Plea for community volunteers to help wield speed guns

Cllr Jocelyn Towns with Marlow police officers

Cllr Jocelyn Towns with Marlow police officers

First published in News by , Reporter

A PROJECT to tackle the problem of speeding motorists in Marlow is under threat after no volunteers came forward despite early support for the scheme.

Thames Valley Police and Marlow Town Council are working on launching Community Speedwatch, which has already seen success throughout the district.

The scheme sees residents volunteer to carry out speed-check operations in areas they deem to be speeding hotspots, with those caught over the limit sent a police warning letter instead of a fine.

But despite a popular speedwatch project in Hughenden that saw ITV news crews follow vigilant villagers, the call for Marlovians to get involved has been much less well received.

Town councillors want to make the a success as part of its wide-ranging long term ‘vision’ for Marlow.

Ian Wernham, chairman of MTC’s Planning, Environment and Transport Committee, said: "We have a number of residents coming to us with issues to do with speeding. For example we were approached to fund a moveable speed activated sign which we have now got.

"One of the parts of the Marlow vision was to include the local community more so we thought it would be perfect to launch a community speedwatch initiative.

"Thames Valley Police run them elsewhere in the district and are in agreement that bringing it to Marlow is a good idea, but unfortunately we have had no response and we just want some people to get involved.

"It helps us identify problem areas with speeding and it helps us help the police enforce the law - they can’t be everywhere at once. It’s a win win situation really.

"We all live in this town and surely we all want to make it as safe as possible for everyone."

Volunteers receive training from police and at first are accompanied by officers on the operations before stepping up to go out on in pairs or small groups.

Cllr Wernham said the scheme would focus on problem residential streets that the authorities may not be aware of, as well as main thoroughfares.

Inspector Scott Messenger, Marlow’s top police officer, said he is keen to get the project underway as soon as possible due to the strong community involvement in Princes Risborough’s scheme.

He said: "If you go to parish or town council meeting across my whole area, then speeding will always be one of the top issues raised. We’re constantly getting petitions to do more speed enforcement.

"At the moment it’s working really well in the Princes Risborough area, we’ve got a great buy in from the locals there. It’s really positive.

"The key to the success is the buy in from the community, so we’re really looking to get it going in Marlow and get some volunteers, the quicker the better.

"It takes a while to get the momentum going, but once it’s off the ground and up and running it should start to make an impact.

"Residents can then identify the areas, so rather than it being a top down, police led operation, if people come to us and say they’ve identified a problem with a particular area then brilliant."

Once several schemes are up and running they will be linked, with police being able to see where repeat offenders are caught across the district.

Motorists who consistently ignore the warning letters and are repeatedly clocked will be prosecuted, according to Cllr Wernham.

As well as Community Speedwatch, a Moveable Vehicle Activated Sign (MVAS) is also on its way, and will be placed at hotspots throughout the town once Transport for Bucks approves the locations.

Comments (6)

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9:03am Mon 10 Feb 14

s6blr says...

Oh goodie, morons with no policing powers whatsoever running amok in town. How very special -- if you report me I will tear up the letter even though I do not speed purposely as the letter is illegal and legless!
Oh goodie, morons with no policing powers whatsoever running amok in town. How very special -- if you report me I will tear up the letter even though I do not speed purposely as the letter is illegal and legless! s6blr
  • Score: 6

12:58pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Bartholomew HuckleBerry says...

The reason for no turn-out must be that there is no speeding problem. Where exactly can you speed with those small, tight and pot-holed ridden streets ? Nobody wants to do the dirty work of unfairly targeting hard pressed motorists ! Police needs to catch criminals not line their dirty pockets with fines.The same fines which never get spent back into the system they are trying to improve. THAMES VALLEY POLICE IS A FAILED, IN-EFFICIENT AND USELESS BUNCH OF CRIMINAL THUGS...ALL OF THEM !
The reason for no turn-out must be that there is no speeding problem. Where exactly can you speed with those small, tight and pot-holed ridden streets ? Nobody wants to do the dirty work of unfairly targeting hard pressed motorists ! Police needs to catch criminals not line their dirty pockets with fines.The same fines which never get spent back into the system they are trying to improve. THAMES VALLEY POLICE IS A FAILED, IN-EFFICIENT AND USELESS BUNCH OF CRIMINAL THUGS...ALL OF THEM ! Bartholomew HuckleBerry
  • Score: 2

3:23pm Mon 10 Feb 14

big don g the 1st says...

thought there would have been floods of offers.
thought there would have been floods of offers. big don g the 1st
  • Score: 5

8:41am Tue 11 Feb 14

Lblackman says...

People are definitely speeding!! Marlowe roads are very unsafe, but it's also due to poor layout and lack of decent crossings! I walk the streets every day taking my children to school and it's terrifying. Everyone complains and yet they do nothing. Access to Higginson park is a nightmare and an accident waiting to happen.

It's possible nobody signed up because there was not enough awareness about the scheme. First I've heard of it! I'd gladly sign up if it would help the greater good, but it's only part of the problem. Bad parking, huge vehicles careering round roads that where built for horse and cart and haven't changed much since.
People are definitely speeding!! Marlowe roads are very unsafe, but it's also due to poor layout and lack of decent crossings! I walk the streets every day taking my children to school and it's terrifying. Everyone complains and yet they do nothing. Access to Higginson park is a nightmare and an accident waiting to happen. It's possible nobody signed up because there was not enough awareness about the scheme. First I've heard of it! I'd gladly sign up if it would help the greater good, but it's only part of the problem. Bad parking, huge vehicles careering round roads that where built for horse and cart and haven't changed much since. Lblackman
  • Score: -5

8:45am Tue 11 Feb 14

Lblackman says...

This article would be more useful and have impact if there was information on actually how to sign up....
This article would be more useful and have impact if there was information on actually how to sign up.... Lblackman
  • Score: -3

11:07pm Tue 11 Feb 14

frackellgirl says...

A couple of years or so ago my daughter received one of these letters stating that she had been found to be speeding in a speed check operation in Chinnor. The only problem was that she had not been anywhere near Chinnor for years!
I telephoned the sender of the letter on her behalf to protest her innocence but we don't know if her name was deleted from the records of speeding drivers or not. I just hope the people operating this system get their facts right instead of stigmatising the innocent.
A couple of years or so ago my daughter received one of these letters stating that she had been found to be speeding in a speed check operation in Chinnor. The only problem was that she had not been anywhere near Chinnor for years! I telephoned the sender of the letter on her behalf to protest her innocence but we don't know if her name was deleted from the records of speeding drivers or not. I just hope the people operating this system get their facts right instead of stigmatising the innocent. frackellgirl
  • Score: 1

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