At a Village Hall meeting on 10 March PC Gary Austin explained to an interested audience how Community Speedwatch operates, and how Hitcham residents could play a vital part in cutting the incidence of speeding in the village.

Volunteers just need to fill in a simple application form to be approved, and will then have an hour’s training before they are ready for action.

The job is done by a team of three: one to check vehicle speeds with a simple speed gun, a second to check the registration number of any vehicle found to be speeding, and a third to write the number down. Quality is more important than quantity – getting a small number absolutely right ensures that the data we send to the police is as accurate as possible. Volunteers are not enforcers and have no enforcement powers. Anyone they catch speeding will receive a warning letter from the police, and a rather stronger letter if they repeat the offence. A third offence will bring a visit from a police officer.

The Hitcham scheme will be operated jointly with Finborough and Bildeston, so all three villages will share the speed gun. High-vis jackets and signs will be provided by the Parish Councils.

At the end of the meeting seven volunteers from Hitcham signed up to take part in the scheme, but more volunteers would be very welcome – the more of us there are, the more often we can be out there, and the less often individual people will have to do it. Sessions normally last an hour, and if standing for that length of time is a problem for you it will be possible to sit down!

To find out more about Community Speedwatch follow this link to the Suffolk Constabulary website.

You can see their video here: