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Dashcam evidence is a ‘game changer’ for police

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).

The 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.

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 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.

“Even before the decline in the number of roads police enforcing traffic offences, law-abiding drivers were often frustrated that there was never an officer there to deal with infringements they witnessed,” said RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams.

“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.

“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.

“In terms of how effective dashcams are from a law enforcement point of view our freedom of information request shows that one-in-four footage submissions lead to a successful prosecution.”

The greatest number of potentially prosecutable offences in 2019 were submitted to The Met Police (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.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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