old days when they could just issue the curled lip sneer: if only we had some evidence, sir, it's your word against his. Now, we have the indisputable evidence, they have to disparage it: we need 2 minutes before and after; we need video from the offending vehicle (dodge verified only from Lancashire so far); we need rear facing footage as well... eventually they'll try to demand overhead drone video as well. The aim is: no cyclist blood on the road=no offence; cyclist dead or seriously injured=insufficient evidence and the driver said the cyclist just leapt out into the middle of the road for no reason

TheBillder replied to wtjs | 2 years ago

See my post on nmotd 624: these hurdles are not removable by the police as they are statutory. Still mad, of course. I am working on a letter for MSPs as this needs parliamentary action, and I'll be referencing the Cycling UK poll.

If the SNP - Green pact is ratified, active travel will get more priority so perhaps the door is a little ajar for this kind of change.

wtjs replied to TheBillder | 2 years ago
1 like

Don't get your hopes up too much! You can upload evidence .pdfs and video files of up to 60 MB very easily to Lancashire Constabulary these days, but they don't look at them. They see the online incident reporting system as an easy way to file them in the bin, or send them to the 'community policing team', which is the same thing.

OnTheRopes | 2 years ago
1 like

All well and good, but if like Derbyshire they rarely if ever act on it and never seem to offer feedback, why bother?

Rik Mayals unde... | 2 years ago

What is the point of asking Police Scotland to introduce this? Look how many forces in England have the means to prosecute, but cannot be bothered?

wtjs replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 2 years ago

True!. Lancashire Constabulary will do precisely nothing about this, which includes some unintelligible abuse from the woman driver who was steering with one hand and leaning and turned towards me as she shouted. However, the lack of action will be part of my likely fruitless complaint to the PCC. But you have to keep going to the next level!

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