With more motorists using dashcams, mobile phones being used to capture drivers committing offences, and increasing numbers of cyclists/horse riders wearing helmet cams, there are more people than ever capturing evidence of people committing traffic offences.
As a result of this, Cheshire Police have been keen to develop a process in response to the increased submission of video and photographic evidence of incidents witnessed by its communities on our roads.
Previously, these incidents have come into us in a variety of different ways, and we are pleased to have developed a simpler process for the public to be able to report them.
Advice for dashcam users
When using a dashcam, please think about where you are placing it so you comply with the law in respect of any obscured view and understand your responsibilities as a driver regarding distractions whilst driving. Please refer to The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 and The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 for more information.
The driver must never use a mobile phone whilst driving, even if it’s to take a photo of another road user committing a traffic offence.
Be aware that ALL offences will be dealt with that are shown in any footage supplied. It is your responsibility as a driver to uphold the law.
We can only do a good job if your evidence can prove an offence in a court of law. We will need a witness statement from you that supports the video/photographic evidence you’ve got and you must be prepared to attend court if necessary. Don't worry - we will support you through this process.
Please complete the Dashcam Submission Form and once we have received it, we will be in touch with you with further instructions.
Frequently asked questions
The details you have provided go to a police officer who will evaluate your submission. We will keep you updated with if we are going to progress with the incident and how.
Please submit the footage, we will review it and ascertain any offences. You need to fill in the online Dashcam Submission Form and then we will be in touch. The same goes for any other driving offence you wish to report that is supported by camera footage.
Unfortunately neither is possible, but we would like to view your footage. If you follow the process we have developed, (completing the Dashcam Submission Form and the attached statement) then upload your footage and your now completed statement and we will assess it.
No. You MUST preserve the original recording in its original state. Do not edit it or alter it in any way. If it’s on a memory card, put it to one side and keep it safe. This is the original footage and it may be needed in the future. This is your evidence and your responsibility. We may have a need to see the footage recorded before or after the footage you first sent in, or it may be needed if the matter goes to court.
No. The police do not replace witnesses’ exhibits with like items in any circumstances in any cases.
Yes, we cannot progress any offences without your statement. If you have footage that you believe contains possible traffic offences, as well as sending us the footage, we will require a statement from you. A pro-forma statement is readily available on the Dashcam Submission Form for you to complete, a statement self-help and a sample statement (so you can see what one looks like once complete.) The statement is the evidence that we will use to support your video/photographic footage.
Please remove the footage from social media. We have worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service on this process and their advice is that your footage should not be in the public domain/on social media sites as this may affect us being able to take any action if the matter went to court.
No. We must see the video footage of the whole incident. We need to see enough of the incident/journey so that we get a good understanding of what happened.
Ideally the date and time must be correct. If the time/date shown on the footage is wrong then you must explain this within the statement that we will send you, and include what time/date the incident actually happened.
No, unfortunately the footage has to be supported by your statement and you would have to attend court, IF, required. We will not deal with incidents which do not have a supporting statement or if the witness (you) do not want to go to court. This is purely because all evidence (the footage) has to have a statement from yourself explaining where the footage came from and when. Drivers accused of an offence have the right to have matters heard in a court of law. Please fill in the Dashcam Submission Form, supply your written statement and upload your footage which we will assess for any traffic offences.
The footage will be viewed by a police officer who will identify any offences, investigate who was driving, and deal with them accordingly.
We will find out who was driving (the owner of the vehicle must tell us who was driving, if they don’t they may be committing a criminal offence). We will notify them of the pending prosecution. Once they are engaged in the process we will make a decision on the outcome. This decision is made in exactly the same way as if the offence was witnessed by police and in line with current national guidelines. Realistically, once proceedings are underway there can be one of several outcomes:
- An educational course offer (an offer to attend a recognised national course at their expense). Please note there are strict rules that we operate to regarding the circumstances of an educational input. Only those eligible will be offered this as an alternative to prosecution.
- An offer of a fixed penalty notice – i.e. points and a fine.
- The option to appear in court.
Please note that the most serious offences do not carry options of education or fixed penalty, for example dangerous driving.
We will inform you of the progress and outcome of your case.
Cheshire Police are not asking the public to go out and find offences for us. We have seen a recent increase in the use of dashcams and the public reporting traffic incidents captured on these, mobile phones and helmet cams to us.
This is simply our way of dealing with an increased demand from the public to handle these types of incidents. We have worked hard putting together a single, easier to use system that will allow people to report traffic incidents they have witnessed to the police, and for the police to have a more consistent approach to these.
Yes. Cheshire Police recognise how vulnerable cyclists/motorbikes and horse riders are in regard to this and we welcome footage from them.
We will deal with all matters of careless riding/cycling as best we can. It’s vital to remember that the vulnerable road users – those on foot, on cycles, (push and motor) and people riding horses – are at much greater risk of serious injury and death than those in cars. Our priority should always be to protect those most vulnerable.
We cannot deal with an incident where we have no registration for an offending car. The footage submitted must be of good enough quality that when an officer views it, the vehicle registration mark can clearly be identified.
Unfortunately not, the police reserve the right that their decision in this matter is final. There are a number of reasons that we might decide not to go ahead with a prosecution, such as that that the footage hasn’t captured any offences, that the incident it does capture isn’t enough to warrant police action at this time, or that it is out of a legal time limit for us to deal with. If this does happen, you will be contacted and given the opportunity of discussing this. However, the police do retain the right that their decision is final in this and it cannot be appealed, and that by submitting your footage you understand and agree with this.
If any other parties involved contest any offences, then they will be allowed to view the footage. This may be disclosed to the offending driver for the purposes of a Police prosecution or appropriate disposal as the Police see fit. If it goes to court, the suspected offender or their legal representative could also be supplied with the first front sheet page of your statement which would have your name on.