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Community speed watch volunteers required in Leek

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: August 28, 2014

PCSO Simon Bridgett in Westwood Road which is one of the town's hot spot for speeding drivers

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SPEEDING drivers causing major concerns around the roads of Leek are facing a crackdown.

Police officers are looking to reduce the number of offenders in and around the town following complaints from schools and residents.

Two hot-spot areas have already been highlighted – Westwood Road and Spring Gardens.

Now Staffordshire Police want volunteers to come forward to set up Community Speed Watch schemes in various locations across the whole town.

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North Street resident Reg Davies, aged 70, said he would volunteer to take part in the scheme after two near misses in the last two weeks in the West End area.

He said: "I was stopped in my car at a pedestrian crossing in West Street to let someone cross when a car came and overtook me.

"On another occasion I was walking across the pedestrian crossing. When I was half-way over a van came down and went straight past me. I could have been seriously hurt.

"I am in full support of the police in setting up Community Speed Watch schemes across the town as many of the vehicles are going past schools."

Treasurer of West End Action Group, Bill Birch, aged 71, of Spring Gardens, said: "There is a 30 mph speed restriction, which is acceptable in the area.

"Most drivers do take care, but we do get vehicles going between 40 and 50 mph at certain times, which is causing problems.

"Young drivers see the speed humps as amusement to see how high they can get off them. The area is close to the recreational ground and schools where children could suddenly run across the road.

"I feel a Community Speed Watch would be beneficial, but people should be rotated away from their own areas to other parts of the town."

Leek PCSO Simon Bridgett said officers had received complaints from many residents and schools regarding speeding vehicles.

He said: "To set up a Community Speed Watch campaign we need a minimum of six local residents to volunteer. Once the team has been put together they will be trained by Staffordshire Police on how to use the radar speed equipment.

"They will be provided with hi-visibility vests and Community Speed Watch signs for safety.

"We have all the equipment ready and the training takes about two hours.

"We would like to put volunteers all over Leek following the number of complaints we have received over the speed that some vehicles are travelling."

Community Speed Watch teams use hi-tech radar speed equipment at pre-identified locations to track speed while noting the details of offending vehicles.

Offenders are issued with an advisory warning letter.

If the same vehicle is caught on a second occasion a more strongly worded letter is sent.

Any third time offenders will be dealt with appropriately by Staffordshire Police.

Any local residents wanting to take part can contact PCSO 22580 Simon Bridgett at Leek Police Station by calling the Staffordshire Police 101 number, or by visiting Leek Police Station in Fountain Street.

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