By Michelle Arthurs-Brennan published
A not-for-profit platform has been developed to make it easier for dash and helmet camera users to upload their footage following an incident on the roads.
Nextbase - who make dash cams - has created the platform which it says "drastically streamlines the process of providing such footage to police forces and reduces the processing time from over 14 hours to minutes."
Cycling UK has supported the portal. Head of Campaigns and Advocacy Duncan Dollimore, said: “Public cuts have led to road police numbers plummeting in recent years by nearly 50 per cent, whilst casualties have increased among all road users.
"Given that reduction in resources, it’s crucial that efficient and standardised online reporting systems are introduced to facilitate the submission of dash, bike and helmet-cam footage of irresponsible road use."
“Our police cannot be everywhere at once, but with Nextbase’s Portal we have the next best thing – a one-stop shop for the collation of evidence our forces can rely upon. It can only lead to safer roads for everyone."
The portal accommodates all footage and formats, from any device - footage simply needs to be uploaded at nextbase.com/dashcamportal. Users are taken through a questionnaire, which automatically generates a detailed witness statement.
If the responsible force is not signed up to the platform, it will generate a witness statement and reference code which can be taken directly to the relevant police force, allowing them to view it securely.
The system is hosted securely by Egress Software Technologies - whose other clients include aerospace, defence and government organisations as well as the police themselves.
The new portal builds on the success of 'Operation Snap' - a similar creation initially piloted by North Wales Police that has since been rolled out across Wales, and Nextbase worked with former Police Sergeant John Roberts - who was pivotal in the development of Operation Snap - to create its own version.
Nextbase says it can currently take forces a minimum of 14 hours to process footage, adding that all 39 English forces use different means for accepting and logging video footage - including asking that footage be burned to a DVD and posted.
"This confused array of methods often results in clips being ignored and ultimately unprocessed," Nextbase claims.
Superintendent Paul Moxley from West Mercia Police said: “A process which previously took hours can now be reduced to a matter of minutes. The key in making this work for us has been determining a way of providing footage in an accessible format, whilst the creation of a witness statement is also integral to ensuring the process is as efficient as possible.
"In embracing this new technology, it enables the concerned road user to help us positively influence driver behaviour to make our roads a safer place for all users.”
The initiative supported by Brake, the nation’s leading road safety charity, as well as Cycling UK.
Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.
When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.
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