Operation Snap – Police want your footage of bad driving

Posted on: 14th February 2022

From your dash cam or phones

Operation Snap – Police want your footage of bad driving and are making it easier for you to help them deal with those dangerous incidents.

Operation SNAP (OpSNAP) launched across Devon and Cornwall in July 2019 and is the police response to the ever increasing submissions of video and photographic evidence from members of the public in relation to witnessed driving offences.  Since its inception, the popularity of submitting footage has grown substantially.  In July 2019, 50 submissions were received but over the next 12 months, Devon & Cornwall Police estimate that this could reach between 175 to 240 per month, leading to Notice of Intended Prosecution (NOIPS) of between 80 and 140 per month.

OpSNAP investigates what road traffic offences have taken place such as dangerous driving, driving without due care and attention, careless driving, using a handheld mobile phone, not wearing a seat belt and contravening a red traffic light or solid white lines.

Why Op SNAP?

  • To provide better response to persons who wish to submit digital evidence
  • To provide consistent advice and customer service
  • To provide a simple and easy to use one-stop-shop
  • To ensure consistent evidential standards
  • To change driver behaviours

Once a piece of digital evidence has been submitted to the Police, it is reviewed with a decision taken on whether a road traffic offence has been committed. If an offence has been committed, a NOIP is then sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle and once the offending driver is identified, the prosecution process begins. There are a variety of interventions that can be used for each offending driver such as a warning letter, being offered an Educational Course through the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS), being issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice and Penalty Points, or even sent to Court. There have been instances where the offending driver has failed to identify themselves after NOIPS have been issued. This brings a completely new and separate offence into consideration, which the Police will then continue to pursue as opposed to the original road traffic offence.

In a recent media post created by Vision Zero South West (VZSW), footage captured by motorists and how these incidents were dealt with via OpSNAP[1] was published. The footage shows a range of dangerous behaviours, all of which took place on roads in Devon & Cornwall and actions that have resulted from this included:

  • Driver education courses offered
  • Fines issued ranging from £100 – £460 with penalty points between 3 – 9. Additional costs also applied to some offences with the highest was £689.
  • Disqualification

VZSW through its Road Safety Delivery Plan, have approved funding for a number of initiatives to help promote and encourage sharing footage through OpSNAP:

  • 170 dashcams part funded to loan to users of the A38. This included businesses, regular users and Safe38 a campaign group. The initiative is aimed at understanding behaviours that take place. Those issued with dashcams have agreed to share footage using a unique code to link submissions to this initiative.
  • Exeter cycle pilot – Free loan of bicycle cameras for regular and commuting cyclists. Use of footage enables enforcement of poor driving and dangerous behaviours.  Further £40,000 agreed in February 2022 to expand this initiative across Devon, Cornwall, Torbay and Plymouth.
  • Dedicated OpSNAP team – revenue funding approved in Feb 2022 for Manager/Police Led Prosecutor and 3 x Evidential Reviewers to enhance and improve capacity to process offences generated through the submission of dashcam footage to the Police.

OpSNAP can play a vital role in reducing those killed and seriously injured on our roads.  This is achieved by influencing a change in driver behaviour through similar principals to the fear of enforcement that overt enforcement activities create.  The key difference with OpSNAP is that it is discreet, a driver doesn’t know when and where they are being filmed.  We feel it is a really powerful tool in improving road safety across our roads and a way for the public to actively engage and help drive positive change.


[1] Vision Zero South West – Op Snap: Driving like this puts people’s lives at risk | Facebook