Nextbase and Egress work together to help police call dangerous drivers to account
London - July 2018 - The use of dash cam technology is growing rapidly, and with it the potential for the public to record and notify the police of instances of driving that puts other road users at risk.
That’s the theory, but in practice this valuable opportunity is often not being used to its full potential. On the one side it’s hard for citizens to know how to submit video footage successfully, and on the other it’s been difficult for the police authorities to receive, review and act upon reports, especially with diminishing resources.
Bryn Brooker, head of marketing at the UK’s leading dash cam provider, Nextbase, explains: “There are an estimated 2.6 million dash cam users on the roads and we know from conversations with our own customers that they don’t know what to do with recordings of risky driving. They can’t deliver them to the police on a USB stick or a DVD as there are naturally concerns about viruses, but there’s been no clear mechanism for delivering it securely over the internet either. Some people have resorted to social media, but it’s not ideal.”
As an agile and innovative company that loves a challenge and is committed to road safety, Nextbase looked for a solution to this. Clearly there needed to be a bridge between the public and the police, but Nextbase alone could not provide the secure and safe platform for citizens to share reports with the police.
Solving the disconnect between citizens and police
It was at this point that Nextbase learned of Operation SNAP, a project in Wales being managed by the government-supported GoSafe campaign, together with Welsh police forces. Launched in December 2017, the project enables the public to submit footage through a secure web form and, if adopted nationwide, could reduce road fatalities by 40%, saving 650 lives every year.
At the heart of this project was security technology from Egress Software Technologies, experts in data privacy and risk management.
It quickly became clear to Nextbase that Egress was the obvious partner for its own project across England and Wales. Brooker explains: “As well as a pivotal role in Operation SNAP, Egress has a history of working with government agencies at all levels. Beyond that, Egress were very quick to respond. With their support our project was up and running in a matter of weeks.”
To make the process as simple and as effective as possible, Nextbase and Egress worked together to design the form that citizens complete when they upload their video. Using Egressmeans that all information is virus checked on upload and encrypted. The form automatically creates a witness statement, and the whole submission is then sent to a , Egress’ secure online collaboration environment for file storage and sharing.
The statement is automatically designated to an area accessed by the appropriate police force, so that they can review the report easily and make decisions about further action and potential prosecution.
Putting dangerous drivers on notice
“The process is already saving a huge amount of police time,” says Brooker. “The old method of review and witness interview could take up to 14 hours. Now, all the information that’s needed is presented on the website and the police can quickly decide if it is worthy of a prosecution.”
Nextbase is now actively promoting the solution to police forces right across the UK with a very positive response, and several are already in testing stages.
“Working with Egress has been absolutely instrumental in convincing the authorities about the potential of the solution,” says Brooker. “As well as the experience with Operation SNAP, Egress has all the security and certification in place, which is vital. Without that, it would have been a non-starter.”
Nextbase does not see the project as an opportunity to sell more of its own products. The company puts improving road safety at the top of its agenda, and the service will be freely available to users of any make of dash cam. To underline its commitment to all road users, Nextbase is working with Brake, Cycle UK and The British Horse Society, as well as government groups.
Says Brooker: This project aims to capture serious incidents of dangerous driving, rather than small misdemeanours. People used to fear being caught by police on the road. Now with fewer officers available, dangerous drivers feel they are able to get away with it. But if people know there is a national portal where they can be reported, it will change their behaviour. This is what we want – to stop accidents before they happen. We want to make a difference.”
Potential for future safety innovations
This won’t be the end of the partnership between Nextbase and Egress. The Nextbase team is already looking at further innovations that build on rapidly evolving dash cam capabilities. And Bryn Brooker can see an important role developing for secure footage submission as driverless cars become more common. “It will be 40-50 years before the car parks are full of driverless cars,” he predicts. “But when that happens, dash cam footage will be invaluable in proving who is the innocent party in collisions between driverless and other vehicles.”
About Egress Software Technologies Ltd
Egress Software Technologies is the leading provider of privacy and risk management services designed to manage and protect unstructured data.
Offering Government and Enterprise customers a portfolio of complementary services, the Egress platform leverages machine learning-led policy management, encryption and eDiscovery to enable end-users to share and collaborate securely, while reducing the risk of loss and maintaining compliance. These award-winning integrated services include email and document classification, accidental send prevention, secure email and file transfer, secure managed file transfer, secure online collaboration and secure archive.
Certified by Government, Egress offers a seamless user experience, powerful real-time auditing and patented information rights management, all accessible using a single global identity.
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