Police commissioner hails the impact of volunteers in battle to clamp down on speeding

L-R Mike Brooks, force wide watch co-ordinator, PC Jon Morris, casualty reduction officer, Jason Abl

L-R Mike Brooks, force wide watch co-ordinator, PC Jon Morris, casualty reduction officer, Jason Ablewhite, police and crime commisioner, Simon Jordan, Brampton Parish Council chairman and Graham Rouse, speedwatch co-ordinator. - Credit: Archant

The police and crime commissioner says the number of drivers caught speeding in the county has reduced since the launch of a community speedwatch scheme.

Statistics released by commissioner, Jason Ablewhite, showed that the number of drivers speeding had decreased by almost five per cent over the five-year period since the scheme started.

Mr Ablewhite took part in a speedwatch session last Wednesday (August 22), where he joined volunteers in Brampton who give up their time to help tackle speeding in the village.

Speedwatch co-ordinator, Graham Rouse and the chairman of Brampton Parish Council, Councillor Simon Jordan, were operating the speed indicator device outside Frost’s Garden Centre, in Buckden Road.

They were joined by the commissioner, Mike Brooks, the force wide speedwatch co-ordinator, and PC Jon Morris, casualty reduction officer with Cambridgeshire police.

The community speedwatch scheme is an initiative which sees residents volunteer their time to help support the police to monitor the speed of vehicles using speed detecting devices.

The idea of the scheme is that vehicles exceeding the speed limit are referred to the police with the aim of educating drivers to reduce their speeds.

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Mr Ablewhite said: “We now have 14,000 speedwatch volunteers and the scheme has been running a few years.

“What we are seeing is that it is improving driver behaviour especially in some of our small villages where we do get a lot of complaints about inappropriate, speeding drivers.

“We can use the information we get because, obviously, anyone who is over the limit, once those figures are recorded along with their number plates, they then go off to our tickets and collisions department and anybody who is over the speed limit then gets a letter through that department.”

According to the commissioner, there was a 4.7 per cent reduction in recorded incidents of speeding between 2013-2018.

Drivers are issued a letter that explains that they have been speeding the first two times that they are caught by a speedwatch team, and if they are caught a third time they are visited by a police officer.

Mr Ablewhite said that the number of people who receive second letters from police falls by 90 per cent, once they are caught a first time.

PC Morris said: “The work that speedwatch does is really valuable to us, it helps us tackle one of the fatal four elements that results in people being killed and injured in collisions and that is speeding, so the work they do has shown without a doubt that it does help to reduce the people who are speeding whilst travelling through the villages and the volunteers really help make that happen.”