'It might be their kid in danger' - speed gun volunteer on why she does it

Community Speed Watch volunteers in South Norfolk caught 280 drivers in November. Picture: Matthew U

Community Speed Watch volunteers in South Norfolk caught 280 drivers in November. Picture: Matthew Usher - Credit: Matthew Usher

The coordinator of a village speed watch group has mounted a strong defence of their controversial volunteer role.

Vyv Mathews runs Sculthorpe speed watch, keeping an eye on the village’s road especially around the school in a bid to make sure people are aware of the dangers.

Founded in 2017,  the group of five go out once or twice a week with a speed gun and keep a log of the incidents they see, filing reports to the community speed watch administrator.

If they catch someone speeding, they send letters from the safety camera partnership on behalf of the constabulary.

If they catch a driver multiple times they can pass on their details to local police officers.

A women smiling

Coordinator of Sculthorpe speed watch, Vyv Mathews - Credit: Vyv Mathews

When asked if some people might see them as trying to get people in trouble, Mrs Mathews said speeding could affect their lives.

“It might be their kid in danger one day.

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“It needs to be done because if we are not there people get blasé and seem to forget there could be problems if they don't slow down, especially on the school run.

“We are only trying to make people aware: we are not here to call people out.

"We don't want anything bad to happen in the village.”

Community Speed Watch. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

The group has only been able to go out three times since last March, because of the pandemic. - Credit: Nick Butcher

The idea for the group came about as people were approaching her at the village's monthly coffee morning at the hall where she is on the committee. 

They have only been out three times since March because of the lockdowns.

Mrs Mathews, who has lived in the village for the last 14 years, said she has noticed a rise in speeding recently, and that other people had raised concern across Sculthorpe.

“People are at home more and a lot of people are walking around the village, so you do notice it.

The speed gun used by the volunteers

The Sculthorpe speed watch would use speed guns similar to this when out monitoring the streets. - Credit: Archant

“Lockdown has meant it has been brought to people's attention that drivers do fly around these villages.

“Right now, we can't do anything about it so that is frustrating.”

When the lockdown is lifted, the group will go out to remind people they are still here.

She recently spoke at Fakenham’s SNAP meeting where Fakenham police listed speeding as one of their priorities.

a poster of Fakenham police pirtoies

Fakenham police made speeding one of their priorities at the town's virtual SNAP meeting on February 3. - Credit: Norfolk Police