Community Speed Watch team leaders welcomed at Wiltshire Police HQ

This Is Wiltshire: Box Primary School pupils join Community Speed Watch's Amanda Lewington and PC Mandy Bull last year to target speeding drivers Box Primary School pupils join Community Speed Watch's Amanda Lewington and PC Mandy Bull last year to target speeding drivers

Community Speed Watch hosted a quarterly event for team leaders at Wiltshire Police headquarters in Devizes on Saturday.

It was the final event in a week-long focus on volunteers, with Wiltshire Police celebrating the contribution of those who give up spare time for the force.

The campaign has already resulted in a number of enquiries from people interested in volunteering.

Community Speed Watch relies on volunteers to in helping ‘driving down speed, driving up safety’ in local communities.

Teams are growing with 118 schemes in operaton across Wiltshire and Swindon.

Since September last year, when the scheme was re-launched, 16,073 vehicles have been caught speeding on roads across the county.

In all, 13,614 letters have been sent to the owners and 208 home visits have been carried out by local Neighbourhood Policing Teams.

There are more than ten schemes waiting to start across the county which will add strength to those volunteers who target persistent speeders.

Sergeant Craig Hardy, of the Roads Policing Team, who trains new volunteers, said: “It’s brilliant to see so many residents of Wiltshire and Swindon wanting to get involved in helping to keep their local communities safe from speeding vehicles.

"It’s a great way for the Roads Policing Team to link in with our local communities and will help ensure we highlight the message that speeding will not be tolerated in our county.”

Kieran Kilgallen, chief executive of the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, represented Angus Macpherson at the event.

Mr Kilgallen said: “The commissioner has invested in staff and equipment and spent a lot of time with the constabulary and the volunteer co-ordinators to get the system working well, since being made aware of problems with the scheme in 2013.

“Now if a driver is caught speeding by a CSW volunteer, they can expect to receive a letter from Wiltshire Constabulary within a fortnight.

“When a local community is concerned about speeding and voluntarily puts time and effort into doing something about it, that gives force and legitimacy to the enforcement action.

“A flashing speed camera might annoy motorists, but getting a letter or visit from the police after being caught speeding in effect by your neighbours is a different matter altogether.

“It connects the thoughtless speeding with the impact that it has on that local community and is all the more powerful for that.”

Community Speed Watch is run by local communities and funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, supported by Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Council and Swindon Council.

Volunteers carry out roadside checks on the speed of vehicles using a speed detection device and record the vehicle registration number of those exceeding the speed limit.

The owners are sent warning letters by Wiltshire Police warning them of the consequences of excessive speed.

If you would like to start a new scheme or get involved in a current scheme, contact your local Wiltshire Council area board manager by visiting www.wiltshire.gov.uk/areaboards

To find out more about volunteering for Wiltshire Police visit www.wiltshire.police.uk

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