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Police back community volunteers to help catch speeding motorists

Newton Abbot CSW volunteers with SDO Dave Burrows

Road safety volunteers in Devon and Cornwall have received police back-up to help catch speeding motorists in their communities.

Police Speed Detection Officers (SDOs) are being deployed with Community Speedwatch teams and can provide enforcement capability to their activities.

Ordinarily, the registered keeper of a vehicle caught speeding by Community Speedwatch volunteers would be sent a warning letter together with educational information. However, anyone caught breaking the speed limit by the Speed Detection Officer during the session will be issued with a notice of intended prosecution (NOIP).

One such session took place in Newton Abbot in Devon last week. Residents had raised concerns about the speed of vehicles travelling towards the town centre from the junction of Aller Brake Road and St Marychurch Road.

So on Tuesday, February 7, a group of Community Speedwatch volunteers, joined by SDO Dave Burrows, set up to monitor cars on the 30 mph road.

Within two hours, 30 cars had already been recorded by police breaking the speed limit – the fastest of which was clocked driving at 56 mph.

With SDO Dave Burrows on site, each of the 30 drivers will now be issued with a notice of intended prosecution.

Adrian Leisk, Devon & Cornwall Police’s Head of Road Safety, is also chair of the enforcement committee at the Vision Zero South West road safety partnership.

Mr Leisk said: “Speed is a major contributory factor in serious and fatal road collisions. Travelling too fast leaves less time for drivers to react and significantly increases the risk of sustaining serious or fatal injuries.

“Newton Abbot Community Speedwatch is one of over 180 teams that we’ve got across Devon and Cornwall, with almost 1,000 volunteers supporting us in our efforts to make the roads safer. 

“Today we’ve got one of our own speed detection officers embedded within that community Speed Watch team, meaning those caught exceeding the speed limit will be receiving prosecution notices on their doorsteps in the coming days.

“But it isn’t all about issuing fines and catching people out, it’s about changing behaviour. We are grateful to every single one of our volunteers who give up their time to work with us to keep Devon’s roads safe.”

Newton Abbot CSW volunteers with SDO Dave Burrows

The Newton Abbot Community Speedwatch team is headed up by Councillor Mike Joyce, who added: “I got involved in Community Speedwatch personally because I wanted to do something to reduce injuries and deaths on our roads.

“We are here because our communities told us there was a problem and we want to help solve it. People like to see us being visible on our roads, helping make our communities safer, whatever the weather.

“Having the police with us and backing us shows people that we are one big team that wants the best for our neighbourhoods. Working alongside the police gives our teams a big boost and I am proud to be a part of this project.”

For more information, to get involved or set up your own local Community Speedwatch, visit