‘Dash cam’ evidence sent in by members of the public will be used to prosecute drivers who break the law, under a new initiative by North Wales Police.
Operation Snap, or #OpSnap, has been launched in response to an increase in the amount of video and photographic evidence submitted by people who have witnessed driving offences.
The initiative has the full support of the Crown Prosecution Service and is intended to make journeys on the roads of North Wales safer for all road users.
To support the initiative, North Wales Police has developed a streamlined back-office function to automate the process of accepting footage or photographs.
An email containing instructions showing how to upload footage or photographs is sent to anyone who contacts the police with evidence, together with a statement pro-forma and guidance notes. From there, a police officer reviews the evidence and takes a decision on any action that is appropriate.
Chief Inspector Darren Wareing, North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit, said: “North Wales Police recognises that the vast majority of the public want to use the road network to get from A to B safely. They don’t wish to tolerate unnecessary risks that some are exposed to by the actions of others.
"Over recent months we have received footage capturing motoring offences including careless and dangerous driving, people on mobile telephones and people being distracted whilst using their smart devices behind the wheel.
North Wales Police is encouraging road users of all types to send in footage.
Chief Inspector Wareing added: “We also recognise that vulnerable road users – including cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders – are now using cameras. We are seeing some awful very close passes and people pulling in and out of junctions putting cyclists in danger.
“Often the car driver has taken an unnecessary risk – or didn’t even see them! We will not tolerate this and wish to support all road users, including those who are most vulnerable, to have a safe journey.”
Justin Espie, Crown Prosecution Service Cymru-Wales, said: “Operation Snap builds on the already positive working relationship between police and prosecutors in North Wales.
“Good policing has always been reliant upon the support of the public, so any scheme that allows the public to submit quality evidence quickly and easily is worthy of support.
“The scheme takes advantage of the increased use and availability of dash cam footage, allowing the public to participate directly in improving road safety. For the most part, minor incidents will result in driver education courses, thereby updating and improving driver skills. In more serious cases, video footage is often the best evidence available to help secure a conviction.”