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Community Speed Watch schemes in Dorset – update

Police in Dorset are issuing advice and clarification to members of the public following recent media reports concerning the use of the Community Speed Watch scheme throughout the county.

The initiative, which allows members of the public to monitor motorists’ driving behaviour in their area and pass on details to the police, has been successfully piloted in West Dorset. 

Residents in Warmwell, near Dorchester, have taken part in the scheme.

Volunteers are trained in the use of a camera device and are able to record the registration numbers of speeding vehicles, before passing this information to the police.

Many of these volunteers have raised speeding as a priority safety concern in their neighbourhoods.

Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Whiting said: “The Community Speed Watch Scheme is a voluntary activity already in place elsewhere in the country, including Dorset.

“Dorset Police works with local people, at their request, so that they are able to monitor speeds and driving behaviour in their areas and tell us about their findings.

“The Force will then take action, including – if such behaviour is persistent – our own enforcement activity, which may lead to prosecution.

“Any suggestion that the Community Speed Watch Scheme is either a direct replacement for speed cameras or that it involves spying is entirely wrong.

“Scheme volunteers do not act in a covert manner and, in fact, wear high visibility clothing while participating.

“I am aware of a report in the media that could potentially give members of the public a misleading impression of the scheme and I understand that this will be clarified in due course.”