It seems that the law is trying to make some uses of a phone legal so has got itself stuck trying to work out how to define what is and is not allowed. The Australian system seems far simpler. You can't touch the phone at all while riding or driving. Haven't found the actual legal documents but this seems to sum it up fairly well.
Henceforth, they will merely acknowledge receipt of a report and will not provide any information/feedback whatsoever on whether they have sought to prosecute, sent a warning letter, or rolled it up & smoked it.
They say that they spend far too much time on the ins & outs of why and what and why not, when reporting back to those members of the public who are concerned enough about dangerous driving to go to the bother of reporting it.
I have made a complaint about this policy. It is especially offensive when reporting the few drivers who deliberately choose to terrify/endanger cyclists.
@Drago quite. Previously they just said "seeking to prosecute" or "sent a warning letter" which was Spartan enough.
Is it really too much trouble to inform members of the public who are concerned enough (for themselves and for the rest of the community) to report these dangerous drivers, of the outcomes of their complaints to the Police ?
"Please be aware that the processing of Dash Cam footage has now moved and sits with my team, on taking over this process a review of the policy was made and I can confirm that part of this was to liaise with the Data Protection Team, who have confirm that we should not be releasing information that is personal to any third party, which would include and decision on whether a prosecution will take place or not against the person who has been identified in the footage. Therefore I would like to reassure you that it is not ‘too much trouble to keep you updated’ it is ensuring that we are abiding by the law.
Therefore anyone who submits footage will receive a reply, thanking them for their submission which will be reviewed by a member of the Police.
In regards to other forces policies, I will refrain from comment as it is for that force to decide what their policy will be."
They're talking out of their arrisses. If a witness cannot be informed of a prosecution or otherwise, then how do witnesses ever get told to appear in Court?
They're making this up as they go along. If they can't inform a witness when someone is to be prosecuted, then how do they inform hundreds of thousands of people when they allow such information to be printed in the papers?
The reason they are trotting out to other cyclists is down to numbers/resources only. Conflicting stories from within one department. I think GDPR is being used as a cop-out. I do not intend to leave the matter there.
The policy of refusing to release information to the complainant/victim on the outcome of a complaint about careless/dangerous driving via the “dashcam” upload facility is being justified to me by A&S staff by reference to unwarranted concerns about the GDPR and supporting legislation.
It has been justified to others who have made similar complaints as being too onerous, for resourcing reasons with no mention of the GDPR.
I do not address resourcing reasons in this submission because those have not been mentioned to me.
Is a vehicle registration number “personal data”?
The complainant does not have the facility to join up the registration number with any other data to identify a natural person.
The only information the complainant has is the registration number of the vehicle. That is, at best indirect personal data. It is on public display at all times when the vehicle is not on private property.
The complainant cannot identify a natural person from the registration number of the vehicle. The information of itself is not specific to the social identity of a single natural person.
The complainant does not have access to the recorded details of the registered keeper of the vehicle, nor have they any mechanism to require the registered keeper to confirm the identity of the driver at that point in time. That is only available to the State, or to others who have a genuine need to know and who pay the appropriate fee to the DVLA.
Confirming whether a decision has been made to seek prosecution cannot be said to amount to the release of data in respect of an identifiable natural person in the hands of the complainant.
Furthermore, the release of that information is reasonably necessary for the purposes of the detection of crime, and the apprehension or prosecution of offenders.
Preservation of evidence
The complainant needs to be informed whether it is necessary to preserve the video evidence of their whole journey and if so for how long. Unless the complainant knows that a prosecution is underway, he/she will not be alerted to the need to preserve significant amounts of video footage. It is not practicable for the complainant to retain video evidence for every report made just in case a prosecution has been embarked upon.
Called as a witness ?
The complainant also needs to know if and when he/she will or may be called as a witness.
It is not seriously arguable that informing the complainant that a prosecution is being sought or commenced, and therefore that he/she may be called as a witness amounts to a breach of the driver’s data protection rights for the reasons set out above.
If it is against GDPR to inform the complainant of a prosecution, no witness could be informed of the identity of any defendant.
No witness could be called to court, if informing them of the fact of a prosecution of a driver would breach the driver’s data rights. That is clearly nonsensical. In that event, the witness will be told the Defendant’s name as well as already knowing their registration number. Such a suggestion offends against the principle of justice being public.
The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime
In those cases where the complainant has suffered physical injury, alarm or distress as a result of allegedly dangerous driving, he/she should be entitled to the protections afforded by the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime. These include the right to be kept informed about the progress of any investigation, and should the matter be dropped, to be informed of the reasons why, and to make representations or complaint about decisions made.
It would be easy for the dashcam reporting site to include a box for the complainant to tick to confirm whether the incident caused injury, alarm or distress. I accept that this would not apply to those instances where I have reported handheld mobile phone users, or where I have observed careless driving which has not personally affected me.
However, where I have been passed too close, or wilfully tailgated by an angry driver, such occasions can cause considerable alarm and distress.
I have reported a number of such matters. The most recent one is under reference IOR-G3QYB relating to WV65 LBP when I suffered a ridiculously close pass on 10th September 2019. Under the new regime I have no indication of whether any action whatsoever has taken place.
The most serious recent one is under reference IOR-REZJ6 relating to KP57 PAO on 16th July 2019, when I suffered deliberate harassment from a tailgating angry driver who refused to drive at a safe distance from my rear wheel. He deliberately drove as close to me as is possible without actually knocking me off, using his car to intimidate and bully me.
I would invite you to review the footage of that occasion which left me shaking and unable to sleep. It would put a large number of people off ever cycling on public roads. That submission was handled under the old regime, and I have been informed that a prosecution is being sought. Exceptionally, SSSSS (manager) has kindly confirmed that a notice to identify the driver was sent, and on 11th September 2019, that the case was still ongoing and live. I would be most upset and surprised were nothing to be done about this incident of dangerous intimidation by an unfit careless driver.
Careless and dangerous driving are not always “victimless crimes” even in cases where no physical injury is caused.