AVZ Blog (Feb22) Road crime reporting – new AVZ survey

This blog can be downloaded here

Careless driving detection is on the rise. Between 2017-2020, careless driving sanctions rose by 30%. We believe this increase has been helped by dedicated members of the public who submit videos of unsafe driving to the police.

So, if you were one of these local road danger reduction helpers, we want to hear from you. Our new survey aims to collect and compare the experiences of the people submitting.

This survey asks about

  • Level of confidence in the police’s response to videos
  • Ease of submitting videos
  • Satisfaction with efforts to publicise and promote reporting system
  • Confidence in how many videos result in sanctions
  • If feedback is provided on outcome and also reasons for no action, including how to improve submissions
  • Suggestions on how to improve the effectiveness of road crime reporting through videos.

A draft of the survey was shared with our roads policing campaigner network as well as with police and academics. We kept the survey short and will follow up with individual respondents.

Findings will be published and shared with the NPCC Road Crime Reporting Working Group, chaired by Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Cox, an early supporter of dash/head cam videos.

We believe this should be an annual survey checking on the level of satisfaction and ideas for improvement from those investing their time and energy to help the police.

Text Box: Promote third party reporting and Community Speed Watch The long arm of the law can be made much longer with the help of the community. Schemes such as Operation Snap and Community Speed Watch, not only demonstrate community priorities but also help extend enforcement in a very costefficient manner. In the West Midlands Police, the Road Harm Prevention team rightly described third party reporting as a “game changer”.Third party reporting, better referred to as road crime reporting, was a key call in our 2021 Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) manifesto where we called on PCCs to:

Please do respond to our survey if you have experience submitting videos.

Identifying good practice

With 43 individual police services, there is much variation in police practice. AVZ is keen to promote good practice. Our survey asks about awareness of how some PCCs are funding dash/head cams (Avon and Somerset and Devon and Cornwall). The responses to our survey to date have not revealed any other area adopting this good practice, nor were respondents (those outside of Avon and Somerset and Devon and Cornwall) aware of this initiative.

And more commitment to road crime reporting is coming in the South West. Cornwall Councillor Sue James recently reported how Vision Zero South West’s Road Safety Delivery Plan had “approved funding for a number of initiatives to help promote and encourage sharing footage through OpSNAP:

  • 170 dashcams part funded to loan to users of the A38. This included businesses, regular /users and Safe38 a campaign group. The initiative is aimed at understanding behaviours that take place. Those issued with dashcams have agreed to share footage using a unique code to link submissions to this initiative.
  • Exeter cycle pilot – Free loan of bicycle cameras for regular and commuting cyclists. Use of footage enables enforcement of poor driving and dangerous behaviours.  Further £40,000 agreed in February 2022 to expand this initiative across Devon, Cornwall, Torbay and Plymouth.
  • Dedicated OpSNAP team – revenue funding was approved in Feb 2022 for Manager/Police Led Prosecutor and 3 x Evidential Reviewers to enhance and improve capacity to process offences generated through the submission of dashcam footage to the Police.

All road danger reduction campaigners should be asking their PCCs to fund dash and head cams. There are often community safety funds, if not dedicated road safety funds. It is not just in the South West where the police need help from the public with detecting and deterring road crime!

For more information see our Roads Policing Campaign.

And do complete our survey. We look forward to sharing the results with you. Thanks!

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