First conviction for Operation Snap: Northamptonshire
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A motorist who was caught on a cycle-cam overtaking a cyclist in excess of 90mph has become the first person to be convicted at court as part of Northamptonshire Police’s Operation Snap.
Denzel Masawi of Sunningdale Drive in Rushden, was convicted at Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday, December 16, after pleading not guilty to driving in excess of a 30mph speed limit.
The 26-year-old was recorded on the cyclist’s camera as Masawi overtook him at a speed which was calculated at a minimum of 91.5mph on the A502 Bedford Road in Rushden on Wednesday, September 11 this year.
Masawi was disqualified from driving for six months and fined £592 by magistrates and was ordered to pay a surcharge to fund victim services of £59, and costs of £620.
PC Dave Lee of the Safer Roads Team said: “Operation Snap was launched to allow members of the public who capture bad driving on camera to easily submit it to Northamptonshire Police. This new process makes it easier for both those with cameras capturing the bad driving and for us to be able to process it.
“At first Masawli was issued with a notice of intended prosecution for careless driving and any other offences, however, after the video had been analysed and his minimum speed was calculated at being in excess of 90mph, the offence was changed to driving in excess of the 30mph speed limit.
“This was our first submission under Operation Snap and I’m pleased the courts have dealt with the driver positively. This speed was three times the legal limit and could have very easily ended in disaster.
“Operation Snap lets the public help us keep our county's roads safer by enabling us to take action on driving offences we otherwise wouldn’t see.
“When people see a marked police car they tend to drive carefully and behave, but we know members of the public see bad and dangerous driving all the time.
“This service allows people to share evidence of that with us quickly and easily so we can take prompt and appropriate action.
“Through our use of Operation Snap, the chance of getting caught for committing traffic offences goes up, and if that fear of getting caught results in people driving more safely then that’s only a good thing."
Operation Snap was rolled out by the Force in October, and enables people to report driving offences by uploading video evidence via a simple online portal on the Northamptonshire Police website.
Drivers making a report upload their dash-cam or phone video footage and fill out a form which automatically creates a witness statement to provide a full account of the incident.
Reports are triaged by trained police staff to check they fall within the scheme's remit and contain clear views of offenders' number plates so they can be identified. If they do, police officers in the Safer Roads Team then examine the footage and reports to identify offences and begin legal proceedings where required.
PC Lee said: “It's really important that people submitting footage do so as soon as possible after the incident, as if an offence has been committed we only have 14 days to send out the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP).
“It's also important to remember we examine footage for evidence of offences by all parties, so please don't break the law in order to report someone else to us, or you could be in trouble as well.”
The introduction of Operation Snap has been funded by the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner with the support of the Department for Transport, and forms part of Northamptonshire Police's commitment to prevent and reduce serious and fatal collisions.
It can be used for the offences of dangerous driving, careless driving, driving without due care and attention, using a mobile phone while driving, not wearing a seatbelt, failing to stop at a red traffic light, crossing solid white lines and offences where a driver is not in proper control of a vehicle. It cannot be used to report collisions.
Find out more and submit video footage at www.northants.police.uk/OpSnap