Wednesday, December 2, 2020
formerly Meon Valley Local News Team


Police Launch Video Submission Scheme But Pilot Figures Show Low Action Rate

By Times Reporter in Crime News on August 28, 2020

Hampshire Police have today launched a new scheme aimed at using submitted footage of dangerous incidents to protect road users – but just less one in three reports sent in during a pilot scheme resulted in any action.

The scheme – called Hants SNAP – has been through a near year-long pilot from August last year to June this year, during which police focused on incidents which placed the most vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, at risk.

During the pilot (August 5th 2019 to June 30 2020), police received 261 submissions, with formal action being taken in 29 per cent of these.

Of the submissions, five resulted in a full criminal investigation. This also led to:

– 26 per cent of submissions involving cyclists leading to formal action
– 46 per cent of incidents involving pedestrians leading to formal action

Since the start of July, police have also received a further 216 submissions, with formal action in just under half of these so far (46 per cent).

Now they are opening up the scheme to cover all road users and offences for which people can submit footage. Under the scheme, footage of dangerous incidents can be submitted via an online portal. This can be from a dashcam, headcam or other recording devices that are being legally used.

The footage must meet the below criteria:

– It must be reported within seven days
– Should not be edited
– Should not have been deleted from your device
– Should not be shared on social media
– Needs to show between one to two minutes either side of the incident
– If it is from a collision, or an offence not listed in the criteria set out on the submission portal, then it will need to be reported by calling 101, or online via the police’s website.

Along with the footage, people will submit a witness statement and will be required to answer some basic questions to support their statement.

Once police have received this, it will be reviewed by trained decision-makers to assess whether any offences have been committed. They will consider whether action is proportionate and if there is sufficient evidence to prosecute any person involved. For those Hampshire Police do prosecute, outcomes could include an educational course, fixed penalty notice, court prosecution or a warning letter.

Summary Justice Unit manager Conor Curtis said: “Those who drive carelessly or dangerously on our roads will have action taken against them. We have already dealt with a range of offences, including driving without due care and attention, failing to comply with a red light and driving on a hard shoulder. As we increase the scope of the initiative, we continue to see examples of these incidents.

“In the majority of cases where we do take action, the person submitting the footage won’t need to do anything further, and wouldn’t be contacted by us again. We will only get in touch with people if a case is prosecuted at court, which is a small percentage. Hants SNAP enables us to protect all road users that need our help and to save lives.”

During the pilot (August 5 to June 30), police received 261 submissions, with formal action being taken in 29 per cent of these.

Of the submissions, five resulted in a full criminal investigation. This also led to:

– 26 per cent of submissions involving cyclists leading to formal action
– 46 per cent of incidents involving pedestrians leading to formal action

Since the start of July, police have also received a further 216 submissions, with formal action in just under half of these so far (46 per cent).

Road Safety Sergeant Scott Kerr said: “We are unable to be everywhere at all times, but with the SNAP scheme, we can now be anywhere. We are asking drivers who commit offences – is it worth the risk? We don’t think so and our aim is to spread the message and educate as many people as possible to help improve the safety of our roads across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.”

Footage can be submitted by going to https://hants-snap-police.egressforms.com or via the Force website.

However, the low proportion of actions has been criticised. Cyclist Tim Pickering said: “I’m absolutely fuming. This really shows a fundamental, systematic lack of understanding within the Hampshire Police force of what constitutes “Careless Driving”, but then is that really such as surprise given that in the past they have send letters to people who have been attacked by drivers for simply being on the road, on the basis of “no injury, not worth following up”.

“With Hampshire County being deemed the most dangerous to cycle in 2019, this is a fundamental, systematic failure of the team to protect the public on the Roads in a period when the government have been encouraging people out on bikes, both as a mode of transport, and as a means of exercise.

“I know that Hampshire Police are seriously underfunded, but this is way to use the scant funding they do have to massively improve the efficiency of their team and, as they say, “We are unable to be everywhere at all times, but with the SNAP scheme, we can now be anywhere” – but what’s the point with such a low response rate when it takes an hour to generate a report only for it to go in the bin?

“By not actioning such reports, they imply to the driver that dangerous driving is “ok”, which will result in the drivers repeatedly doing the same. Hampshire Police really need to step up and adopt the Vision Zero principles of road safety: Near misses are the base of the Heinrich Safety triangle, and need to be addressed to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities across the county.

“Now, I’m glad that the numbers being actioned are up, but it’s important to understand the difference between the submissions being made, and the types of user involved; my guess would be the percentage of incidents involving someone on a bike being actioned is the same. However, I was previously by someone within Hampshire Police that the Action rate up to December last year was 10%, so there ‘may’ be an upward trend.”

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