Over 52,000 dashcam recordings sent to Police

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Motorists have sent 52,174 dashcam recordings of potential traffic offences to UK police forces since 2017, with more than a third resulting in a court summons, Fixed Penalty Notices, driver awareness courses or a warning. 

A Freedom of Information request was sent to every UK police force by car-buying platform, What Car? It found police forces across the UK receive more than 35 pieces of dash-cam footage every day.

Just over 10% of the incidents captured on film were severe enough to warrant a court prosecution and 9.6% resulted in a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). A further 10.5% resulted in the driver being asked to attend a driver awareness course, and 3.0% of drivers were given a warning.

Thirty-five of the UK’s 42 police forces have a system in place to process and fine drivers and motorcyclists based on dash-cam evidence from other road users.

  • Exclusive What Car? research finds more than 52,000 dashcam recordings of potential traffic offences being committed have been sent to UK police forces since 2017
  • A third of submissions have resulted in a fine, driver awareness course, court summons or warning
  • More than 5000 court prosecutions have been issued as a result of dashcam footage supplied by the public
  • Use of dash cams has rocketed by 850% since 2017, with road users viewing them as vital evidence if they’re involved in an accident

The use of dashcams by drivers and other road users has shot up by around 850% since 2017, when insurance companies started accepting footage as evidence for claims and the courts first used footage to convict an offender.

Dyfed-Powys Police in South Wales is the most active in using dash cam footage. It has taken action over 81.3% of the videos it has received, with 40.2% of offenders receiving a warning, 18.6% of them were prosecuted in court and 18.4% were asked to attend a driver awareness course, while just 4.0% were handed an FPN.

London’s Metropolitan Police received the largest volume of submissions – nearly 25,000 videos over four years – and acted in 45.4% of cases, issuing court proceedings to 18.9% of offenders, driver awareness courses to 13.9%, FPNs to 9.6% and warnings to 2.9%.

Says Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?:

“Our Freedom of Information request shows the vast majority of police forces in the country can now receive and process footage from dash cams in a matter of hours, meaning reckless driving is more likely than ever to lead to a fine or even a court summons.”

Police forces that have taken the highest share of actions per footage received –

Police Force Number of
dash cam videos
received 2017 – 2020
Number of videos
resulting in
action by Police Force
Percentage of videos
resulting in
action by the Police Force
Dyfed-Powys Police 375 305 81.3%
Norfolk & Suffolk Constabulary 1877 966 51.5%
Northamptonshire Police 612 300 49.0%
Metropolitan Police Service 24,799 11,247 45.4%
Gwent Police 728 306 42.0%
Warwickshire Police 1875 722 38.5%
Gloucestershire Constabulary 470 180 38.3%
Humberside Police 272 94 34.6%
Devon & Cornwall Constabulary 1182 379 32.1%
North Wales Police 1857 516 27.8%

*What Car? issued a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to all 42 police forces in the UK, asking them if they were a part of Operation Snap or had a similar system in place. The FOI also asked how many recordings since 2017 the force had received, and how many resulted in action by the force, split by the type of action.

In total, 40 of the 42 forces replied to the Freedom of Information request, with 19 able to supply figures.

Chris Price
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