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Volunteers help catch thousands of speeding motorists in Suffolk

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Soaring numbers of speeders were clocked on Suffolk’s roads, according to latest data – as 11,000 additional incidents were recorded.

A 34 per cent increase was recorded for the 2018/19 year with 44,237 incidents, well up on the 33,071 seen in 2017/18.

Work by community speedwatch volunteers represented more than half of that increase, as numbers clocked by those guns skyrocketed from 6,154 to 13,446 – a 118 per cent increase.

Community speedwatch.
Community speedwatch.

Those caught by cameras on mobile vans had also risen from 9,833 to 14,400 – a 46 per cent increase.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk police and crime commissioner, said: “I cannot thank the people who volunteer to do this enough. They are really fundamental to what we are trying to do with the education coupled with enforcement, raising awareness of the dangers of excess speed.

“Speed limits are there for a purpose. All those volunteers who help get that message across are extraordinary.

“We are not trying to persecute road users. Those that are grossly irresponsible, they need to be dealt with very, very severely.

“Most people are unaware of what they are doing, so it’s a reminder that working together we will keep Suffolk’s roads moving and safer, which is what we all want.”

All those volunteers who help get that message across are extraordinary - Tim Passmore

Community speedwatch volunteers use speedguns to clock the registrations of speeding vehicles, but do not have any power to fine motorists. Instead a letter is sent to a speeding road user, with persistent offenders being followed up by officers.

Fixed penalty notices can be issued to speeders caught by mobile vans, fixed cameras or average speed cameras.

Nearly 120 schemes operate across Suffolk, according to police statistics.

Data for speed cameras on some of Suffolk’s key routes has suggested that the issue is continuing to rise, with figures for May recording the highest number so far in the first five months of 2019.

On the A12 alone between East Bergholt and Stratford St Mary, the number of speeders in May was nearly three times the number in April.

Speaking at Friday’s police accountability and performance panel, assistant chief constable Simon Megicks insisted that road traffic offences and speeding were “still a priority for the constabulary”.