Ex-police chief encourages visualantes
Imagine the thought of tens of thousands of mobile traffic cameras on our roads. No these are not the kind of traffic cameras that are fitted to high police vehicles or are erected at the side of the road. We are talking about cameras installed in private cars, rusty old vans, delivery lorries and even public buses. No its not a nightmare it is the future according to one ex-police chief.
Former assistant chief constable of Northamptonshire police, Alan Featherstone, has launched something of a private crusade in his retirement in the form of PoliceWitness.com. PoliceWitness.com recruits and encourages so-called ‘visualantes’ to capture acts of dangerous driving on video and then report these incidents via a website. The reports are then forwarded to specific contacts within each police force for consideration of prosecution.
Ex-ACC Featherstone said: “Our research has indicated that people are simply not going to sit back during these policing cuts, the public want people who flout the law, and put the lives of others in jeopardy, held to account. With fewer officers and working speed cameras on our streets I have personally already seen people’s driving styles change for the worse. Nearly every time I get into my car I see some idiot take a risk not just with their own life, but with others.”
Is it legal? The people behind PoliceWitness.com say yes: “The fact is we all have a perfectly legitimate right to film or take pictures in public. So fear not.”