Community Speed Watch is a project working across Norfolk which involves groups of volunteers working alongside the Norfolk Police and the Safety Camera Partnership in an attempt to decrease speeding on their neighbourhood roads.
Each group is issued with a speed gun to carry out speed checks in 30mph and 40mph zones – working to Norfolk Constabulary’s Community Speed Watch guidelines in the process.
Various information is logged by the volunteers, such as vehicle registration mark, make, model and colour. These details are then sent to the Safety Camera Partnership team within 48 hours who then obtain the details of the registered owner. Those offenders that are caught will receive a warning letter from the Community Speed Watch requesting them to keep their speed down.
Superintendent Dave Buckley, Head of Community Safety at Norfolk Police said:
“speeding is often a key concern and Norfolk and Community Speed Watch gives local residents the power and opportunity to do something positive about it”.
The teams of volunteers do not have the power to punish those that are caught speeding. The idea however, is that volunteers reach the areas that police officers cannot. PC Jim Squires, a South Norfolk Community Engagement Officer commented that Community Speed Watch’s main aim is to “educate drivers, not prosecute them”.
Community Speed Watch has grown rapidly since its inception in 2007 with 70 groups now participating. Last year, over 8,000 warning letters were sent out and in 2017, 902 warning letters have been issued.
Recent research carried out by Freethorpe Parish Council shows that there is a place for the work that Community Speed Watch does. The Council placed a speed warning sign in Freethorpe over a four-week period which showed that the 30mph speed limit was broken 16,726 of the 30,351 times it was passed.
It appears that Community Speed Watch will become all the more prevalent in Norfolk, however it remains to be seen whether this initiative will be implemented on a national scale.