A cyclist who sent links of several YouTube videos showing near misses to police has said she is somewhat confused that warning letters were sent to the registered keepers of the vehicles involved – since her statistics on the video-sharing platform suggest that the footage had not been viewed at all. Sussex Police insist, however, that the videos “were each properly reviewed and assessed.”
The rider, road.cc reader M, got in touch with us last week to say: “I've had a suspicion that this has been going on for a while but I'm 100 per cent certain now that Sussex Police are not watching the submitted videos for ‘Operation Crackdown’.
“The last five out of six videos I've submitted have 0 views (I'm fairly confident that I was the 1 view of the 6th video but obviously cannot prove that) yet when I check the ‘progress’ of the report, they have sent ‘An advisory letter has been sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle’.”
In her email to us, she attached screenshots of the progress reports on each of those five cases – each confirming that such a video had been sent.
“I've submitted a lot of videos in the past and not one of them has had more than an advisory letter sent to the driver and some of the clips definitely deserved more than that,” M added. “It's purely lip service from Sussex Police to absolve themselves of any liability.”
We contacted the force to raise her concerns, providing them with the case numbers for all five incidents and asking them to confirm that “the individual submissions were each properly reviewed and assessed.”
Sussex Police replied: “We have reviewed and assessed each one of these submissions, and can confirm the action taken was considered sufficient in the circumstances.”
We’ve also asked the force to provide details of the number of submissions they have received under Operation Crackdown, including how many action has been taken on, broken down by advisory letter, FPN, referral for prosecution.
Sussex Police asked us to submit a Freedom of Information request for those statistics, which we are now doing.
As a postscript, when we got back to M, who had originally uploaded the videos to YouTube unlisted meaning they are not publicly searchable, to let her know the police response, she told us: “Funnily enough, they must have just watched each of the videos as it now shows 1 view.”
In addition to the video above which shows a left hook of two cyclists on a roundabout, M’s other videos, which she has now made public on her YouTube channel, show several instances of poor driving including van drivers making close passes into oncoming traffic, a close pass on a blind bend by the driver of a Mini,
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.