CAMPAIGNERS against speeding motorists have clocked their 10,000th law-breaker in just two years.

Members of the St Ives Speedwatch team sent an "advisement letter" to the driver, who was caught speeding in Earith High Street on December 19.

David McCandless, who co-ordinates Speedwatch in Cambridgeshire, said it was not an achievement.

He said: "It's not an achievement; it's a milestone that shows the initiative is working. You could go out any day, anywhere, and catch people speeding but you have to go out day after day after day to catch everybody."

Anyone caught speeding is sent an advisement letter by the Speedwatch volunteers. If a motorist is caught for a third time, or is travelling at 45mph or more in a 30mph limit, the letter is hand delivered by a police officer.

Mr McCandless said: "80 per cent of people who get a letter don't speed again for about a year. It shows that the little jolt works but we need to do it all the time so that they soon get another jolt.

"People who drive at 45mph in a 30mph limit are too dangerous to wait for their third occasion before they get a letter.

"We regularly clock 55mph at Hilton and along Low Road in St Ives. The other place where we have clocked very high speeds is Colne Road in Somersham, where we have clocked a motorbike travelling at 87mph in a 30mph limit."

He said that Speedwatch figures for 2011 showed a seven-per-cent drop in the Ramsey area and a four-per-cent drop in St Ives and the surrounding villages.

Mr McCandless said: "We are not saying that it's entirely attributable to Speed Watch but we like to think we have made some contribution."

He explained that Speedwatch was not "an arm of the police" and that volunteers were members of the community.

He added: "We have saved 10,000 people from getting a speeding ticket. Had the police been doing the speed checks, those people would have been given a ticket not a letter.

"In the main, people are good. The responsible drivers know when they've been caught - they put their hand up as if to say 'Yep, sorry, I will take that one on the chin. I will be a good chap now.'"

Mr McCandless carries out Speedwatch surveys in 22 Huntingdonshire villages in the Ramsey and St Ives areas.

He said: "I do it virtually every day, from Pondersbridge to Hilton, Woodwalton to Bluntisham and Earith. Different volunteers come and assist me but I take the kit out.

"I believe in it, it's doing some good. If I didn't think it was doing any good, I wouldn't do it. The other people who do it are passionate about trying to do something."

David Savill, Ramsey and District neighbourhood policing sergeant, said: "We are very pleased with how Speedwatch is going and we are hoping to open Speedwatch up to more communities."

The neighbourhood teams plan to send officers out with the Speedwatch teams on more patrols and any drivers caught speeding will be fined.

There are also plans for Speedwatch and the police to combine their data concerning speeding motorists, enabling them to check if the speeding drivers are insured and have valid MOT certificates. It is also believed that the information will be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service in the event of any motorists being taken to court.

WHO CARRIES OUT SPEEDWATCH, WHERE AND WHY?

Speedwatch sessions are normally carried out by trained volunteers who record the details of speeding vehicles and pass them onto police who generate the resultant letters to "advise" drivers of the speed limits but police enforcement officers regularly attend hotspots with Speedwatch teams, when speeding drivers will qualify for a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £60 and three penalty points rather than receive an advisory letter.

Sergeant David Savill said: "Please also remember, and many forget, that it is an offence to flash oncoming traffic to warn of the presence of Enforcement Officers ahead."

ST IVES DISTRICT TEAMS

(17 Sessions: 4,352 Checked: 403 Speeding of which 17 were Serious)

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BLUNTISHAM (30 MPH) COLNE RD, NR SCHOOL

Total LOCAL Volunteers = 0

Total Sessions = 1 by St Ives Team

Total vehicles Checked = 130

Total vehicles exceeding the guideline prosecution limit = 4

Number of vehicles 15 MPH or more over the Limit = 0

Top speed recorded = 37 MPH

EARITH (30 MPH) ALONG THE HIGH ST @ THE MARINA

Total LOCAL Active volunteers = 2 out of 2

Total Sessions = 3

Total vehicles Checked = 1003

Total vehicles exceeding the guideline prosecution limit = 109

Number of vehicles 15 MPH or more over the Limit = 5

Top speed recorded = 48 MPH

NOTE: On 19th December in Earith the Team recorded their 10000th Speeder in 2 years.

HILTON (30 MPH) @ THE SHOP, CHURCH END & THE PADDOCKS

Total LOCAL Active volunteers = 4 out of 5 (1 under training)

Total sessions = 8

Total vehicles checked = 1418

Total vehicles exceeding the guideline prosecution limit = 146

Number of vehicles 15 MPH or more over the Limit = 11

Top speed recorded = 1 @ 55 MPH @ Church End

LITTLE RAVELEY (30 MPH) WENNINGTON RD (New in Nov 11)

Total LOCAL Active volunteers = 2 (both under training)

Total sessions = 1

Total vehicles Checked = 157

Total vehicles exceeding the guideline prosecution limit = 16

Number of vehicles 15 MPH or more over the Limit = 0

Top speed recorded = 43 MPH

ST IVES (30 MPH) LOW RD, ST AUDREY LANE

Total LOCAL Active volunteers = 3 out of 4 (1 under training)

Total sessions = 4

Total vehicles Checked = 1644

Total vehicles exceeding the guideline prosecution limit = 128

Number of vehicles 15 MPH or more over the Limit = 1

Top speed recorded = 45 MPH on Low Road

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RAMSEY DISTRICT TEAMS

(11 Sessions; 1580 Checked; 139 Speeding of which 4 were Serious)

Neighbourhood Forum - Mon 30 Jan 12 @ Warboys Parish Centre @ 7pm

RAMSEY (30 MPH) WOOD LANE, NR CEMETERY

Total LOCAL Active Volunteers = 4 of 4 (4 under training)

Total sessions = 1

Total vehicles Checked = 40

Total vehicles exceeding the guideline prosecution limit = 3

Number of vehicles 15 MPH or more over the Limit = 1

Top speed recorded = 52 MPH (Police dealing)

RAMSEY FORTY FOOT (30 MPH) (NEW) @ VILLAGE HALL & CHILDREN'S BUSSTOP

Total LOCAL Active Volunteers = 2 of 5

Total sessions = 3

Total vehicles Checked = 520

Total vehicles exceeding the guideline prosecution limit = 36

Number of vehicles 15 MPH or more over the Limit = 1

Top speed recorded = 45 MPH

RAMSEY ST MARYS (30 MPH) NEAR VILLAGE SHOP

Total LOCAL Active Volunteers = 3 of 3

Total sessions = 2

Total vehicles Checked = 498

Total vehicles exceeding the guideline prosecution limit = 35

Number of vehicles 15 MPH or more over the Limit = 1

Top speed recorded = 48 MPH

SOMERSHAM (30 MPH) ALONG ST IVES RD & COLNE RD

Total LOCAL Active volunteers in Oct = 2 out of 2

Total Sessions = 5

Total vehicles checked = 522

Total vehicles exceeding the guideline prosecution limit = 65

Number of vehicles 15 MPH or more over the Limit = 1

Top speed recorded = 46 MPH in Colne Rd.

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