Drivers ‘should be paid for catching car crooks’

Drivers would be willing to sell dash-cam or mobile phone footage to police for cash to help catch law-breaking road users, according to hire company Flexed.

The firm has even gone so far as to suggest that motorists who record footage of road-going criminals should be entitled to a cut of any fines handed out as a result of prosecution.

Could help police

It’s a bizarre suggestion, but one which spokespeople for the company say could help encourage tougher regulations on law-breakers and help police stricken by budget cuts.

The spokesperson said: “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.”

As things stand, UK law states that video and photographic evidence gathered by members of the public can’t be used for motoring prosecutions, but the increasing popularity of dash-cams could see a change.

Cameras mounted in cars has seen a spike in popularity in the UK, thanks to their usefulness for straightening out insurance claims in the event of a collision, and some believe they should also be used to catch criminals.

One driver from Oxford claimed that she’d make £100 on the daily school run alone, while a lorry driver from Manchester added: “If this takes off, this time next year I’ll be a millionaire.”

Support from industry

The proposal has also seen some interest from certain areas of the industry. Jonathan Ratcliffe, managing director of CCTV.co.uk, believes that it’s no different from traditional CCTV systems.

He said: “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.”

However, Flexed also stressed that people should remain under no obligation to submit footage to police, meaning that law enforcement will be barred from accessing phones or memory cards.

The company’s spokesman said: “As long as there are safeguards for fraud, this is a plan that could act as a deterrent of misbehaving drivers up and down the country, and it will also bring about a whole new generation of people with respect for the law.”