Police embed with community speed watch teams after volunteers are abused and threatened

NEXT time you spot a group of community speed watch volunteers in Dorset, look out – they might have a police officer hidden among them.

That’s the message from Dorset Police after some volunteers were verbally abused and confronted by furious motorists.

Speed watch teams cannot issue speeding tickets themselves. Instead, drivers hitting top speeds will receive warning letters through the post.

However, if a driver is caught three times, they can expect to be tracked by Dorset’s traffic officers under Op Dragoon.

According to reports received by police, some drivers speed up when they spot a group of speed watch volunteers. As a result, police will target hotspots for trouble by joining the volunteer teams with their ‘Trucam’.

Motorists caught on the police’s camera can expect points on their licence.

Geoff Daulman, Broadstone’s community speed watch coordinator, said volunteers once caught a driver hitting speeds of 68 miles per hour in the Higher Blandford Road, where the limit is 30mph.

“The vast majority of people who talk to us are extremely positive about speed watch,” he said.

“Of course, there will always be a small minority who disapprove and want to tell you why.”

Volunteers visit areas where residents have complained of speeding, as well as locations identified as being trouble spots by police.

Last week, the team could be found in Pinesprings Drive, Broadstone.

Mr Daulman said: “This is a beautifully designed road, and some people will want to use it to try their car out.

“But it’s a busy road that’s used by families and cyclists, as well as other drivers, so that’s a dangerous mix.”

In a 30 mile per hour road, the volunteers will take details of vehicles travelling 36mph and above. Notes are taken by pen and paper or by Dictaphone. The team need to know a range of details, including the registration of the car and its colour and make.

“I don’t know anyone who has been prosecuted as a result of our speed watch, and that’s how it should be. We want to slow drivers down, not see them before the courts,” Mr Daulman said.

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