33 motoring and cycling organisations demand new Police Scotland camera footage reporting system

Sam Waller's picture

33 motoring and cycling organisations demand new Police Scotland camera footage reporting system

Cycling UK has brought together a remarkable coalition of 33 organisations calling on Police Scotland to introduce a system they say 'would be good news for all responsible road users and the police'
  • Cycling UK, the AA, the RAC, Brake and RoadPeace among the organisations that have written to Police Scotland
  • Camera footage system makes it easier to report and prosecute road crimes
  • 40 of 45 UK police forces already use such a system

A coalition of 33 organisations representing all of Scotland’s road users have called on Police Scotland to introduce a nationwide camera footage submission system to make the roads safer.

The organisations – including the AA, the RAC, Cycling UK, road safety charity Brake, British Motorcyclists Federation, British Horse Society Scotland and Living Streets Scotland – have written an open letter to Louise Blakelock, head of road policing at Police Scotland, saying Scotland needs a system that will make it quicker and easier to report and prosecute road crime.

In the letter the organisations state that: “A camera footage system would be good news for all responsible road users and the police. The only bad news would be for irresponsible and law-breaking road users who would be more effectively held to account.”

The Scottish Government recently announced a Vision Zero target for eliminating road deaths and serious injuries by 2050. The coalition believes that a camera footage reporting system is an essential tool for making Scotland’s roads safer.

The increasing use of dashcams and cameras used by cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders has proved an effective way of taking action against dangerous drivers and making the roads safer for everyone says the coalition, as well as saving valuable police time.

Online systems allowing people to upload camera footage and report incidents are already in use in 40 of the 45 police force areas in the UK. Cycling UK’s engagement with these forces has revealed that such systems cut an average of 8-12 hours of police time per case, by using dedicated civilian staff to assess the video evidence and reducing the workload of uniformed officers.

Between December 2019 and January 2021, Operation Snap in Wales saw the police take action against poor driving in 58% of cases where footage was submitted. Northumbria Police stated in November that 77% of submissions to their system had resulted in action being taken against drivers.

Scotland was the first nation in the UK to announce a Vision Zero target for people dying on our roads – we shouldn’t be the last to get the tools to help prevent avoidable deaths. Police Scotland can’t be everywhere at once, but if they have an effective means for the public to submit evidence of dangerous behaviour on our roads, they won’t need to be

Jim Densham, Cycling UK’s policy and campaigns manager for Scotland

Jim Densham, Cycling UK’s policy and campaigns manager for Scotland, said: “Scotland was the first nation in the UK to announce a Vision Zero target for people dying on our roads – we shouldn’t be the last to get the tools to help prevent avoidable deaths. Police Scotland can’t be everywhere at once, but if they have an effective means for the public to submit evidence of dangerous behaviour on our roads, they won’t need to be.”

Edmund King, AA president, said: “The majority of drivers show a responsible attitude when sharing the road with vulnerable road users and we have promoted this via our Think Bikes! sticker campaign and training of learners via our driving schools. However, there are a minority who take too many risks on the roads and therefore we believe an online camera footage submission and reporting system in Scotland would improve road safety for all.”

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “The increase in the use of dashcams on the roads provides a real opportunity for improving traffic enforcement and, ultimately, making the roads safer for everyone. We urge the introduction of a camera footage submission and reporting system in Scotland which will allow members of the public to support the police in their duty to enforce the rules of the road.”

A full list of the 33 signatories is below:

The AA, Aberdeen Cycle Forum, Action Vision Zero, Angus Cycle Hub, The Bike Station, Brake, British Horse Society Scotland, British Motorcycle Federation, ByCycle, Cycling Dumfries, Cycling Scotland, Cycling UK in Scotland, Dundee Cycling Forum, Forth Environment Link, Glasgow Eco Trust, GoBike, Grampian Cycle Partnership, horsescotland, IAM RoadSmart, Living Streets Scotland, North Fife Cycling, Paths for All, Perth Area Living Streets, The RAC, RoadPeace, Road Traffic Accident Law (Scotland) LLP, Scottish Cycling, Spokes Lothian, St Andrews Space for Cycling, Stirling Cycle Training, Sustrans Scotland, Transform Scotland, Wheels for Wellbeing.

ENDS

Contact information 

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Sam Waller, Cycling UK communications manager for Scotland on 07775 595998 or sam.waller@cyclinguk.org. Out of hours, call 07786 320 713.

Notes to editors 
  1. Cycling UK, the UK’s cycling charity, imagines a world where the streets are free of congestion and the air is clean to breathe, where parents encourage their children to cycle to school and everyone shares the exhilaration of being in the saddle. For more than 140 years, we’ve been making our streets safer, opening up new traffic free routes and inspiring more people to cycle more often. www.cyclinguk.org
  2. The joint letter to Louise Blakelock, Head of Road Policing at Police Scotland
  3. Scottish Government’s Vision Zero in the Road Safety Framework to 2030.
  4. Evidence camera footage reporting systems cut an average of 8-12 hours of police time per case.
  5. Northumbria Police statement that 77% of submissions to their system had resulted in action being taken against drivers.
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