North Wales Police has announced that it is to deploy cycling officers with helmet cams to target drivers who leave insufficient room when overtaking. The move comes as part of Operation Snap, the force’s response to increasing submissions of video and photographic evidence by members of the public.
The North Wales Police Twitter account yesterday announced it would be introducing a scheme similar to that run by West Midlands Police.
— North Wales Police (@NWPolice) October 17, 2016
If that sounds like there is no intent to prosecute, the Operation Snap web page makes clear this is not the case.
“Cyclists, both pedal and motor, are vulnerable on our roads. We see some awful very close passes and people pulling in and out of junctions, putting cyclists in danger. The publically available figures speak for themselves – cyclists come off worse when they are in collision with a car. Often the car driver has taken an unnecessary risk, or didn’t see them.
“We will not tolerate this and wish to support all road users, especially the most vulnerable, in having a safe journey. This includes taking positive action in respect of looking at your footage and witness testimony. We will work with you to seek prosecution when appropriate, so we can alter the behaviour of those who take unnecessary risks and put you in danger.”
They added that roads policing officers on bikes would be using “exactly the same systems” as the public to catch drivers breaking the law by driving carelessly and putting cyclists at risk when overtaking.
The force says it has been receiving more and more video and photographic evidence of driving offences and Operation Snap, which is in its pilot phase, is an effort to streamline the process.
Anyone who wishes to submit footage will first have to complete an online form giving details of what they are reporting. They are then sent a link where they can upload the footage.
The force is advising people not to publish video on social media. “Crown Prosecution Service advice is that your footage should not be in the public domain as this may adversely affect any subsequent proceedings.”