Gridlock in police plan to help public stop speedsters
DEVON’s anti-crime tsar wants to speed up the way in which members of the public can help slow down speeding drivers in their communities.
The Speedwatch scheme enables residents who are worried about vehicles flouting speed limits in their communities to set up monitoring sites where speeding vehicles can be identified. Drivers are then educated and engaged in the potential consequences of their actions.
But some volunteers have spent more than 12 months waiting to receive the training needed to operate the Speedwatch equipment.
Alison Hernandez, Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said she was keen to help Devon and Cornwall Police resolve the delays so more schemes could be brought online.
She said: “My Police and Crime Plan is all about providing connected communities and Community Speedwatch is a great example of this principle in action.
“I want people to feel empowered to do something about crime where they live and work, and I know there are real concerns about people driving too quickly – particularly in rural areas. Over the summer my team conducted a road safety survey which showed that speeding was a serious concern.”
Cllr Alistair Dewhirst said that in July 2017, he made the offer in Kingskerswell to start up a community Speedwatch group.
But he added: “We had 19 people who put their name forward to volunteer, but they didn’t get onto the road until June 2018. There was a huge amount of interest from volunteers when we started and people said that they wanted to do it. But we lost about half of the volunteers during that time as they had given up waiting, and we haven’t been able to train a single person since June as no police officers have been available.”
He added: “To my mind it should be is a relatively simple process to train the volunteers and it is not rocket science. The principle of getting trained volunteers to then train new volunteers, with adequate checks in place to ensure they are operating correctly, is the logical way to operate to my mind.”
A spokesman for Ms Hernandez said: “Due to high levels of demand and resourcing pressures there are some challenges for the scheme. Work is under way right now to fix this.”
Picture: ANDY STYLESA ‘FRUSTRATED’ Paignton man has appealed for people to think twice before leaving floral tributes in a popular Torbay seafront park.Vince Edwards says Youngs Park at Goodrington has become ‘like a graveyard’ because there are so many flowers attached to benches there.He said: “I feel like every time I walk into Goodrington I am walking into a graveyard. I want a bit of peace, not to be reminded of death at every step.“I feel very frustrated about it, and I think something should be done. I do feel extremely strongly about this. It is time something was done.”A Torbay Council spokesman said: “We do not give formal permission for the placing of floral tributes, but we respect, appreciate and understand that families and relatives do leave tributes from time to time.“We do monitor the sensitivity of this and act according as and when required.”