Dashcam firm launches spy-in-the-car campaign

Nextbase setting up app to send its dashcam footage straight to the police.

Nextbase nark-cam

THINKING OF buying a new dashcam for your car? Well if you choose a Nextbase model, you’ll be helping set up a nationwide video camera snooping campaign. The electronics manufacturer is teaming up with the police to launch a new ‘online portal’ where its cameras (and other manufacturer’s kit) will be able to send footage directly to the relevant English police force.

It’s also hooked up with the anti-speed campaigning charity BRAKE and Cycling UK, both of whom are backing the scheme. Nextbase says it’s aimed at improving road safety, by letting drivers more easily send footage of what they think is dangerous driving straight to the cops.

We’re not sure about this one. Okay, no one wants dangerous drivers out there – and as bikers, we are more at risk in an accident. But we also don’t think that George Orwell’s 1984 was an instruction manual, and turning tens of thousands of untrained drivers into unpaid traffic cops backed by a private company worries us.

Having a load of spy cameras, linked directly to the police, driving about the roads of Britain also sounds like a recipe for rider harassment. Easily-spooked drivers often think bikes are speeding and breaking the law when they’re not, and there’s also scope for vindictive posting of footage, in an attempt to ‘get even’ after road rage incidents or the like. The chance for malicious postings, the harassment of extended police investigations and possible miscarriages of justice seems to be increased by this scheme.

If we want a dashcam in future, we reckon we’ll be shopping elsewhere. What do you reckon? A good idea to clamp down on dangerous driving? Or a nasty little nark's scheme to turn drivers into unpaid secret traffic cops?