If you’ve followed my twitter or youtube for any time over the past few years, you’ll know that the Met Police are finally taking reports from the public of bad road users seriously, to some degree anyway.
My latest video on my youtube channel is showcasing all the reports I made in the year 2018. It just so happened I got the final update on two reports remaining just earlier this week.
In total I made 65 reports
- 23 of those had no action taken
- 2 were issued warning letters
- 9 were given driving awareness courses (which if they didn’t attend, would result in a FPN)
- 11 received Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN)
- 20 went to court
This resulted in 151 points issued to drivers licenses, fines of £11,834 and one driver getting a 6 month disqualification.
A lot of my reports in 2018 was me testing the waters to see what they would and what they wouldn’t take action on. It certainly isn’t clear from some of them where this boundary is. Similar offences aren’t always treated the same, and in the cases where near identical incidences have had action taken, they won’t use that as a reason to take action.
There were over 10,000 reports to the Met Police system in 2018, 2019 saw 23,000. The word is spreading that they are doing well, even to other police forces in the UK and in some cases as far as other parts of the world. Certainly they are leading the way in taking action on bad road users, taking repots from the public seriously and most importantly, keeping us up to date (you have to chase them) with what has happened.
It hasn’t always been like this. I started filming in late 2009, I was hit off my bike on the way home from work one evening in 2009. The police attended, as did an ambulance. However it was my word against the driver, so no action was taken. Only a handful of people were filming back then.
Trying to report videos to the police back then was a real pain, you had to go to a police station, request a road incident form, fill it out (including drawing a picture of the incident), burn a CD of the video and hand it back in to a police station
They updated this to be a PDF, so you could at least fill it out on your computer and print it, rather than writing it out by hand.
In 2010 they launched an online form where you could report things, include links to videos etc.. this was called Roadsafe London. Action wasn’t that common, neither were updates. Mostly what happened was warning letters and section 59 warnings.
Technology at this stage was moving forward at a very quick pace, but the police systems weren’t. So you could link to an online video but they couldn’t download it for use as evidence. If they thought that your report should go further, you still had to fill out the form I mentioned previously, burn a CD and take it to the local police office!
My last report to the system was in 2015, with the report number being just under 19,000 since 2010. This grew steadily until it levelled out, 2010 finished with around 1,300 reports, 2011 with 2,700 reports, 2012 with 5,000 reports, 2013 with 4,000 reports, 2014 with 5,000 reports.
I didn’t start reporting again until 2018, at least per my records. By this time the Met Police had launched their first iteration of the current site. A well designed online form that gets you to fill out all the details as per the paper form we had to fill out back in 2009.
It was totally amazing, smooth and easy to do. You included your video as a link, they would download it and you had to remove it from online. Later came an update where you could upload the footage to them, this had a few issues when their storage got full, but this has been resolved for quite some time.
Now this has expanded to being able to report many crimes online not just traffic related. And several other forces are using similar systems.
The future of this will hopefully be an area where you can see the progress of your reports and the outcomes. I understand the technical issues with this at present as not all information is stored with this system / team.
I’m only a small fish in a big sea. Reporting not even 1% of the reports for 2018, with similar percentage for 2019 as well. If my reports are generating 151 points issued and more than £11,000 in fines, then what else is being achieved at the moment by the other reports?
Hopefully with each successful report, a person learns that they need to drive safely on our roads.