Police in Gloucestershire are using a mobile camera that can catch offenders from up to a kilometre away, as part of a new road safety operation.
On 14 November, the force launched Operation Indemis, a new ‘collaborative approach’ to improve the safety of some of the county’s busiest roads, including the A417/419 – a major strategic route that links Gloucestershire with Wiltshire as well as the M4 and M5.
Unlike traditional speed guns, which can only measure the speed of vehicles, the new camera produces ‘clear, high-quality’ video footage and photographs.
It means that driving offences such as mobile phone use and failing to wear a seatbelt, can now be detected before a driver is aware of the camera.
Martin Surl, Gloucestershire’s police and crime commissioner says the aim of the operation is not simply to penalise motorists – but to ‘uphold the law by creating a change in people’s behaviour’.
The project will be evaluated at the end of the year, against a range of measures currently being developed, to determine its longer term sustainability and benefits.
Mark Soderland, chief inspector, Gloucestershire Police, said: “A core aim of the approach is collaborating wherever possible with other road safety stakeholders.
“The team has started with Highways England and (Gloucestershire) County Council and is now approaching groups such as the Motor Insurers Bureau and the DVSA to explore what opportunities there might be to work together and improve safety.
“Criminality is also important to the operation. Having a police presence on a strategic road such as the A417 is an excellent opportunity to prevent and disrupt criminals entering the county. Hence the use of the vehicle’s ANPR and intelligence briefings.
“Officers have been instructed to stop any vehicle they deem appropriate to do so – whether it is because of poor standard of driving, the condition of a vehicle, criminal intelligence led enquiries or other intelligence like missing persons.”