The UK public wants to be paid for catching road criminals: that’s the surprising opinion of car leasing firm, Flexed.co.uk, which believes drivers would be willing to sell dashcam or mobile phone footage to help police catch law-breaking motorists.
The leasing company even suggests that drivers who record law-breaking motorists should be entitled to a set percentage of any potential fine handed out as a result of a prosecution. It’s a bizarre suggestion, but a spokesperson for Flexed has thrown his weight behind the idea.
“Budget cuts mean the police are stretched far enough as it is, so allowing citizens to submit footage in return for a reward on prosecution will help improve road safety.
“In fact, we would be amazed if the government doesn’t have advanced plans for this right now.”
As things stand, video and photographic evidence gathered by citizens can’t be used for motoring prosecutions. Even in cases where local community groups use speed guns to catch motorists driving over the speed limit, the result is a strongly-worded letter, rather than a fine.
But with the rise in use of dashcams to be used in the event of a road traffic incident, could they also have the potential to catch unsuspecting motorists? Flexed spoke to two drivers who believe the time is right.
Anna from Oxford claimed she’d make £100 on the daily school run, with drivers either “glued to the phone” or texting something to a friend. Steve, a lorry driver from Manchester, agreed, saying: “If this takes off, this time next year I’ll be a millionaire.”
So with a change in the law, could this idea become a reality? Jonathan Ratcliffe, managing director of CCTV.co.uk, believes so, arguing: “Closed-circuit camera systems have long been accepted as sources of evidence as long as the footage is time-stamped and dated.
“The same should also be true for even the more modest in-car systems, whose footage is more than acceptable for insurance purposes.”
Is this a case of Big Brother growing ever stronger or a solid idea to help release the pressure on already stretched police authorities? You tell us.