February 2019
February 2019

Modern Technology: Eyes Everywhere…


Have you witnessed another road user behaving in a dangerous or careless manner? Have you captured this evidence on a dashcam or mobile phone? Do you want to report the witnessed incident to the Police?


Well, there is now a system for members of the public to report such incidents to the police via Operation SNAP.


Over the past few years more and more motorist are utilising dashcams, cyclist and horse riders frequently wear helmet cameras and the majority of us own a mobile phone with photographic and videography capabilities.


The Police have seen a large rise in footage being submitted as evidence of offences being witnessed on our roads over the last few years, but had no streamlined system through which these offenses could be processed effectively and efficiently; in fact it would take approximately 16 hours of police time to process each individual case before the implementation of Operation SNAP.


Realising that there was a public need for a system to process these offences in 2017 Operation SNAP was trialled in North Wales before rolling out to all four forces. The implementation of Operation SNAP has resulted in a simple, yet highly effective solution to support both members of the public in providing evidence and allowing police forces to efficiently process offences.


It now takes officers approximately 25 – 40 minutes to process each case, saving over 3000 hours of police time since its implementation!


So, what kind of offences do we see?


We see a wide variety of offences on the footage submitted to us by the public, including motorists using a mobile phone whilst driving, dangerous driving, contravening a red traffic light and other offences where the driver is clearly not in proper control of the vehicle.


We also receive links to social media accounts and YouTube videos where motorists have posted videos and images of themselves whilst driving.


Every submission is carefully reviewed by an experienced officer to establish if an offence has been committed and to identify the specific offence.


What happens with the footage submitted?


Once the footage has been reviewed by one of our officers and any offence identified, the information will then be passed to the Central Ticket Office where the offence will be processed and certain paperwork will be sent to the driver of the offending vehicle.


What will happen to the driver?


Depending on what the offence captured was, the driver could be offered a Driver Education Course, a Fixed Penalty Notice or they could receive a Summons to attend Court.


The footage and the statement supplied by the submitter will have been reviewed by a warranted police officer who will take all factors into consideration, including CPS charging standards.


Last year we received over 2,000 submissions from members of the public and following the success of Operation SNAP in Wales a number of English forces have now adopted the scheme and we have hosted the Hong Kong Police and the Japanese Ambassador to Britain. Operation SNAP has also won several Road Safety Awards, including most recently a nomination for the Innovation, Science and Technology Award at the 2019 St. David Awards.


So, when you are out on the roads of Wales think twice before you risk using that mobile phone or running through a red light because you’re in a rush. The police can’t be everywhere, but with the wonders of modern technology there could be eyes anywhere.

Operation SNAP has one desired outcome – making Welsh roads safer for everyone!