03 May 2017
Local officers in the Blandford area have teamed up with day centre service users to take action on speeding motorists in the town.
The town’s Neighbourhood Policing Team spent the morning with members of the Speaking Up project, run by People First Dorset, carrying out speed checks.
The initiative was supported by the Blandford Community Centre team.
PCSO Jamie Burt, of Blandford police, said: “It was great to engage with members of the Speaking Up group and to take positive action to tackle speeding in the town.
“These people have various learning difficulties and many of them are living independently, something which has taken years to achieve in some cases, and the issue of speeding traffic is clearly one that concerns them.”
The group took to the streets in high visibility jackets and took turns checking the speed of passing cars near the Blandford Community Centre.
Project manager for People First Dorset Lisa Dixon said: “We were pleased that most people in Blandford were sticking to the speed limit, although we did spot one car excessively speeding on Salisbury Road, which made all of us feel quite uneasy.”
One member said: “I didn’t like that, it was going too fast and it made me scared.”
Following the success of the event, members of the Speaking Up group have expressed an interest in regularly supporting the local Community Speed Watch scheme, which enables volunteers from the community to support officers in monitoring road safety in their area.
People First Dorset runs projects across Dorset to enable people with learning disabilities to have a stronger voice, to speak up and promote positive change in their communities.
The Speaking Up project covers eight different towns in the county, engaging more than 180 people.
Project worker Chris Mellor said: “Before I worked on the Speaking Up project I was like a tortoise in my shell.
“The groups have made a positive impact on my life. I feel more confident and I’m pleased to now more people are speaking up for themselves.”
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