Sussex Police insist that videos of close passes and similar examples of poor driving does get investigated properly, saying that “When the public take the time to provide footage to us, we take the time to review the footage.” This is following our story earlier this month about a local cyclist who submitted five videos to it under Operation Crackdown, but wondered whether the footage had been viewed before warning letters were sent to the registered keepers of the vehicles involved.
In particular, the cyclist was concerned that according to her YouTube statistics, the videos, which she had uploaded unlisted, did not appear to have received any views.
We contacted Sussex Police’s press office ahead of publishing that story, and were told that all of those videos “were each properly reviewed and assessed,” and subsequently the force’s partnerships manager, Oliver Senior, who has responsibility for Operation Crackdown, has contacted us to seek to provide further reassurance to people submitting videos under the initiative.
He told road.cc: “Sussex Police are committed to ensuring the Operation Crackdown site continues to facilitate modern methods of reporting and to ensure we address road safety concerns in a timely and effective manner.
“When the public take the time to provide footage to us, we take the time to review the footage,” he said.
“In the case of these five clips sent to us by means of a private YouTube link, our most experienced administrator viewed all of them in the first instance and reached a decision to send a warning letter to each registered keeper. That decision was backed up by a Police Constable who also viewed each of the films.
“The safety of cyclists is very important to us,” Senior continued. “We encourage all road users to remember that they have shared use of the road space and thus should recognise the more vulnerable users – such as pedestrians, cyclists and horses.
“Where we receive complaints about the close passing of cycles we will always takes a considered approach based on the evidence we have,” he added.
Leaving aside the issue of whether a warning letter was appropriate in all those cases – the cyclist who sent the force the videos believed that in some, stronger action was appropriate – what remains unclear is why the videos were not shown as being viewed on YouTube at the time the cyclist checked the status of her submissions on the Operation Crackdown portal.
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.