WHAT IS OPERATION SNAP?
Operation SNAP is a police response to the ever increasing submissions of video and photographic evidence from members of the public in relation to witnessed driving offences.
WHAT OFFENCES ARE INCLUDED IN OPERATION SNAP?
Operation 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.
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 AN OFFENCE?
Offences can be reported either via the gosafesnap.wales or via any one of the four Welsh Police Force websites.
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 Operation Snap Team advising you of when the footage can be deleted once we are confident that the individual case has concluded.
SO 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 card or device 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 Operation 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. However this can be completed on line and the majority of the statement will be 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 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. The police may not be able to prosecute the offence without you being willing to attend court.
If however on the very rare occasion the offence which you report does require a court appearance, then 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 which you submit that 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 been 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 could be offered a Driver Education Course, they could receive a Fixed Penalty Notice, they could receive a Summons to attend Court or we may decide we are unable to take any further action. The footage and statement will have been reviewed by a warranted police officer who will take all factors into consideration, including current CPS charging standards.
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 using a mobile phone 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 video 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 support you through the process.
HOW WILL THE EVIDENCE I PROVIDE BE USED?
The evidence which you provide to the Police by way of the submission of digital media footage and a statement will be reviewed by an experienced officer to firstly establish if an offence has been committed and to identify the specific offence. 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.
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 which 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.
ARE THERE ANY TIME LIMITS WHICH I MUST ADHERE TO?
The types of offence which Operation Snap deal with generally have a 6 month time limit for prosecutions. The Police also have an obligation to inform the offending driver of the offence which they have committed usually within 14 days of the incident. Please make your submissions as soon as possible. If 14 days have passed, please submit your evidence as the Police may still be able to take action.
WHAT IF I HAVE FOOTAGE OF OTHER OFFENCES NOT COVERED BY OPERATION SNAP?
If you have footage of any other types of offences not covered by Operation Snap then it is suggest that you contact the relevant authority which generally tends to be the Police or the Local Authority and provide them with the footage. The Police can either be contacted via 101 or their website.
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.
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. Operation 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. They have a determined and robust approach to policing the roads and will take every opportunity to make them safer for everyone. Operation SNAP is not asking you to go out and detect offences for us, but we will deal with any you find.
All Roads Policing cars, 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 Police work in partnership with Local Authorities, other Welsh Police Forces and with GoSafe. The camera vans you see are not there just to catch people speeding. They capture all sorts of offences and deal with them: people using phones, people distracted by sending texts, people not wearing their seatbelts 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 very vulnerable on our roads. If you have video footage of a close pass please fill in the web form for Operation SNAP.
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.
IF THE POLICE AND EVERYONE ELSE IS GOING TO START TAKING ACTION OVER ALL THESE PEOPLE CAUGHT ON CAMERA, CAN THE POLICE COPE?
Yes. It’s easy for people to engage in Operation SNAP and processes have been designed to run smoothly. Operation SNAP has one desired outcome. That is making our roads safer.
I THINK I’VE BEEN REPORTED BY SOMEONE USING OPERATION 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 I BE UPDATED ABOUT THE OUTCOME OF MY SUBMISSION?
You will be updated on the outcome of your submission within 14 days. In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1988 and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) we will only be able to release basic information about the outcome of your submission. We will be only be able to advise you on whether we are able to proceed with the case you submitted.
I MADE A SUBMISSION TO OPERATION SNAP BEFORE YOU HAD A POLICY TO UPDATE PEOPLE – CAN I HAVE AN UPDATE ON MY SUBMISSION?
In order for us to review your request, please contact us via https://gosafe.org/contact-us/general-enquiries/ with details of when you made the submission and any reference number and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as practicable.
I WOULD LIKE TO SUBMIT TO OPERATION SNAP THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF WELSH, CAN I DO SO?
Yes. You can find a Welsh version of the submission form here
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 are using it for work purposes.
If you have a dashcam that you use for work purposes on a vehicle that you use for work, then you are likely to need to register and pay a data protection fee to the ICO unless you are exempt. This is because the use of the dashcam in or on your vehicle for work purposes will not be considered as ‘domestic’ and therefore not exempt from data protection laws.
If you are capturing images of individual’s purely as a personal or household activity, with no connection to a professional or commercial activity, it is outside the UK GDPR’s scope.
If you are using the vehicle for work purposes, you will need to:
Let people know you are using a dashcam, by putting up signs saying that recording is taking place
Ensure you don’t capture more footage than you need to achieve your purpose in using the dashcam
Ensure the security of the footage you capture, by holding it securely and making sure nobody can watch it without good reason
Only keep the footage for as long as you need it, delete it regularly, and when it is no longer needed
Ensure the dashcam is only operated in ways you intend and can’t be misused for other reasons.
Anyone you share your property with, such as family members who could use the equipment, needs to know the importance of not misusing it.
For further advice around your data protection responsibilities of using a dashcam you can contact the Force Data Protection department, or the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).