Step by step

Step by step

First stop should be your neighbourhood policing team

Check to see if your local police force operate Community Speed Watch (CSW) schemes, if they cover the area you are in and if they cover 20 mph as well as 30 and 40 mph speed limits. The best initial contact could be your neighbourhood policing team. They may, for example, cover only rural as opposed to urban areas. If not, then ask them and your local authority to set up a scheme or expand it.

Some police forces require a set number of signatures in favour of a local CSW scheme to be gathered before they will consider setting one up. This is not just about ensuring there is enough interest in an area to justify setting up a scheme, it can also involve seeking the commitment of those who sign to respect speed limits. Most police forces also require the support of the relevant parish or town council.

Once you have the necessary support you will need to recruit then train at least six volunteers. Training includes how to operate the speed guns, which can cost between £500 for a basic radar gun to £2000 for a laser gun. It also covers how to deal with any questions from drivers or even aggression, though that is very rare. You will also need public liability insurance and equipment such as hi-viz jackets, signs and speed guns.

Then you will need to identify locations where volunteers can monitor speeds safely and these will need to be subject to a risk assessment. Once you have done that you can start planning a rota for CSW activity though remember that there should be three volunteers at each time. Don’t forget that the launch of a CSW can be a particularly good opportunity for coverage in the local media and for seeking pledges from local people to keep to speed limits.

It’s worth planning for yearly reviews to discuss the data recorded with the local authority and police.

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