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We can't be everywhere but with this solution we could be anywhere'


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GoSafe Partnership Manager Teresa Healy said her teenage son could have done it.


Inspector Steve Davies and Teresa Healy

A retired sergeant took matters into his own hands and launched a dash cam footage service from his own kitchen after becoming frustrated with red tape at his former force.

Inspector Steve Davies from South Wales Police and Teresa Healy from GoSafe, urged English police forces to copy their simple digital solution which allows members of the public to submit clips of poor driving via a drag-and-drop online form.

Inspector Davies told the roads policing conference this week that Operation Snap had cut officer time processing dash cam submission from 15 hours to 20 minutes.

He said: “All the credit has to go to a now retired police sergeant from North Wales Police called John Roberts.

“Basically he was hitting his head against a brick wall thinking 'why on Earth are we having so many problems with people trying to send us footage in?'

“And he asked himself why can’t we deal with these submissions in exactly the same way as we do with speed camera offences - why can't we streamline the process?

“And he was met with the most costly words in business: because we’ve always done it that way

“So John actually started the Operation Snap project in North Wales running from his kitchen table, using his own internet and his own laptop and using dropbox because the police force wouldn’t allow it any other way.”

After a new ACC moved to North Wales and found out what John was doing he “immediately mandated” that it would be rolled out as an all-Wales project.

They used a company called egress to host web cloud storage with an online contact form. Designated roads police officers review the footage on a regular basis and decide what action to take - from a warning letter to court action.

Inspector Davies said: “I know as a traffic supervisor I used to dread getting these instances because I knew how long it would take my boys and girls to deal with these events. We estimated a submission would take in the region of 15 hours of police time to investigate.

“We all know about the reduction in police numbers. I know in South Wales we’ve seen a reduction of 43 per cent in traffic cops in the last sort of ten years so we can’t be everywhere but with this solution we could be anywhere."

He added: “When police started using body cam Cambridge University did a study and what they found was that complaints against police dropped by 93 per cent.

“But that’s because not only was the member of the public’s behaviour changing because of the fear of being recorded but also the cops’ behaviour also changed.

“We basically want drivers to ask themselves two questions, firstly is there a chance of being recorded and secondly do I want to take that risk.”

Ms Healy said the biggest challenge was IT security but “it’s not complicated and it was very cheap - my son’s 18 and he could probably have done it.”

“I’ve been in speed cameras since 2005 and why are they successful? Not because people don’t think they should speed because people don’t speed when they think they’re going to get caught,” she said.

She added that GoSafe is very willing to share their work with other police forces and wants the project to be replicated across Britain.

An estimated 120-150 clips are submitted through Operation Snap each month and about two per cent end up in court. 

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If they could effectively streamline it before its rolled out over the UK that would be super. . 

Our traffic file team is so backed up you are hard pushed to meet the 6 month cut off for jobs submitted on the day. 

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The issue is...the more you publicise it the more submissions you will get.

It wouldn't take long before we would struggle to deal with the influx.

After all, some dash cam owners are professional provocateurs - just go on youtube to find hundreds of such posters who could easily contribute a video a day of 'bad driving' which is usually exacerbated by the camera car!

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