New video submission service aims to keep county’s roads safer
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Northamptonshire Police has rolled out a new road safety initiative which enables people to report driving offences by uploading video evidence via a simple online portal.
Operation Snap: Northamptonshire allows people to submit dashcam and phone videos alongside a form recording what happened, which can then be used to take action against drivers who have broken the law.
Run by the Force’s Safer Roads Team, Operation Snap has already seen action taken against 37 drivers from the 59 video submissions received during the scheme’s introductory test period.
PC David Lee of the Safer Roads Team said: “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 new service allows people to share evidence of that with us quickly and easily so we can take prompt and appropriate action.”
Operation Snap 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.
Drivers making a report upload their 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.”
During the trial period, three drivers submitting reports went on to receive NIPs themselves.
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.
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “I’ve always been clear that I strongly support the use of innovative new technology where it helps to improve effectiveness and the service given to the public. I’m excited to see how Operation Snap will make it easier for people to pass on information and support the work of the Safer Roads Team.”
PC Lee added: “We’re not asking the public to do our job for us, but to help us keep our roads safer for everyone by taking action to report those who endanger others.
“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.”