Community Speedwatch sounds a bit tame (it’s the word community) but this picture was taken when a cyclist was holding this speed gun. You can join in. Stand beside a policeman and catch your nominations for the most dangerous driver of 2019.
A strong contender for the most reckless driver of the year was a motor bike caught pulling a wheelie uphill at 53mph while over taking a car in Dulwich Wood Park. This record stood for number of weeks until a motorbike was caught doing 73 on Herne Hill going the wrong way around a bollard, over-taking many vehicles and approaching a bend.
I’m sure we’ve all seen worse than that but it’s amusing to do it with a speed gun in your hand. To join in email email@example.com.
All this effort has had its effect. The Met has noticed that speeding is a problem and is joining in. The police have set up a dedicated unit with their own more sophisticated speedguns. In a spell on the Old Kent Road near the flyover they handed out six tickets. Using the evidence collected by the Speedwatch volunteers they are working out the speeding hotspots and paying them a visit.
The man in charge is PCSO Kevin Phillips who has been running the Community Speedwatch in Southwark. The higher-ups want to build on his success and Kevin will be telling them where he and his volunteers have found lots of speeding — Village Way, Lordship Lane, Croxted Road, Dog Kennel Hill — I could go on. If you want to add any suggestions or join in then contact Kevin on firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s very nice.
The Met takes Speedwatch findings seriously and repeat offenders will find themselves on the receiving end of increasingly unpleasant letters.
The first letter says the speeding offence will be held on police records for 12 months. The second one says the vehicle details will be passed to the Criminal Justice Unit databases and the third one adds it to the Automatic Number Plate Recognition hotlist which alerts all roads police to the vehicle and they may stop and check it. “In cases of persistent or extreme speeding vehicles may be targeted for enforcement by police officers or mobile speed camera vans”.
Kevin is the Met’s Community Speedwatch representative in Southwark. He’s part of Road Transport Policing Command. He sets the dates and times and brings the speed gun. He also does all the boring admin work afterwards. The Community does the fun bit and points the gun. The actual place is also suggested by the community, so, if you know a particular bit of road ravaged by particularly fast drivers, then let Kevin know. He will check it out. Roads that already have a speed camera or humps are not suitable.
Learning how to use the speed gun is easy. Focussing it (getting a fix) on oncoming vehicles from a distance of 150 metres is not-so-much. Once you have a speed reading and it’s too high (I can hardly believe it), it is essential to get the registration number and, if possible, the make and colour of the vehicle. Public entertainment is considerable. The grateful, the curious, the anxious and the eccentric all stop by. Nobody even remotely hostile, after all one of you is a policeman in full uniform. And now, more policemen in full uniform are joining in.