Grid­lock in po­lice plan to help pub­lic stop speed­sters

Herald Express - - News - BY DANIEL CLARK

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.”

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