Dashcam Technology Should Not Replace Police Says AA President

Wed 30th Jan 2019

The growing use of dashcams in UK cars may better assist police in the recording of motoring crimes and incidents, but they should not be a direct replacement from police on the roads says the AA’s president Edmund King.

Some police forces have set up websites allowing the general public to upload poor or dangerous driving footage taken from dashcams, with the evidence being used to prosecute and fine those who have broken the law.

Two thirds of cars will be equipped with dascams in 2018, while 20 per cent of drivers already own one according to an AA study. Over half (51%) of drivers are thinking about getting one according to the same study.

But Edmund King is keen to stress that dashcam footage should only be used in addition to more actual traffic police on the roads, and he has written a letter to the Police Federation conference underlining his thoughts on the matter.

“Previous Home Office research showed that the most serious motoring offenders were far more likely to be involved in mainstream crime. Hence, traffic police have a crucial role in making the roads safer and solving broader crimes. Peter Sutcliffe, dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper, was caught by an officer carrying out traffic duties,” King said.

“ Camera technology in the form of speed cameras or indeed dashcams can help reduce or clear up crimes but not at the expense of traffic cops.

“ Data is king in the event of a collision and dashcam footage provides proper, reliable evidence that can establish fault.  Based on the Operation Snap evidence it does lead to prosecution of dangerous drivers.

“However dashcams and speed cameras don’t deter uninsured drivers or mainstream criminals so there is still a vital role for cops in cars using automatic number plate recognition.”