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Police call for more camera footage submissions as force celebrates "action taken against hundreds of careless and dangerous drivers"

The force thanked cyclists and drivers who sent in helmet cam or dash cam footage, releasing a video of the worst of the 640 video submissions from September

West Midlands Police has thanked cyclists and drivers for submitting 640 videos of alleged dangerous or careless driving in September, with "action taken against hundreds of careless and dangerous drivers thanks to your footage".

The force encouraged road users to continue to tackle road danger by submitting evidence, stressing that officers "can't be everywhere all the time" and that third-party reporting will make "motorists think twice about the standard of their driving, and that could well save lives".

In September, the force received 640 submissions through its online reporting portal, with 416 cases (65 per cent) resulting in "action", a broad term stretching from warning letters to court appearances and points and fines.

In total, 55 drivers (nine per cent) were ordered to appear at court in relation to driving seen in submitted footage, while 122 (19 per cent) were handed fixed-penalty notices.

The numbers come at the end of a summer which began with West Midlands Police admitting that it needed to review how reports were managed after reporting by this website, supported by an FOI request by Chris Smith, found that of 286 reports of careless, inconsiderate, or dangerous driving around cyclists considered by West Midlands Police in 2022, only one resulted in a prosecution.

> Police force criticised for one close pass prosecution from 286 submissions admits need to review how reports are managed

At the time, the force said it needed to adapt to the "50 per cent increase in third-party reporting" it had experienced, with each report taking an average of 60 minutes to be assessed. 213 of the submissions in 2022 resulted in no further action, while 69 were offered a National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) course as an alternative to prosecution.

The FOI request also showed that 5,551 submissions of video evidence relating to potential driving offences were received by West Midlands Police in 2022, over 2,000 more than the number submitted in 2020, and almost 1,800 more than in 2021.

Noting the increase in numbers this year, West Midlands Police said the 640 submissions received in September was a "big rise" on the 557 from August and 325 in July, demand met by the force "increasing the resources in the Traffic Investigations Unit" responsible for processing third-party footage.

The force also released a video containing examples of real-world submissions that warranted action, one clip showing a close pass of cyclists that earned a driver three penalty points and a fine of £100, another captured by a cyclist showing a driver run a red light, an incident treated with the same punishment.

Tanya Johnson, the head of the police-led prosecution team, thanked the public for the "great response to the bolstering of the team" and said "road users who send us footage say they're pleased with the results and the feedback given".

"We've got a vital role to play in keeping the roads safe, but we can't be everywhere all the time," she said. "That's why it’s great that we're getting so many clips in. In more than 140 cases last month, we didn't need to issue points, fines or court action, but offered education and advice to drivers.

> Here's what to do if you capture a near miss, close pass or collision on camera while cycling

"That will make those motorists think twice about the standard of their driving, and that could well save lives. Of the submissions that our team wasn't able to act on, many were because they didn't actually include video evidence, they showed crimes which needed to be investigated separately, or they showed incidents outside the West Midlands Police area. So I want people to have confidence that we will act in every case that we can."

West Midlands Walking and Cycling Commissioner Adam Tranter said it was "reassuring" to see the increase in submissions being met with more police action.

"I'm a big believer that the portal can be a strong force for good in road safety; people are sick of reckless and bad driving in their communities and now there's thousands more eyes and ears supporting our mission to make our roads safer," he said.

After three cyclists and pedestrians lost their lives on Birmingham's roads in May, West Midlands Police announced a "relentless enforcement of the rules of the road" in a crackdown on dangerous driving.

In the aftermath of the fatalities, Tranter urged authorities to "turn the tide on aggressive driving in Birmingham".

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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48 comments

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AlsoSomniloquism | 4 months ago
1 like

Trantor posts the stats of submission results in another tweet. The bit I hate (as most of my cycling used to take place on the WMP / Staff Police border) is "out of force submission". I thought our laws (unlike the United States for example) are the same across all English Counties so WMP should be able to serve the same FPN's etc whether it is in WMP or Staffordshire. 

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belugabob | 4 months ago
3 likes

It's astonishing how many people are willing to 'out' themselves as swivel eyed loons, on social media.
Even more astonishing, are those who choose to do so on a police social media channel.
Truly scary

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MichaelWinnerRIP | 4 months ago
3 likes

Bravo West Midlands Police for all the brilliant work in moving forward cycling safety. Sadly this positive effort is not reflected by Humberside Police whose Inspector Tinsley said that Humberside Police did not run Close Pass operations as it was considered too risky for its officers. I'll leave readers to make their own deductions.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to MichaelWinnerRIP | 4 months ago
1 like

Worcestershire Police Inspector stated something similar as well. Too dangerous to officers to get them to cycle in traffic on the roads, so they wouldn't run CP operations themselves. 

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wtjs replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 4 months ago
0 likes

Worcestershire Police Inspector stated something similar as well. Too dangerous to officers to get them to cycle in traffic on the roads, so they wouldn't run CP operations

True!

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SurreyHiller | 4 months ago
5 likes

That Twitter/X video is quite interesting.
If those decisions are replicated across to other forces then almost all of mine should have at least had fines.
I may take some stills from them and append them to my submissions so the officer viewing can see that other police forces have given points for lesser offences.

Agree with another poster that there is a huge amount of luck involved in some of the manouvers I see.    A week or so ago it was literally 5 seconds that was between a dodgy overtake and a head on collision at a combined speed of 80mph.
Right hand curve to the road with no visibility up a steep hill (final section of Leith from Ockley) and a 4x4 shot past me.   They literally just got back on the right side of the road and a car coming down the hill came past.
This morning going up Ranmore, several cars came past with lots of space but if anything was coming the other way would have had a nasty head on.
All for saving a few seconds...

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sprlowe@gmail.com | 4 months ago
13 likes

That wouldn't be the South Yorkshire Police.  According to a recent email to me, when trying to report a terrifying near miss on a roundabout, witnessed by a following bus (hence the reference to getting the dashcam/ CCTV footage) they will only invesitigate if there's blood on the road (i.e. mine).  Here's what they wrote:   

"We have not made any request for the CCTV and it is unlikely that we will given that no collision actually took place which is why no crash report was taken at the station. In cases of near misses it would be for yourself to pursue otherwise South Yorkshire Police would have to deal with several thousand more incidents as these happen all the time."

In their words, SYP won't respond to near misses - they are indifferent to them, apparently, because they "happen all the time". So, in SYP world, if something happens "all the time", it is mundane rather than something to reduce. In other words, they have no interest in improving driving standards, notwithstanding the obvious impact this would have on the prevalence of accidents that do cause injury.   They also seem to be encouraging me to become a vigilante..."it would be for yourself to pursue".  

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Bungle_52 replied to sprlowe@gmail.com | 4 months ago
0 likes

Just to clarify, did you have your own footage of the incident?

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to sprlowe@gmail.com | 4 months ago
1 like

Inspector Kev left SYP then? Afterall he has reported lots of close passes on his cycle rides, or do they only count from Police Officers.

Maybe Road.cc can contact him about this response from them.

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Hirsute replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 4 months ago
0 likes

His twitter profile says:

Chief Inspector Sheffield Response. Force lead for cycling

Not sure what force that equates to.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Hirsute | 4 months ago
0 likes

SYP is sheffield.

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wtjs replied to sprlowe@gmail.com | 4 months ago
0 likes

SYP won't respond to near misses - they are indifferent to them, apparently, because they "happen all the time"

The same as Lancashire Constabulary's view of vehicles passing at speed through red traffic lights- 'there are too many of them for us to bother with'

https://upride.cc/incident/t90jdt_audiwithcaravan_rljatspeed/

https://upride.cc/incident/fd67nej_bmw420_redlightcross/

https://upride.cc/incident/ye10aju_mini_redlightcross/

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mattw | 4 months ago
1 like

I wonder if this is also slightly dialing up the pressure because of controversy around LTNs and 20mph limits?

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mctrials23 | 4 months ago
9 likes

Its good to see this but honestly it would need to be 10x more and the fines would need to be linked to wages. £100 is a joke. 

I reckon that on my average journey on a bike I have a couple of close passes and a few dozen stupid overtakes i.e. people giving me plenty of room but overtaking on a blind bend. 

Today I had a van coming down a road that was a single lane. He missed me by about 30cm because I swerved and he swerved. He was going far far far too fast and if I wasn't on the far left of the road he would have hit me going at probably 30mph. 

Every time I go on the motorway I would wager that there is probably an incident a minute in remotely busy trafic. People pulling in front of you when there is barely enough space for their car between you and the next car. People pull out and making you slam on your brakes. People swinging between lanes.

Bad driving is so normalised, the fines so small and the risk of being caught so minimal that its a joke. 

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lonpfrb replied to mctrials23 | 4 months ago
8 likes
mctrials23 wrote:

Its good to see this but honestly it would need to be 10x more and the fines would need to be linked to wages. £100 is a joke.

In Finland the fines for traffic offences is a proportion of income so never fails to be noticed and credible deterrent. This makes sense as a £500 fine is pocket change for the affluent Wank-Panzer [£70,000] owner. €1 Million fines have resulted for the automotively incompetent tech wizards.

mctrials23 wrote:

Bad driving is so normalised, the fines so small and the risk of being caugh so minimal that its a joke. 

The decision by Chief Police Officers in most devices to abolish their Traffic Division has had consequences. Rather than career specialists; Class 2, Class 1, Instructor, Examiner, most police officers have just the same DVSA Licence as the general public.
Highways Agency Road Traffic Officers have no objective beyond clearing the obstruction on Motorways so not what Traffic Officers used to do.

Unsurprisingly you get what you pay for..

Feel free to let your Police and Crime Commissioner know that road danger matters..

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mark1a replied to lonpfrb | 4 months ago
7 likes
lonpfrb wrote:

The decision by Chief Police Officers in most devices to abolish their Traffic Division has had consequences. Rather than career specialists; Class 2, Class 1, Instructor, Examiner, most police officers have just the same DVSA Licence as the general public. Highways Agency Road Traffic Officers have no objective beyond clearing the obstruction on Motorways so not what Traffic Officers used to do.

Unsurprisingly you get what you pay for..

Feel free to let your Police and Crime Commissioner know that road danger matters..

This is very true. Once upon a time, Road Policing Units were very highly trained. They virtually disappeared after 2003 when the government decided that they were better deployed as armed response drivers (only a few), and road safety was given over to civilian camera operators working for so called "safety partnerships" on a huge pyramid scheme. These were pretty much the words of the police driving examiner who trained and passed me with the IAM.

Some years after that (2018), I got pulled over by a couple of chancers in uniform in what used to be described as a panda car, the reason was "I didn't see your brake lights come on over that last roundabout." I explained to them that was because I didn't brake, I lifted off when I saw the circle of streetlights surrounding said roundabout 1/4 mile beforehand, there was nothing coming and proceeded safely across. I also explained that it's what I was taught to do by a police examiner and that observation and mechanical sympathy such as that is safe, comfortable and efficient. They then started on my van, saying it was modified and possibly not insured correctly, I showed them a PDF of the insurance certificate detailing all the mods, when their colleague from inside the car said "come on, we're leaving." 

You get what you pay for and I for one would welcome the return of the real traffic police, many people hated them but they knew what they were doing, the education part has been lost to enforcement, and latterly, there's not much of that either. 

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Cugel replied to mark1a | 4 months ago
3 likes

Strewth - a sensible and informative post from the Mark1! I offers my good regard for the sentiments and info expressed   .. for what that regard is worth.   1

Personally I feel that the driving instructions and tests should all be at least of the quality given to them old-fashioned traffic polis, with retests at frequent intervals.

And that the polis resources devoted to proper policing of traffic be decided on, amongst other parameters, how many deaths and serious injuries are caused by the illegal behaviours involved. This would mean zero polis harassing protestors agin' this and that and about half the force catching and dealing with dangerous drivers.

It might also mean that a special unit for catching and dealing with the degrading and deaths of many citizens caused by politicians and their nasty policies be set up and let loose in the halls of power & pvivilege. Evil landlords of fungus-infested rot-rooms too would be had-up. And Big Polluters R Us. 

Things can change .... if we humans manage not to eliminate ourselves althogether by 2050, which solves all our prblems in a stroke, mind.

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mark1a replied to Cugel | 4 months ago
2 likes
Cugel wrote:

Strewth - a sensible and informative post from the Mark1! I offers my good regard for the sentiments and info expressed   .. for what that regard is worth.   1

Personally I feel that the driving instructions and tests should all be at least of the quality given to them old-fashioned traffic polis, with retests at frequent intervals.

Strewth! A positive comment from the Cugel! I offer my gratitude...

Agree, DVSA test should change, although maybe not at first at the level you describe, perhaps the currrent test as a "part 1" and then a year or two driving solo on (for example) P plates with restrictions on vehicle type, not unlike the old motorcycle parts 1 & 2, followed by full test ("part 2") with appropriate training similar to the IAM scheme (based on the police blue book "Roadcraft") to unlock a full licence. If you don't pass that in (say) 2 years, you're back on supervised L plates with a provisional.

With of course retests every 5(?) years.

Will never happen unfortunately though. 

 

 

 

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shoko replied to lonpfrb | 4 months ago
2 likes
lonpfrb wrote:

Feel free to let your Police and Crime Commissioner know that road danger matters..

Yep, will do...

https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/local-news/nottinghamshire-police-boss-truly-sorry-7345712

...oh, maybe not worth while here

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hawkinspeter replied to shoko | 4 months ago
3 likes
shoko wrote:
lonpfrb wrote:

Feel free to let your Police and Crime Commissioner know that road danger matters..

Yep, will do...

https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/local-news/nottinghamshire-police-boss-truly-sorry-7345712

...oh, maybe not worth while here

She's "truly sorry" she got caught for the fifth time

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NOtotheEU | 4 months ago
17 likes

The red light jumping Volvo SUV in the video was my report. I looked back because I heard them gunning it well after the light turned red and I love the way they showed the bit where I was shaking my head. They didn't notify me of that one but in the last month or so they have updated me on almost all of my reports so things are definitely getting better at WMP. 👍

EDIT; Having just read the story about the 8 year old pulled over by WMP for not wearing a helmet I fear I may have spoken too soon.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to NOtotheEU | 4 months ago
1 like

I thought it looked like your setup and route.

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Hirsute | 4 months ago
5 likes

Grass, snitch, get a life.

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NOtotheEU replied to Hirsute | 4 months ago
13 likes
Hirsute wrote:

Grass, snitch, get a life.

Guilty as charged 😁

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Hirsute replied to NOtotheEU | 4 months ago
2 likes

What ! Snitches get stitches.

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AllegedlyAnthony replied to Hirsute | 4 months ago
2 likes

If witnesses give in to the intimidation that this quote implies then the whole justice system collapses

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NOtotheEU replied to Hirsute | 4 months ago
3 likes

I haven't got stitches (yet?) but I do get a sense of satisfaction that I'm helping to make my local roads a little safer for vulnerable road users, and occasionally just a little smugness too.

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Hirsute replied to NOtotheEU | 4 months ago
3 likes

That's just the line that appears regularly on twitter. Strangely when the poster is asked about what they would like to see happen if their house was being burgled, car stolen or family member mugged, they go very quiet.

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NOtotheEU replied to Hirsute | 4 months ago
2 likes
Hirsute wrote:

That's just the line that appears regularly on twitter.

I guessed you were being sarcastic, although I'm sure that sentiment has been expressed here before quite genuinely by some others. 🤔

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Reiver2768 replied to Hirsute | 4 months ago
4 likes

I don't like the snitching aspect of this but laws exist because people can't be trusted to do the right thing.  If the possibility of me having a camera on the bike (I don't, but have one in my car) makes idiot drivers think twice then snitch away.

If people knew their driving "skills" were being watched all the time, how much better would their driving be?

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