Creators of a TV documentary are seeking cyclists who have reported dangerous driving to the police, but seen little or no action taken.
The documentary is being prepared to air on a longstanding TV documentary series and will be shown on one of the primary channels.
National charity Cycling UK is helping to recruit case studies on behalf of the creators, who want to speak to cyclists who have reported drivers to the police, but have seen no action taken.
Those putting themselves forward need to be willing to share their experiences on camera – you can register your interest by fill out a form via the Cycling UK website.
Cycling UK is actively campaigning on road justice issues – which is why the TV channel asked to partner with them in seeking participants.
Senior Campaigns and Communications Officer Sam Jones told Cycling Weekly: “One of Cycling UK’s chief concerns has been about the role of the police as they are the first link in the chain of causation that leads an incident being investigated to an offender being sentenced. That link breaks, then the whole system fails before it’s even had a chance to begin.
“It is, therefore, absolutely crucial that the police investigate road crime to the highest standard so that prosecutions have the best chance of success. Much of the time the police are effective and many bad drivers are prosecuted and receive appropriate penalties.
“Yet some drivers go unpunished due to what Cycling UK perceives as occasional failings of the justice system. This can send out the message that driving in a way that puts others at risk is acceptable”
Cycling UK has suggested that many problems in the system come down to a lack of resource. Its calculations, based on Police Workforce tables show that road policing levels have dropped by 48 per cent from 2005 – 2016, outside of the Metropolitan Police area.
It says that the drop is significantly higher than the 12 per cent drop to overall police numbers during the same period.
Jones added: “While some problems can be put down to lack of resources, we’re also concerned about the quality of investigation. Careful and thorough investigation by the police is the critical first step towards a fair response from the justice system to road crashes and ultimately a change in driving behaviour.”
Cycling UK’s campaigning on road justice has found common problems with investigations include:
- Failure to attend the crash scene;
- Assuming that an injured cyclist is likely to be at fault, based on prejudiced views of cyclists’ behaviour;
- Failure to take statements or witness contact details at the crash scene;
- Not following up victim (s), suspect (s) and witnesses for statements for several weeks, or neglecting them altogether;
- Failure to test the driver’s eyesight or for possible mobile phone use;
- Failure to gather CCTV footage;
- Failure to keep victims informed of case progress and of key decisions relating to their case, including court dates.
Jones said: “If crime on cyclists is not being properly investigated then this needs clearly needs to change. That’s why Cycling UK is keen to hear from anyone among the cycling community who has been unfortunate enough to have gone through this process.”