Fleet News

Dashcam evidence a ‘game changer’ for enforcement, says RAC

The RAC is suggesting that drivers should always drive as if they are being watched by the police, with scores of dashcam recordings submitted to police forces on a daily basis.

As many as 89 dashcam video recordings of alleged motoring offences were submitted to police forces every day in 2019, according to data analysed by the RAC.

A total of 32,370 pieces of footage were received by 24 police forces that accept video evidence of driving offences from members of the public, double the number recorded in 2018 (15,159).

Data from the RAC’s freedom of information request also shows that a quarter of these (25% – 8,148) went on to result in prosecutions.

Police forces, according to the study, are making it increasingly easy for drivers and other road users to submit camera footage of unsuspecting alleged rule-breakers, with all of Britain’s 44 forces now accepting dashcam video, and the vast majority online via their websites.

Fleet News reported in October how The National Dash Cam Safety Portal, which allows motorists to quickly and securely upload footage of dangerous driving to the relevant police authority, is now being used by 33 forces, which have collectively received 21,324 uploads in total since 2018, when it was launched. 

The greatest number of potentially prosecutable offences in 2019 were submitted to the Met Police, a total of 8,082.

Surrey had the second highest tally with 3,542, followed by West Midlands – 3,242 in third spot and Gwent – 3,037 – in fourth. Greater Manchester received the fifth highest number of dashcam videos with 2,940.

RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams said: “The advent of dashcams, phones with cameras and helmet cameras have been a game changer as drivers can now easily submit footage to almost every police force.”

The RAC found that footage submitted to police related to the following offences: dangerous driving, careless driving/driving without due care and attention, driving too close to cyclists, contravening red traffic lights, contravening double white lines, contravening ‘no entry’ signs, illegal use of a handheld mobile phone and evidence of vehicles apparently without MOTs.

Williams continued: “As so many drivers and cyclists are now using dashcams and helmet cameras every road user needs to be very conscious that any of their actions that aren’t in accordance with the law could end up with the police.

“Some will inevitably find this out the hard way while others will hopefully become increasingly mindful of it.”

The Freedom of Information request, submitted by the RAC, shows that one-in-four footage submissions led to a successful prosecution.

“There are no doubt numerous reasons why this figure isn’t higher,” said Williams, “but we suspect it has to do with the recorded evidence not being as conclusive as it needs to be.

“This may be due to the nature of the offence, with certain offences such as double white line, red traffic light and ‘no entry’ contraventions being easier to determine than illegal handheld mobile phone use and careless driving.”

Williams believes it might also be the case that footage filmed on mobile phones is not as comprehensive for officers to work with as video evidence from dashcams and helmet cams, which film live footage continuously when the vehicle is in motion.

“Those choosing to submit mobile phone video – whether as passengers or pedestrians – may well have missed the worst of the alleged offence as they reached to capture it,” added Williams.

“With more and more people getting dashcams the message for 2021 has to be: always drive as if you’re being watched by the police.

“If more drivers who are inclined to break the laws of the road were to think this way, the safer the roads would be for all of us.”

Police Force

Submissions 2018

Submissions 2019

Prosecutions 2018

Prosecutions 2019

Accept video?

Avon and Somerset

DNR

DNR

DNR

DNR

Yes

Bedfordshire Constabulary*

NH*

NH*

NH*

370*

Yes

Cambridgeshire Constabulary*

See Bedfordshire

See Bedfordshire

See Bedfordshire

See Bedfordshire

Yes

Cheshire Constabulary

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

Yes

City of London Police

DNR

DNR

DNR

DNR

Yes

Cleveland Police

NH

NH

NH

NH

Yes

Cumbria Constabulary

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

Yes

Derbyshire Constabulary

NH

689

NH

DNP

Yes

Devon & Cornwall Police

NH

606

NH

111

Yes

Dorset Police

NH

251

NH

63

Yes

Durham Constabulary

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

Yes

Dyfed-Powys Police

421

375

DNP

DNP

Yes

Essex Police

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

Yes

Gloucestershire Constabulary

NH

293

NH

16

Yes

Greater Manchester Police

546

2940

225

760

Yes

Gwent Police

2407

3037

DNP

DNP

Yes

Hampshire Constabulary

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

Yes

Hertfordshire Constabulary*

See Bedfordshire

See Bedfordshire

See Bedfordshire

See Bedfordshire

Yes

Humberside Police

NH

83

NH

8

Yes

Kent Police

852

644

DNP

DNP

Yes

Lancashire Constabulary

NH

104

NH

74

Yes

Leicestershire Police

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

Yes

Lincolnshire Police

NH

140

NH

NH

Yes

Merseyside Police

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

Yes

Metropolitan Police

5629

8082

1415

2070

Yes

Norfolk Constabulary**

944

658

499

327

Yes

North Wales Police

682

776

34

25

Yes

North Yorkshire Police

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

Yes

Northamptonshire Police

NH

NH

DNP

DNP

Yes

Northumbria Police

113

1351

DNP

DNP

Yes

Nottinghamshire Police

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

Yes

Police Scotland

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

Yes***

South Wales Police

NH

1534

NH

681

Yes

South Yorkshire Police

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

Yes

Staffordshire Police

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

Yes

Suffolk Constabulary**

See Norfolk

See Norfolk

See Norfolk

See Norfolk

Yes

Surrey Police

1291

3542

NH

1273

Yes

Sussex Police

DNP

DNP

121

124

Yes

Thames Valley Police

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

Yes

Warwickshire Police

DNP

592

DNP

95

Yes

West Mercia Police

1181

2211

498

670

Yes

West Midlands Police

1093

3242

649

1481

Yes

West Yorkshire Police

DNR

DNR

DNR

DNR

Yes

Wiltshire Police

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

Yes

TOTAL

15159

31150

3441

8148

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY

 

 

 

 

 

DNP = Did not provide

 

 

 

 

 

NH = Not held

 

 

 

 

 

DNR = Did not respond

 

 

 

 

 

* Bedfordshire figure/s are the combined figure/s for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Police

** Norfolk figure/s are the combined figures/s for both Norfolk Police and Suffolk Police

*** Drivers are asked to contact Police Scotland via 1010 first before submitting footage

 


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