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Plea for speedwatch volunteers

PUBLISHED: 14:28 15 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:47 07 July 2010

More volunteers are needed to extend a community scheme aimed at driving down the numbers of casualties on the roads around Fakenham.

The area's Community Speed Watch teams began their first patrols last month, using radar guns to spot speeding motorists before recording their registration plates.

More volunteers are needed to extend a community scheme aimed at driving down the numbers of casualties on the roads around Fakenham.

The area's Community Speed Watch teams began their first patrols last month, using radar guns to spot speeding motorists before recording their registration plates.

Although the volunteers have no enforcement powers, anyone breaking a 30 or 40mph limits is reported to the police who send a warning letter - with repeat offenders targeted for further action by officers.

Norfolk police encourage the use of such schemes to help reduce the toll of accidents and injuries on the county's roads.

So the Fakenham Area Partnership, which operates the localised patrols around Fakenham, Hempton and Ryburgh, is looking to boost to its membership to cover more potential accident blackspots.

Partnership co-ordinator Janet Holdom said: “The majority of motorists are very supportive of efforts to make our area a safer place and there has already been some effective progress in reporting the minority of less considerate drivers to the police. However the scheme could cover a wider area and be more useful if it had more volunteers.”

Mrs Holdom said volunteers only needed to spare one hour per week and would be given full on-the-job training.

Community Speed Watch teams are issued with a radar gun, reflective jackets and warning signs.

Patrols are always made in teams of three, with one person operating the speed gun while the other two note down the vehicle's registration number. The details are only sent to the police if both agree on the registration details.

Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams will send a maximum of two warning letters before the vehicle details are circulated for “targeted police intervention”.

Fakenham police inspector Tony Toynton welcomed the scheme and said he was also planning extra speed gun patrols this summer to cope with increased traffic during the holiday season.

“I think anything which prevents accidents, slows people down and raises the profile of the danger of speeding is fine in my book.”

Anyone interested in joining the scheme should contact Fakenham Area Partnership on 01328 851555.

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