Volunteers given speed guns - speeding drivers will get police 'warning letters'

First published in News by

SPEEDING drivers will now get letters from police after community volunteers in high-vis jackets are handed speed guns.

Community Speed Watch schemes involves trained volunteers monitoring the speeds of vehicles with approved, hand-held speed measurement devices. Where vehicle speeds are 'inappropriate', a letter is sent to the registered keeper by the police with the aim of encouraging them to reduce their speed in future.

The community-driven road safety initiative has been launched across West Mercia following a pilot in Crowle, near Worcester.

The scheme is being supported by the Safer Roads Partnership team within Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police, but will be managed and run by volunteers.

While the scheme is already well established within Warwickshire, West Mercia’s very first Community Speed Watch scheme in Crowle has been in operation since May and a number of additional sites will be launching across Warwickshire and West Mercia over the coming months.

Rod Reynolds, Safer Roads Partnership Manager, said: "Enabling local communities to take an active role in addressing concerns about speeding traffic allows us to be more responsive to the needs of local communities and will enhance our road safety and casualty reduction strategy.”

Ian Connolly, Community Speed Watch Coordinator for the partnership said: “We’re very pleased with the results so far from the pilot scheme in Crowle. The local volunteers there have already carried out a number of speed monitoring sessions and warning letters have been sent out to motorists who were exceeding the speed limit."

“The aim of the scheme is not to catch as many speeding drivers as possible, but to encourage them to drive within the speed limit. Feedback from group members suggests that motorists visibly slow down when they see the volunteers by the roadside in high-visibility jackets, which is a positive effect in itself."

A Community Speed Watch scheme is initiated when ‘speeding traffic’ has been identified as a community road safety concern by a parish council, safer neighbourhood team or community forum.

The area must have a 30mph or 40mph speed restriction. Speed data collected by the Safer Roads Partnership must show that speed levels do not meet the national industry requirements for police enforcement and no other enforcement activity should be in place. There must be at least six volunteers in each Community Speed Watch scheme. Speed checks must be conducted by at least three volunteers at any one time.

Comments (19)

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1:54pm Tue 26 Aug 14

3thinker says...

An excellent initiative that enables communities to take action without taking up much police time and resources and where road users are 'politely' reminded to respect speed limits. In other areas its also been found to be very effective in 20mph areas including around schools.
An excellent initiative that enables communities to take action without taking up much police time and resources and where road users are 'politely' reminded to respect speed limits. In other areas its also been found to be very effective in 20mph areas including around schools. 3thinker
  • Score: -4

1:58pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Hwicce says...

What a complete waste of time and effort. Makes the Police look an even bigger waste of space than they already do.

What next? A letter saying please don't rob the local shop again as some people are finding it a bit upsetting.
What a complete waste of time and effort. Makes the Police look an even bigger waste of space than they already do. What next? A letter saying please don't rob the local shop again as some people are finding it a bit upsetting. Hwicce
  • Score: 18

3:16pm Tue 26 Aug 14

lehig76 says...

“The aim of the scheme is not to catch as many speeding drivers as possible..." WHY? Why is this not the Police's aim?

WHY have speed limits if they are not enforced?

WHY allow an unofficial tolerance of the speed limits?

The Police approach is completely wrong. Hwicce is completely correct in his/her analogy.
“The aim of the scheme is not to catch as many speeding drivers as possible..." WHY? Why is this not the Police's aim? WHY have speed limits if they are not enforced? WHY allow an unofficial tolerance of the speed limits? The Police approach is completely wrong. Hwicce is completely correct in his/her analogy. lehig76
  • Score: 5

3:23pm Tue 26 Aug 14

3thinker says...

lehig76 wrote:
“The aim of the scheme is not to catch as many speeding drivers as possible..." WHY? Why is this not the Police's aim?

WHY have speed limits if they are not enforced?

WHY allow an unofficial tolerance of the speed limits?

The Police approach is completely wrong. Hwicce is completely correct in his/her analogy.
I 100% agree.

The police should be taking more enforcement action. The problem is that they have the third lowest number of traffic police in the country. Its not going to happen.

This initiative is therefore a pragmatic response to dealing with speeding in areas where there is particular community concerns.
[quote][p][bold]lehig76[/bold] wrote: “The aim of the scheme is not to catch as many speeding drivers as possible..." WHY? Why is this not the Police's aim? WHY have speed limits if they are not enforced? WHY allow an unofficial tolerance of the speed limits? The Police approach is completely wrong. Hwicce is completely correct in his/her analogy.[/p][/quote]I 100% agree. The police should be taking more enforcement action. The problem is that they have the third lowest number of traffic police in the country. Its not going to happen. This initiative is therefore a pragmatic response to dealing with speeding in areas where there is particular community concerns. 3thinker
  • Score: -1

5:57pm Tue 26 Aug 14

DarrenM says...

Surely its about time the police percentage was scrapped of the council tax bill - why are we paying for a service that they are providing by using volunteers working for free, and sending out meaningless letters? That's in addition to their latest covert patrol vehicles - well I assume they must all be covert......
Surely its about time the police percentage was scrapped of the council tax bill - why are we paying for a service that they are providing by using volunteers working for free, and sending out meaningless letters? That's in addition to their latest covert patrol vehicles - well I assume they must all be covert...... DarrenM
  • Score: 7

6:54pm Tue 26 Aug 14

canuck7 says...

Hwicce wrote:
What a complete waste of time and effort. Makes the Police look an even bigger waste of space than they already do.

What next? A letter saying please don't rob the local shop again as some people are finding it a bit upsetting.
just like street pastors when they tell you during the lowdown that if you are a street pastor you mustn't mention God or Jesus cuz that's not what you're there for. just a mopper up to help out overstretched police and ambulance with drunks etc. talk about fiddling whilst rome burns...
[quote][p][bold]Hwicce[/bold] wrote: What a complete waste of time and effort. Makes the Police look an even bigger waste of space than they already do. What next? A letter saying please don't rob the local shop again as some people are finding it a bit upsetting.[/p][/quote]just like street pastors when they tell you during the lowdown that if you are a street pastor you mustn't mention God or Jesus cuz that's not what you're there for. just a mopper up to help out overstretched police and ambulance with drunks etc. talk about fiddling whilst rome burns... canuck7
  • Score: 5

11:17pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Biggles says...

Oh goody, the blue rinse brigade will be out in force !
Oh goody, the blue rinse brigade will be out in force ! Biggles
  • Score: 7

9:50am Wed 27 Aug 14

MJI says...

After going through Crowle recently I can guess who one of them will be, it will be the person I had a go at for being a prat.

Tried to stop me turning around in the road, so I had to make him move by not stopping when reversing.

Definately the sort who would love to play Policeman.
After going through Crowle recently I can guess who one of them will be, it will be the person I had a go at for being a prat. Tried to stop me turning around in the road, so I had to make him move by not stopping when reversing. Definately the sort who would love to play Policeman. MJI
  • Score: 8

10:57am Wed 27 Aug 14

orla nutting says...

This will be manned by the 'holier than thow brigade' for a few weeks and, if the other such community speed monitoring efforts in the region are anything to go by, be gradually abandoned as the initial enthusiasm wains.
This will be manned by the 'holier than thow brigade' for a few weeks and, if the other such community speed monitoring efforts in the region are anything to go by, be gradually abandoned as the initial enthusiasm wains. orla nutting
  • Score: 7

11:02am Wed 27 Aug 14

SgtAl says...

Citizens enforcing the law of the land? This makes perfect sense, maybe they can start interpreting their own versions of the law to fit with local needs. Perhaps we should even start arming some as a local government sponsored milit... I mean rapid response unit.
Citizens enforcing the law of the land? This makes perfect sense, maybe they can start interpreting their own versions of the law to fit with local needs. Perhaps we should even start arming some as a local government sponsored milit... I mean rapid response unit. SgtAl
  • Score: -1

2:11pm Wed 27 Aug 14

truth must out says...

3thinker wrote:
An excellent initiative that enables communities to take action without taking up much police time and resources and where road users are 'politely' reminded to respect speed limits. In other areas its also been found to be very effective in 20mph areas including around schools.
You sound like the person MJI mentioned in his post.....!!!
[quote][p][bold]3thinker[/bold] wrote: An excellent initiative that enables communities to take action without taking up much police time and resources and where road users are 'politely' reminded to respect speed limits. In other areas its also been found to be very effective in 20mph areas including around schools.[/p][/quote]You sound like the person MJI mentioned in his post.....!!! truth must out
  • Score: 2

2:32pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Tobster says...

These schemes are a great idea.

The angry face of a scorned jobsworth followed by an utterly meaningless letter are far more preferable to a conditional offer notice!
These schemes are a great idea. The angry face of a scorned jobsworth followed by an utterly meaningless letter are far more preferable to a conditional offer notice! Tobster
  • Score: 7

2:41pm Wed 27 Aug 14

3thinker says...

truth must out wrote:
3thinker wrote:
An excellent initiative that enables communities to take action without taking up much police time and resources and where road users are 'politely' reminded to respect speed limits. In other areas its also been found to be very effective in 20mph areas including around schools.
You sound like the person MJI mentioned in his post.....!!!
Certainly not. Neither do I live in Crowle.

Neither would I deliberately reverse into a pedestrian as MJI has admitted.

I assume from your own comment that you don't think speeding motorists should be called to account and that people like MJI have the right to threaten someone physically if they personally consider them to be 'a prat'.

I would have thought any rational driver would welcome an initiative that sought to remind drivers of their responsibility to respect the law and without taking up valuable police time.
[quote][p][bold]truth must out[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]3thinker[/bold] wrote: An excellent initiative that enables communities to take action without taking up much police time and resources and where road users are 'politely' reminded to respect speed limits. In other areas its also been found to be very effective in 20mph areas including around schools.[/p][/quote]You sound like the person MJI mentioned in his post.....!!![/p][/quote]Certainly not. Neither do I live in Crowle. Neither would I deliberately reverse into a pedestrian as MJI has admitted. I assume from your own comment that you don't think speeding motorists should be called to account and that people like MJI have the right to threaten someone physically if they personally consider them to be 'a prat'. I would have thought any rational driver would welcome an initiative that sought to remind drivers of their responsibility to respect the law and without taking up valuable police time. 3thinker
  • Score: 1

9:18pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Letsmove1 says...

If too many people are doing over 30mph doesn't this tell you something! Maybe 40mph is a better speed on a main road! Too many 30mph zones. BTW I agree with 20mph in built up areas or near schools!
If too many people are doing over 30mph doesn't this tell you something! Maybe 40mph is a better speed on a main road! Too many 30mph zones. BTW I agree with 20mph in built up areas or near schools! Letsmove1
  • Score: 4

10:24pm Wed 27 Aug 14

D8E411 says...

Are they going to be like the sly gits who seem to spring out of nowhere with a speed gun, but as they are wearing a high vis jacket it's ok? If the police really want to combat speeding in an area, put a camera van there (parked just around a corner, or partially hidden by a hedge) and catch speeders like they normally do. To really reduce speeding, a naughty boy letter isn't going to make a difference
Are they going to be like the sly gits who seem to spring out of nowhere with a speed gun, but as they are wearing a high vis jacket it's ok? If the police really want to combat speeding in an area, put a camera van there (parked just around a corner, or partially hidden by a hedge) and catch speeders like they normally do. To really reduce speeding, a naughty boy letter isn't going to make a difference D8E411
  • Score: 2

11:06pm Wed 27 Aug 14

SgtAl says...

Further to my last comment, I wonder what evidence will be required before the 'naughty boy' letters are issued. As the enforcers are lay civilians, does this increase the chance of false reporting (possibly vindictive)? Also what would be the consequence of receiving many such letters, again reported by lay persons?

This is a poor idea, and if it is to be implemented there are many issues that need resolving first.
Further to my last comment, I wonder what evidence will be required before the 'naughty boy' letters are issued. As the enforcers are lay civilians, does this increase the chance of false reporting (possibly vindictive)? Also what would be the consequence of receiving many such letters, again reported by lay persons? This is a poor idea, and if it is to be implemented there are many issues that need resolving first. SgtAl
  • Score: 3

11:10pm Wed 27 Aug 14

liketoknow says...

can't they get one to stand in the lane where I live to catch those **** flytippers that think it's alright to dump their rubbish in the countryside ?
can't they get one to stand in the lane where I live to catch those **** flytippers that think it's alright to dump their rubbish in the countryside ? liketoknow
  • Score: 4

11:45am Thu 28 Aug 14

laidback says...

It appears the experiment in empowerment of local "Percy Sugdens" has been approved? What comes next in the drive to create a nation of narks as happened in Nazi Germany?
It appears the experiment in empowerment of local "Percy Sugdens" has been approved? What comes next in the drive to create a nation of narks as happened in Nazi Germany? laidback
  • Score: 3

6:29pm Sat 30 Aug 14

I'm_not_bitter says...

laidback wrote:
It appears the experiment in empowerment of local "Percy Sugdens" has been approved? What comes next in the drive to create a nation of narks as happened in Nazi Germany?
If you're speeding, you're speeding - it doesn't matter who (if anybody) sees/ records you.

And to all the arrogant prats above who think they should set the speed limit and that they won't kill anybody when they hit them going faster, or maybe think they have superhuman reaction time and the law doesn't apply to them, I hope it's your mother/child/partner that gets hit and not mine - you deserve it.
[quote][p][bold]laidback[/bold] wrote: It appears the experiment in empowerment of local "Percy Sugdens" has been approved? What comes next in the drive to create a nation of narks as happened in Nazi Germany?[/p][/quote]If you're speeding, you're speeding - it doesn't matter who (if anybody) sees/ records you. And to all the arrogant prats above who think they should set the speed limit and that they won't kill anybody when they hit them going faster, or maybe think they have superhuman reaction time and the law doesn't apply to them, I hope it's your mother/child/partner that gets hit and not mine - you deserve it. I'm_not_bitter
  • Score: -1

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