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Gloucestershire Constabulary FAQs

Please read these frequently asked questions before submitting your footage.

What is Operation Snap?

Operation Snap is the police response to the ever increasing submissions of video evidence from members of the public in relation to witnessed driving offences.

What offences are included in Operation Snap?

Operation Snap will investigate road traffic offences such as dangerous driving, driving without due care and attention, careless driving, using a mobile phone handheld, not wearing a seat belt, contravening a red traffic light and contravening solid white lines, however this is not an exhaustive list.

Why can’t I send you a speeding offence captured on my device?

Speed may only be proved by single technical means in this country by devices that are both Home Office Type Approved (HOTA) and calibrated. Smart phone Apps and SATNAV programmes do not fall in to this category. Such (HOTA) devices must also be operated by suitably trained and authorised personnel.

What if I’ve been involved in a road rage incident?

If there has been a serious physical or verbal act of violence following a driving incident then Operation Snap should not be used. The incident should be reported to Gloucestershire Police at our website, as more serious offences may have been committed. If the threat is happening now, call the police emergency line by dialling 999.

I cannot read the number plate of the offending vehicle in my video, can you enhance it?

No. The Police cannot enhance recorded footage, if you are unable to read the vehicle number plate from the original clip, then the police are unlikely to be able to read it when they replay the footage.

How do I report an offence?

Offences can be reported via Gloucestershire Constabulary Police Operation Snap

Will my mobile phone or other recording device be taken from me?

No, the device you use to record the offence will not be taken from you.

What do I need to do with the original recording?

It will be your responsibility to ensure that the original footage is saved in its original format dependant on how it is stored on the device. This could be for example on the internal memory of the device or perhaps on an external storage medium such as an SD card.

So if I have to keep the memory card or device to one side will the police give me a new one?

No. The police do not replace memory cards or devices with like items in any circumstances.

I’ve put my footage on social media, it’s getting lots of likes and comments, can you take a look please?

Please remove the footage from social media immediately. Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) advice is that your footage should not be in the public domain as this may adversely affect any subsequent proceedings. Please fill in the Operation Snap web form here and start the process with us.

Can’t I just send you some photographs or screenshots from a video I have? They clearly show the offence I want to bring to your attention

No. Operation Snap has been set up to capture moving traffic offences so it is important that police should view the offence as it occurs without enhancement or manipulation and in real time. It is very rare that we can process an offence from still images or screen shots alone within SNAP. The police will require to see the moments leading up to the incident you have reported and dependant on the circumstances may require extended video footage before or after the incident. This is to understand the context of what occurred.

Will I have to make a statement?

Yes. As part of the Criminal Justice process, and in order to allow the police to deal with the offender in an appropriate manner, you will be required to provide a statement. However this can be completed on line and the majority of the statement will be completed as a result of you answering some simple pre-formatted questions.

Do I have to be willing to go to court to give evidence?

Yes. On average only 1 to 2% of all offences reported using Operation Snap result in a court appearance but the police may not be able to prosecute the offence without you being willing to attend. The low number of cases heard at court is because Police often offer an alternative course of action to court such as a Driver Education Course or a fixed fine with points; when we do offer an alternative the driver must also be provided with the opportunity to have the matter heard at court. If the driver chooses court or fails to comply with an alternative offer we must be able to prepare a prosecution if we are to take the matter to Magistrates. Your evidence could be integral to the process.
When cases are heard at court, we have found the video evidence is so compelling that a ‘not guilty plea’ is rarely entered or continued. This means that even if your case is heard at court, you may not be asked to attend give evidence.

Will I be kept updated on the progress of my submission?

We will not have the capacity to feedback on every single submission, however we will publish performance data on a regular basis.

Will my own driving or the way in which I captured the footage be scrutinised?

You must be aware that when the police review the footage which you submit they are duty bound to also review the manner of your driving and also the manner in which the footage was obtained. For example, if you were exceeding the speed limit in order to catch up with an offending driver and then proceeded to film them with your mobile phone whilst driving, then the police will consider also taking proceedings against you.

What will happen to the driver?

There are a number of disposal methods available dependant on the nature of the offence. The driver could be offered a driver education course, they could receive a fixed penalty notice, they could receive a summons to attend court or we may decide we are unable to take any further action. The footage and statement will have been reviewed by a Police Prosecutor who will take all factors into consideration, including current CPS charging standards.

Do I need to have a date/time stamp on my video footage? If so, must this be exactly the right time?

Ideally the date and time should be correct. The video footage is used to support your written witness testimony. You must account for any discrepancies in date/time within your witness evidence presented to us. Your witness statement must clearly state what time/date the incident occurred.

I want you to see the footage but don’t want to go to court. Can’t you just deal with it?

We need your statement; we need to fully understand the situation and people have a right to have matters heard in a court of law. Please fill in the web form here. We will be in touch if you are required to attend court and support you through the process.

How will the evidence I provide be used?

The evidence which you provide to the police by way of the submission of digital media footage and a statement will be reviewed by a Police Prosecutor to firstly establish if an offence has been committed and to identify the specific offence. For cases recommended to proceed, staff from the Gloucestershire Central Ticket Office will serve Notice of Intended Prosecution to the registered keeper of the vehicle and requiring the identity of the driver.
Each case will be considered with reference to CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) charging standards, Eligibility Criteria and Professional Practice on options to deal with road traffic offenders. Police Evidential Reviewers will direct the appropriate outcome, options of which are to prosecute the case at court, offer a Driver Awareness Scheme educational course or offer a fixed penalty (which could include both a fine and licence endorsement.) By using Operation Snap, the user agrees to leave the question of prosecution or other disposal in the hands of the police.

Will the offending driver know who I am?

The offending driver will not be provided with your details. However on the rare occasion that the offence which you have reported results in a court appearance, then at this stage the offending driver will become aware of your name but not your address or any other personal details.

Are there any time limits which I must adhere to?

The types of offences that Operation Snap deal with generally have a 6 month time limit for prosecution. The police also have a strict legal obligation to inform the offending driver of the offence which they have committed and usually within 14 days of that incident. Please make sure your submissions are uploaded as soon as possible. Police can usually only continue with submissions that are received within 7 days of the incident.

What if I have footage of other offences not covered by Operation Snap?

If you have footage of any other types of offences that are not road traffic related not covered by Operation Snap then it is suggested that you contact the relevant authority which generally tends to be the police or the local authority and provide them with the footage. Gloucestershire Police can be contacted via our website

How will my footage be stored?

The footage which you submit along with your statement will be stored securely on a cloud server.

How long will the footage be stored for?

All material associated with an offence or prosecution will be retained in line with the police force retention policies, usually within six days. If your submission is not progressed your footage and any associated files will be deleted.

You’re asking the public to do the police’s job here. Why can’t you catch all these people breaking the law?

The police have been receiving complaints from members of the public about dangerous and anti-social driving for some time. Operation Snap allows us to effectively deal with the footage in a safe and secure way, whilst making the investigation process simple and straight forward for the police and members of the public. Gloucestershire Police has a determined and robust approach to policing the roads and will take every opportunity to make them safer for everyone. Operation Snap is not asking you to go out and detect offences for us, but we will deal with any you find.
All roads policing cars, marked and unmarked, are fitted with video recording equipment. The police make use of this all the time. They capture offences and deal with them as appropriate. The police work in partnership with local authorities, other police forces, and Highways England.

What about cyclists and close passes – will you deal with them?

Yes. Operation Snap is designed to improve road safety and to prosecute those that place others at risk. We wish to support individuals choosing a sustainable form of transport such as cycling, and recognise they are one of our more vulnerable road users. We will hold drivers to account on every occasion it is identified that the standard of driving falls below that of a careful and competent driver.

What about the cyclists breaking the law? If you're going to process people for careless driving by putting cyclists at risk, what about the cyclists who ignore red lights and cause risk with their riding?

The police will deal with all matters such as careless or dangerous riding if the identity of the rider is known. Vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists are at much greater risk of serious injury and death than those in vehicles. Our priority is to protect those most vulnerable.

If the police and everyone else are going to start taking action over all these people caught on camera, can the police cope?

It’s easy for people to engage in Operation Snap and processes have been designed to run smoothly. Operation Snap has one desired outcome: making our roads safer.

I think I’ve been reported by someone using Operation Snap. What should I do?

Engage with us. We seek only one thing – that is, if we can, to influence your future driving behaviour so that our roads are safer. If you wish to speak to us further then contact Gloucestershire Central Ticket Office on 01452 754525.

Will my footage be used for any other purposes?

For information on how Gloucestershire Constabulary may use your data, please see the Force Privacy Notice (Privacy notice | Gloucestershire Constabulary)