Police give speed guns to residents

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RESIDENTS are being given speed guns as part of a pilot project to slow down motorists in three villages.

People living in Wynyard, Wolviston and Thorpe Thewles will be able to capture the speed of cars along roads in their area after joining forces with neighbourhood police officers.

The Community Speed Watch operation will see volunteers given access to speed detection devices and record how fast drivers are going in a log, with the vehicle registration and car description.

Those caught breaking the limit will be sent a letter by an officer and will get visited at home if they are caught a second time, as part of an education campaign to reduce accidents and injuries.

If they fail to curb their behaviour, their details will be passed to traffic officers with a view to future prosecution.

Inspector Andy Fox said: “This initiative gives local people the chance to actively get involved in road safety and make a difference in their neighbourhood. Speeding can affect communities greatly as parents and grandparents not only have concerns about the safety of children, but road users at large.

“Perception is also a major factor when it comes to speeding.

“Some residents have found when they have taken part that actually there isn’t a particular speed issue on a road or the issue is not as prevalent as they first thought.

“Community Speed Watch is a fantastic scheme managed by officers in partnership with the local community.

“It’s about listening to the priorities of local residents and is an excellent example of what neighbourhood policing is all about.”

Locations for Speed Watch are to be suggested by the communities and an officer will then risk assess the road to see if it is safe for the volunteers.

The initiative is run on an ad-hoc basis and only used on roads up to a maximum of 40mph, during daylight hours and at times of good visibility.

Those caught will have their details kept on a database, and police say that under no circumstances will volunteers have access to the details, which will be kept in line with the Data Protection Act.

If the pilot proves successful it is hoped that it will be rolled out to other areas in Cleveland.

Local resident Joe Atkinson said: “Community Speed Watch gives us the opportunity to give something back to the area we live by helping to clamp down on problem road users.

“By identifying these roads and working with our local police team we can really make a difference.”