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H0501 Procedure - Road Incident Video Submissions (Extra Eyes Investigations)
Number: H0501 Date Published: 30 June 2021 Version 1 – June 2021
1.0 Summary of Changes
This is a new procedure which will detail submissions of recordings submitted to Essex Police for investigation.
2.0 What this Procedure is about
This procedure details the submission of road incidents recorded on video and submitted to Essex Police Roads Policing for investigation.
Nationally, operation SNAP was created to deal with the submission of video evidence relating to alleged motoring offences. In Essex this function is supported by the Extra Eyes initiative, which is a product derived from, and supported by, the Safer Essex Roads partnership (SERP). The Extra Eyes initiative is the force response to meet recommendation 9 of the HMICFRS report into Roads Policing 2020 as shown below.
2.1 Recommendation 9
With immediate effect, in forces where Operation Snap (the provision of digital video footage by the public) has been adopted, chief constables should make sure that it has enough resources and process to support its efficient and effective use.
The Extra Eyes initiative is one of the key strands of the Roads Policing strategy. By promoting the use of cameras to record poor driver behaviour which can then be effectively prosecuted by the Police, it influences driver behaviour to reduce the type of driving that causes collisions which result in deaths and serious injuries.
Extra Eyes is an important element of the Roads Policing response to meet the Essex Police Force Plan and the PFCCs priorities as follows:
PFCCs 7 Police priorities - Improve safety on our roads;
Invest in the rapid expansion of the “extra eyes” programme so drivers can report poor and dangerous driving;
Essex Police Force Plan 2020/21;
To prevent, investigate and tackle safety/crime on the roads;
The procedure addresses the following headings;
Method of submission;
The number of video cameras being used on the roads is constantly increasing as is the level of recorded incidents. This creates the opportunity to utilise this increased level of technology as a deterrent to poor driving and influence driver behaviour where a road user is aware that their actions may be recorded by another road user and submitted to the Police for investigation.
All groups of road users are now using camera technology including private motorists, commercial vehicle drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders and this creates a huge resource which is monitoring the activities of other road users and submitting recorded incidents to the Police for investigation. In addition to influencing driver behaviour this also creates massive opportunities and cost benefits in relation to the investigation of recorded collisions and further supports the Force plan by providing significant intelligence opportunities to address the priority of tackling crime on the roads.
The evidence received must be dealt with professionally to maintain public confidence in the scheme and where offences are identified this should lead to a proportional investigation and disposal. Where the offence is so serious that it is referred for prosecution then the evidential file submitted should be of the highest standard.
Further information with regard to the Extra Eyes initiative can be found on the SERP website.
Compliance with this procedure and any governing policy is mandatory.
3.0 Detail the Procedure
The Extra Eyes team investigate incidents of alleged moving road traffic offences, that is offences where one or more of the vehicles involved is moving and where they are recorded on video or are supported by evidence from an independent witness.
Incidents submitted to the Extra Eyes team which are not moving road traffic offences such as static parking offences will be forwarded to the appropriate section or organisation to deal.
3.1 Method of Submission
Incidents for investigation are submitted via the SERP website and the Extra Eyes link.
Once an incident has been successfully submitted, the submitter will receive an automated message confirming receipt with a unique reference number (URN) that they can use to obtain details of the progress of the investigation. The person submitting is asked not to post their incident on social media or remove it if it has already been posted and is advised that they will receive confirmation within 2 weeks if their submission is to be progressed for investigation.
3.2 Triage Process
Every submission sent to the Extra Eyes investigators goes through a triage process to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support a prosecution. The guide for Crown Prosecutors provides details of the matters to be considered including the threshold test and the public interest test, there also needs to be a realistic prospect of conviction.
The decision to prosecute is entirely a matter for the Police and will be made utilising the process outlined above, the submitter will be provided with an update on the decision made via the online portal which they can access using their URN.
Full details of matter for consideration prior to progressing an investigation have been included on the SERP Extra Eyes website.
The initial communication to the person submitting an incident is the confirmation message received online together with a URN.
If, after being triaged, a decision is made that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute, the submitter will receive a “no further action” email notification.
If the decision is that the matter will be investigated, then the person submitting the incident will be notified by email and requested to retain the evidence for at least a year.
The person submitting the incident can visit an online portal housed on the Extra Eyes website at any time where, using their URN as a reference they can get the current status of their submitted incident.
3.4 Possible Outcomes
If it is determined after being triaged that there is insufficient evidence to support a prosecution in relation to the reported incident, a decision may still be made to send an advice letter to the registered keeper of the reported vehicle. This will make them aware that a person driving that vehicle has done so in a manner that has caused another road user to make a complaint.
Where a prosecution is progressed in relation to a reported incident, on conclusion of the investigation one of the following options will be considered.
No further action, where after investigation it is considered that there is insufficient evidence to support a successful prosecution;
Referral to a National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS);
The offer of a conditional offer of a fixed penalty (CO);
Prosecution file submitted directly to court.
Once the matter has been finalised, the witness can obtain an update on the case by visiting the results portal which they can access with their URN.
4.0 Equality Impact Assessment
EIA – February 2021
5.0 Risk Assessment
There are no health and safety issues concerning this procedure.
The following have been consulted during the formulation of this document:
Essex Diversity and Inclusion Manager
Health & Safety
Strategic Change Team
Strategic Force Crime & Incident Registrar
Roads Policing Department, OPC
7.0 Monitoring and Review
This procedure will be continuously monitored throughout its lifespan by the Roads Policing Support Manger, Casualty Reduction Section, through regular contact with Police Personnel.
This will ensure that the procedure remains accurate and compliant with both legislation and national or local drivers. A review will be carried out every 2 years by the Roads Policing Support Manger, to ensure the procedure remains accurate and fit for purpose.
8.0 Governing Force policy. Related Force policies or related procedures
H 0100 Policy – Roads Policing
H 0500 Policy – Education & Enforcement
8.1 Data Security
Essex Police have measures in place to protect the security of your data in accordance with our Information Management Policy – W 1000 Policy – Information Management.
8.2 Retention & Disposal of Records
Essex Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention & Disposal Policy – W 1012 Procedure/SOP - Records Review, Retention and Disposal.
We will only hold data for as long as necessary for the purposes for which we collected. Victims/public should be reminded that Essex Police take the protection of personal data seriously as described in the privacy notice.
9.0 Other source documents, e.g., legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), Force forms, partnership agreements, (if applicable)