Can I Send Dashcam Video Footage To The Police?
Written by Nick
Updated On 
Jan 22, 2022 @ 11:56 am

Is It Okay To Send My Dashcam Footage To The Police?

Dashcams are becoming more and popular, not only do they protect the driver from liability and insurance, but they can give first-hand evidence of dangerous driving and lead to prosecution if the police forces find the video footage important. 

However, sending your dashcam video footage to the police is not all so simple, as these large video files can sometimes have a format size of nearly half a GB, making them not email friendly, you also need to make sure your dash cam footage is legal and worth sending.

Using a dashcam and sending video evidence to the police is legal in the UK, but you must make sure it is installed properly legally, and you follow some tips to make sure your video submission is usable for the police, we will get into some further details below.

Are Dashcams Legal In The UK?

Before we can get into how to send our dash cam footage to the police, you need to make sure that the dashcam you are using to record driving is legal, if not, your record of dangerous driving may not be eligible to be used for prosecution. 

So, dashcams are legal in the UK, and are encouraged by many insurance companies to have in your vehicle to record careless driving and protect yourself when you are on the road. 

If you submit a valuable dashcam video with all the necessary details such as a timestamp and it's in its original format, you can even prosecute a driver for the alleged driving offence through court. 

However, although dashcams themselves are legal to have in your vehicle when driving, how you set them up can be another matter.

How To Make Your Dashcam Legal

So as we mentioned above, driving with a dashcam is legal, but you have to ensure that they are set up properly in your car, this means the dash cam should not be obstructing your view when your drive and can't be more than 40mm into the area swept by the window screen blades of your car. 

If your driving vehicle is for public use rather than personal use such as a taxi, you will also have to inform the person in your car that you are recording with a dash cam to protect people from privacy concern issues and get consent for filming.

Lastly, to ensure that the video from your dash cam is legal, you must also be driving legally yourself, this means no over-speeding or careless driving, as the court will question you on these offences too, no matter if you have a record of another person committing a traffic crime.

Rules For Sending Your Dash Cam Footage To The Police 

If you have decided that you have legal dashcam footage which is worth sending to the police, before we can discuss how to send it in different ways, there are some guidelines which are expected from the footage with police if you want to be able to be used. 

  • Report any dangerous driving reports right away to 999. 
  • Always give police videos that have not been shortened or edited first, original footage is what they will want to see of the driver. 
  • You will have to make a witness statement along with your submissions of video to prove the alleged offence shown by the original file is real.
  • Never post your dash camera footage on social media before the submission of dash camera footage to the police, this could make the evidence less worthy.
  • When operating dash cams in your car, try to not swear too much in response to dodgy driving, although this is better said than done, it will all be played back in criminal justice court.

How To Send Your Dash Cam Footage To The Police

Now we know what is expected of our dash camera footage for it to be legal and used by the police, we can cover the ways you can send it over to the police forces easily and efficiently. 

If you just rock up to your local police station with dash camera footage to report it as a traffic offence, the relevant police forces will likely have to take the whole SD card and hold on to it to review the footage, this is where it is handy to follow the ways below to give your footage to the police rather than hand over your whole SD card. 

Send It In The Post

One of the first less popular ways to report an offending vehicle, whether they are over white lines or on the phone while driving, is by sending it through the post. This does however avoid you having to give your whole SD card to the police. 

To send your dash camera footage in the post, copy it a USB stick or burn the footage from the video cameras on to a CD, this is required a lot by insurers. 

Use We Transfer 

If your insurer lets you, there is no reason as to why you can't try ending your video cameras footage via we transfer service online. You could also use google drive or the cloud, and once your footage is uploaded you can provide the police forces with the link to the file. 

Try Your Dash Cam Manufacturer App 

With the increase of drivers using dash cameras, many of the companies now have apps which allow you to easily upload the incriminating dash cam footage you have recorded to your phone despite the large file size. 

From your phone, you can then try and attach it to an email, but if the footage is still too large, go for a mobile app like we transfer to finish the sending process, this avoids you having to send the video to your laptop and will save time.

Upload Via The Internet 

To avoid all the stresses above, there is now a dash cam portal online where you can upload your footage too called Nextbase in the UK. All you have to do to send your incriminating dash cam footage is select your nearest police force to your location and upload it, the footage will then be reviewed by traffic officers from there onwards.

What Is Operation Snap?

You might likely have heard of operation snap if you been looking into drivers operating dash cams and reporting them to the police, many traffic crime-fighter people do this every single time to help the police force. 

It refers to a police response to all the police dash cam footage they are dealing with and acts as an online portal like the next base for you to upload the dash cam footage you have recorded when driving. 

This portal however is not for sending police dash cam footage of road collisions and only reserved for traffic offences. Light offences such as parking should only be reported to your local council and not uploaded on the operation snap. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Sending Dash Cam Videos To The Police

What kind of traffic types of offences can I report to the police with dash cam footage? 

For the crown prosecution service to protect vulnerable road users, you can report a variety of road traffic offences with your dash cam footage such as; dangerous driving, careless driving, social driving on the phone, driving over white lines, not wearing a seat belt or driving through red lights.

Can your report a drunk driver with dash cam footage?

Yes, you can report a drink driver via dash cam footage as a concerned road user, just ensure your cam is placed in the best location to get the full view of the number plate and make sure that you are adhering to road safety and the camera is not obstructing your view too.

Should you put your footage on social media before giving the police dash cam footage? 

Although well-meaning drivers might be trying to alert the public to risk drivers on the road, uploading your revolutionary dash cam video to the internet, does not make you a traffic crime fighter and can ruin the credibility of your video meaning it will become a waste of police time.

With the popularity of dash cam footage on the internet getting a lot of likes, it can be tempting to upload yours too, but if you want to encourage safer driving and report it to the police, refrain from doing this.

What happens if the original recording has the wrong time stamp and date when it recorded the unlawful driving? 

Your footage with police submission should have its correct time stamp/location/date, if not you are potentially being a waste of police time, as to prosecute a reckless driver, you will need evidence of when the incident took place.

Will the dangerous drivers know who I am if I report the footage to operation snap? 

Reporting your footage to operation snap does not need too many personal details and is a simple form to fill out with basic contact details, in the case that you might have to give a standardised witness statement in court, the reckless driver might know who you look like, but not any name or address details.

Final Words 

To conclude, dash cams are useful to report bad driving and help the police with proper control over traffic crime, they can also protect road users liability during accidents and help identify repetitive dangerous drivers on the road. 

Just always ensure that your dashcam is legal before submitting the footage to the police and is set correctly. 

One comment on “Can I Send Dashcam Video Footage To The Police?”

  1. Hi Nick.
    Out of interest why should my dashcam not be any more than 40mm into the area on the windscreen where my wipers swipe?
    Also, would any of the dashcams in the images from this article be able to provide "legal footage"? I only ask as they all appear to be substantially over 40mm into the area covered by the windscreen wipers.

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My name is Nick and I am a self-diagnosed tech-geek! I am the owner of DashCamExperts.UK where we review various dash cams. Having owned a dash cam store where we sold and installed them, starting a website around the subject seemed to be a no-brainer, so here we are! Hope you guys enjoy my reviews!
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