Caught On Camera; Is It Worth It?

Earlier this year committee member Nathan shared a blog post featuring video footage of him and his daughter’s school run by bike along Acomb Road / York Road. As well as sharing the journey with us, he’s been routinely upload them to North Yorkshire Police via their online portal.

But is it worth the time and effort? He answers that question for us.

Perceived improved safety

Anecdotally, over time I am fairly convinced that both the volume of incidents has decreased and the general standard of passes and patience of drivers may have improved.

So I have a hypothesis that reporting incidents on a regular route improves safety. 

No feedback from the police

Whilst many forces around the country send follow-up communication to people who have submission video footage, North Yorkshire Police explicitly say that they won’t unless you are asked to attend court.
The result of this approach is that you are left completely in the dark as to whether any action is being taken – as you can imagine that does not build any sense of trust or, I suppose, hope. Indeed I have chatted to a few people on Twitter who don’t bother any more as they don’t believe anything will happen.

Fortunately my motivation was twofold in that I also wanted to document the key issues on routes that I ride – in particular the school run, so I stayed the course.

One FOI request and a few months later…

In December 2021 I decided that I would submit a Freedom of Information request to find out what was happening with all the submissions that I had made.

This week I heard back, and found out that nearly two-thirds of my submissions had lead to some sort of action by the police, including 40 prosecutions (44%). I am actually very buoyed by that.

Educational letter: 14
Prosecution: 40
Other: 5
No further action: 34
Breakdown of the police responses to Nathan’s video submissions

So is it worth the effort?

Jumping back to my hypothesis, the fact that a decent amount of action that has been taken, aligns with the idea that things have improved. There is one regular driver who I have reported who is now extremely patient and courteous.

Benefits of running a camera:

  • Reporting helps improve driver awareness.
  • Builds a library of footage that shows areas for improvement, which is a great campaign asset.
  • As a bonus, it helps me not react angrily in the moment – and the reporting process has become somewhat cathartic, especially knowing that there is decent amount of action being taken by the police.

What next?

If campaign members are interested in knowing more about the whole process, get in touch with questions and we can explore a Q&A session.

If you do already record and report footage, please write to the North Yorkshire Police and Fire Commissioner office requesting that Op Snap provide feedback on submissions.

One thought on “Caught On Camera; Is It Worth It?

  1. Nathan,

    Glad to see you’re getting better results from NYP with your camera footage than I have been recently! Are you posting yours online? Mine are now on YouTube; search ‘CyclopsYork’. Best, Robin.


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