On a number of previous occasions, the parish council has investigated whether there is a sufficient volume of local residents for whom speeding through the village is a concern, and whom are willing to volunteer to join a Community Speedwatch project. Historically, few volunteers have come forward, and a scheme has not been able to be implemented. As part of Westfield Road has now been adopted, so could be included within any scheme, we are once again gauging if any residents would wish to participate.
What is Community Speedwatch, what is involved, and how much time would you need to commit?
The parish council would loan the camera kit from Buckinghamshire Council. The kit contains: hi-vis and jackets, signs for the road, the camera, tripod and ancillaries. The camera is set up at the side of the road, facing oncoming traffic, in locations that have been previously assessed and approved by Thames Valley Police and Buckinghamshire Council. Two large community speedwatch signs are placed 20-50 metres from camera point (and locations would be agreed by TVP/BC as part of the review process). The camera is calibrated to catch speeders 150 metres up the road, there is a 20% allowance on the
speed. For example, in a 30mph zone, vehicles exceeding 36 mph will be recorded.
You need a minimum of 2 (and maximum of 4) volunteers to set up and carry out the Speedwatch each time it is operational. Recommended duration of the camera is up to 2 hours at the site (so you would need to be available for 2.5-3 hours to include setting up and packing away the equipment). The volunteers then need approximately the same amount of time again (ie 2 hours) to process the data and submit it to Thames Valley Police within the subsequent 48 hours.
Whilst monitoring the traffic, for each speeding vehicle detected, the volunteers need to fill in the data sheet, recording the following information:
- Registration number
- Vehicle Colour
- Offence Time
Every volunteer would also need to attend a training session on how to use the
camera, the set up, understanding the risk assessments, and protection of personal data, before joining the scheme.
What do Thames Valley Police (TVP) do with the information?
When the information is passed to TVP an initial letter is sent to the driver informing them that they have been captured speeding. If they are caught again within three months, a second letter is sent, if they are caught again within 6 months, the driver is visited by TVP. Offenders do not receive fines or points on their licence, as they would if captured via TVP operated speed traps or official cameras.
- 1st letter – 3 months
- 2nd letter – 6 months
- 3rd letter hand delivered by police
What is the aim of Community Speedwatch?
The aim of the Community Speedwatch is to educate drivers about the dangers of speeding in the location they were caught.
If enough volunteers come forward, what will the parish council need to do next?
- We would need to work with Thames Valley Police and Buckinghamshire Council to identify locations on our through roads that would meet their criteria and be approved.
- Arrange suitable training for all volunteers.
- Arrange to be included in the schedule of loan equipment.
- Agree participation in the scheme with the TVP data processing team.
- Arrange suitable insurance cover for the loan equipment and volunteers.
- Arrange safe storage for the equipment when not in use, and collection/return facilities/process for the volunteers.
- Purchase the necessary dedicated laptop, with encryption, to keep Speedwatch data separate from other data and set up a dedicated email address for the transfer of data to TVP.
- Put in place all the necessary measures to ensure compliance to GDPR re the storage and wiping of the data collected.
More information about Community Speedwatch can be found here: https://communityspeedwatch.org/FRONT-v2-Home.php
How do you register an interest in volunteering for this scheme?
If you would like to register your interest in volunteering for such a Community Speedwatch scheme, and can commit to the above hours, please email your contact details and any other relevant information to: firstname.lastname@example.org by the middle of August 2022 (which enables this information to be printed in the next edition of PPP and hand delivered to every home and business in Pitstone so we can make sure that everyone has been reached).
The parish council can then review the level of interest to see whether a Community Speedwatch scheme is important to our residents and viable to operate.