Op Snap Public Submission Of Dashcam Footage FAQs
If you have some dashcam footage you would like to submit you can do so by visiting https://unitedkingdom1cpp-portal.digital-policing.co.uk/lancashire/appeal/public-dashcam-submission
We respectfully ask you not to contact us on 101, 999 or online as other departments will not be able to advise you on the status of your submission.
What is Op Snap?
Op SNAP is a Police response to the increasing submissions of video and photographic evidence from members of the public in relation to witnessed driving offences.
What offences are included in Op Snap?
Op Snap will investigate offences of Dangerous Driving, Driving without Due Care and Attention, Careless Driving, using a mobile phone, not wearing a seat belt, contravening a red traffic light, contravening solid white lines, and other offences where the driver is clearly not in proper control of the vehicle.
Are there any time limits which I must adhere to?
The types of offence which Op Snap deal with generally have a 6 month time limit for prosecutions. The Police have an obligation to inform the registered keeper of the vehicle recorded committing the alleged offence within 14 days of the incident. Please make your submissions as soon as possible to allow for the footage to be assessed and enforcement action taken where appropriate.
I have been involved in a collision, but you won’t accept footage under OpSnapLancs why?
If you have been involved in a road traffic collision, please submit an online report through the “report an incident tab”. The incident will then be triaged and a deployment/appointment arranged where necessary. If you have dashcam footage this could well be very useful in the event of counter allegations. If the collision involves injury to any other party other than the driver of the vehicle causing the collision, there is a legal requirement to report the matter to the police as soon as possible and in any case within 24 hours.
This is to allow for a Police officer to be allocated to the case and commence an investigation.
I have signed the declaration filled in the statement and uploaded the footage. Now what?
Following submission, you will receive a reference number with a follow up e-mail from the [email protected] mailbox. We will then advise you of the decision whether we will take further action or not within 14 days. Please do not contact other departments within Lancashire Constabulary on 101, 999 or online as they will not be able to advise you on the status of your submission.
I have submitted a report which I think clearly shows an offence but you have told me that it is No Further Action (NFA), why?
Every report is assessed by a member of staff experienced in road policing matters. We have a duty to investigate any reports made to us fairly and impartially. Every incident is assessed on the “points to prove” for a motoring offence and we need to be satisfied that there is a realistic prospect of conviction. We must be able to prove each offence beyond all reasonable doubt. If your submission does not include sufficient footage to satisfy that high burden then we are not able to proceed with a prosecution. This could be for a variety of reasons but the most common being evidential difficulties, e.g. number plate not visible, insufficient evidence to prove an offence.
I cannot read the number plate of the offending vehicle, can you enhance it?
No. The Police cannot enhance recorded footage, if you are unable to read the vehicle number plate from the original clip, then the Police are unlikely to be able to read it when they replay the footage.
How do I report a traffic offence recorded digitally?
Offences can be reported via Lancashire Constabulary Website PUBLIC DASHCAM SUBMISSON | Lancashire Constabulary | Community Portal (digital-policing.co.uk). Please use this link instead of 101 or 999 or other contact links on the website, PE portal, Contact an Officer? This link should only be used for offences which occur in Lancashire. If this incident occurred outside of Lancashire please refer to the relevant Police Force and follow their local procedures.
I have submitted a report of an offence will you tell me what has happened?
At present we will only be able to tell you whether a report has been sent for further action or No Further Action (NFA) due to data protection regulations. However, if the case proceeds to the Magistrates’ Court you may well be warned to attend as a witness.
This decision will be subject to quality assurance by a Police Sergeant with Lancashire Police’s Safer Roads Unit.
Is it legal to record footage on dashcams in a public place, and then to submit this footage to the police?
Dashcam footage falls under the category of CCTV. If you capture footage of individuals in a public setting, it is subject to data protection laws. This does not mean you are breaking the law. It does mean that you are a data controller and will need to comply with your legal obligations under data protection legislation, and that the ‘domestic purposes’ exemption under UK GDPR does not apply. Failure to comply with the requirements of the ruling may result in the submitter facing independent consequences as per the Fairhurst-v-Woodward judgement.
Will my mobile phone or other recording device be taken from me?
No, the device you use to record the offence will not be taken from you.
What do I need to do with the original recording?
It will be your responsibility to ensure that the original footage is saved in its original format dependent on how it is stored on the device. This could be for example on the internal memory of the device or perhaps on an external storage medium such as an SD card.
You will receive communication from the Op SNAP Team advising you of when the footage can be deleted once we are confident that the individual case has concluded.
If I have to keep the memory card or device to one side will the Police give me a new one?
No. The Police do not replace memory cards or devices with like items in any circumstances.
I’ve put my footage on social media, it’s getting lots of comments, can I ask you to take a look please?
Please remove the footage from 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. Please fill in the Op SNAP web form and start the process with us.
Can't I just send you some screen shots from a video I have? They clearly show the offence I want to bring to your attention.
Only if the images clearly demonstrate the offence being committed. Dependent on the offence, the Police may require the video footage of the whole incident. They may also need to see more of your journey so that they can understand the context of what happened.
Will I have to make a statement?
Yes. As part of the Criminal Justice process, and in order to allow the Police to deal with the offender in an appropriate manner, you will be required to provide a statement before submitting the footage. However, this is part of the on-line submission with the majority of the statement completed as a result of you answering some simple pre-formatted questions.
Why do I have to be willing to go to court to give evidence?
On average only 1 to 2% of all reported Op SNAP offences result in a Court appearance. There are other disposal methods available such as attendance on a driver improvement course or the acceptance of a fixed penalty notice.
If, however the offence you have reported does require a court appearance, the Police may not be able to prosecute the offender without you being willing to attend court but you will be fully supported through the process.
Will my own driving, behaviour or the way in which I captured the footage be scrutinised?
You must be aware that when the Police review the footage they are duty bound to also review the manner of your driving and also the manner in which the footage was obtained. For example, if you were exceeding the speed limit in order to catch up with an offending driver and then proceeded to film them with your mobile phone whilst driving, then the Police will consider also taking proceedings against you. Your own behaviour may also be taken into account.
What will happen to the driver?
There are a number of disposal methods available dependent on the nature of the offence. The driver may receive a warning letter supported with educational material or they may receive a formal warning regarding their driving under the Police Reform Act 2002. The driver could be offered an educational course as an alternative to prosecution, a Fixed Penalty Notice or they may be prosecuted in the Magistrates’ Court. However, a decision may also be made not to take any further action.
The footage and statement will have been reviewed by a member of staff experienced in Roads Policing Legislation who will take all factors into consideration, including current CPS charging standards. We seek to educate drivers in the first instance, but enforcement is used where appropriate. Our ultimate goal is to make the roads of Lancashire a safer place for all road users.
What forms of evidence will be acceptable?
Evidence will be accepted in the form of still photographs or video footage. You must consider whether the footage you have will be sufficient for the Police to investigate and prosecute an offence. For example, a still photograph may be acceptable to prove an offence of improper control of a motor vehicle but video footage would be required for an offence of failing to stop at a red light.
Do I need to have a date/time stamp on my video footage? If so, must this be exactly the right time?
Ideally the date and time should be correct. The footage is used to support your written witness testimony. You must account for any discrepancies in date/time within your witness evidence presented to us. Your witness statement must clearly state what time/date the incident occurred.
I want you to see the footage but don’t want to go to court. Can’t you just deal with it?
We need your statement; we need to fully understand the situation and people have a right to have matters heard in a court of law. Please fill in the web form. We will be in touch if you are required to attend court and will support you through the process if the matter proceeds to a court hearing.
How will the evidence I provide be used?
The evidence which you provide to the Police by way of the submission of digital media and a statement will be reviewed by an experienced officer to establish if an offence has been committed and to identify any specific offences. This information will be dealt with by the Safer Roads Unit and if action is being taken, then the requisite paperwork will be sent to the registered keeper of the offending vehicle to identify the driver.
Will the offending driver know who I am?
The offending driver will not be provided with your details. However, on the rare occasion that the offence you have reported results in a Court appearance, then at this stage the offending driver will become aware of your name but not your address or any other personal details.
How will my footage be stored?
The footage which you submit along with your statement will be stored securely on a cloud server.
How long will the footage be stored for?
The information which you submit will generally be retained for a period of 2 years or at least until the conclusion of any proceedings. If footage submitted has been deemed No Further Action (NFA) then the footage will be deleted after 90 days.
You’re asking the public to do the Police’s job here. Why can’t you catch all these people breaking the law?
The Police have been receiving complaints from members of the public about dangerous and anti-social driving for some time. Op SNAP allows us to effectively deal with the footage in a safe and secure way, whilst making the investigation process simple and straight forward for the Police and members of the public. This is just another way the Police are making the roads safer for everyone. Op SNAP is not asking you to go out and detect offences for us, but we will deal with any you find.
All Tactical Op vehicles, marked and unmarked, are fitted with video recording equipment. The Police make use of this all the time. They capture offences and deal with them as appropriate. The camera vans you see are not there just to detect people speeding. They capture all sorts of offences and deal with them: people using phones, people distracted by sending texts, people not wearing their seat belts, etc. They are deployed for the safety of all road users.
What about cyclists and close passes – will you deal with them?
Yes, where appropriate and providing a Road Traffic Offence has been committed; cyclists are one of our most vulnerable road users. If you are a cyclist or a vulnerable road user and have video footage of a close pass please fill in the web form for Op SNAP and submit your footage online.
What about the cyclists breaking the law? If you're going to process people for careless driving by putting cyclists at risk, what about the cyclists who ignore red lights and cause risk with their riding?
The Police will deal with all matters of careless/riding/cycling as best they can. It’s vital to remember that the vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders are at much greater risk of serious injury and death than those in cars. Our priority should always be to protect those most vulnerable.
Our ultimate goal is for all road users to share this space safely.
If the Police is going to start taking action against all these people caught on camera, will they be able to cope with the work?
Yes. It’s easy for people to engage in Op SNAP and processes have been designed to run smoothly. Op SNAP has one desired outcome and that is making our roads safer.
I think I’ve been reported by someone using Op SNAP. What should I do?
Engage with us. We seek only one thing – that is, if we can, to influence your future behaviour so that our roads are safer.
Will my footage be used for any other purposes?
Footage submitted to Lancashire Constabulary may be used for media/training/publication purposes once any associated prosecution has been concluded.