The Police Service of Scotland has implemented a Community Speed Watch scheme. Community Speed Watch is designed to monitor and address public concerns regarding speeding. By encouraging members of the public to take an active role and work in collaboration with local Community Officers, the scheme aims to raise awareness within the local communities and discourage those who drive at excessive speeds.
All volunteers will undergo a strict vetting process, after which full training will be provided in all aspects of the scheme. This includes training in the use of hand-held speed detection equipment; relevant health and safety training; and conflict management. Community Speed Watch checks only take place during British Summer Time between 1st April and 30th September each year.
Designated check sites will be provided by local Community Officers, which have been suitably risk-assessed prior to any Community Speed Watch deployment. All volunteers will be fully covered by The Police Service of Scotland’s public liability insurance policy, and uniform will be provided to be worn whilst carrying out their duties.
The scheme does not involve the use of enforcement and is designed to discourage members of the community from driving at excess speed. The scheme is NOT to catch as many speeding drivers as possible, but to reduce speeds in areas of concern by encouraging drivers to slow down. The scheme also serves to remind drivers that travelling at excessive speed within posted limits is socially unacceptable.
Advisory letters will be distributed to the registered keepers of any offending vehicles, reminding them of the importance of adhering to speed limits. Any areas where there is persistent offending will thereafter be targeted for police enforcement.
Information about how to volunteer will be posted here soon.
Volunteers being challenged by motorists – It was highlighted recently that Community Speedwatch volunteers were challenged by motorists, who were unhappy at their speed and registrations being recorded by members of the public. As above, volunteers will receive training on conflict management.
Lack of equipment – Concern was also raised about the lack of speed monitoring equipment. Dalgety Bay Police Station is the main station for the South West Fife area and only has one SL700 Unipar speed detection device at the moment. There are seventeen Community areas in South West Fife (not all have Community Councils) who will need access to the equipment. We’ve been asked to submit a list of equipment to our headquarters (ours is very short) so we’ll hopefully be given more.
Access to equipment – Access to equipment was raised as another point. The Community Sergeant at Dalgety Bay will need to be contacted in order to arrange a speedwatch deployment. The equipment will be stored at Dalgety Bay Police Station and will need to be collected by volunteers.
Amount of deployments – Some people stated that they would be happy enough to carry out a deployment on a daily basis. As above, with the number of communities and amount of equipment available, this will not be possible. Also, as above, the purpose of this initiative is not to catch as many motorists as possible.
Letters – We raised the issue in relation to the letters that would be sent out to motorists. They will be sent from our headquarters in Glenrothes; however will be sent on a common sense approach. Obviously vehicles travelling at 31 or 32 in a 30 will not be sent letters.