Volunteers step in for speeding checks on motorists on Swinton’s roads

Volunteer speeding patrols will be introduced in South Yorkshire to monitor traffic in their own community without professional supervision, it has emerged.

Volunteers: Police to call in residents for speeding traffic checks
Volunteers: Police to call in residents for speeding traffic checks

Those involved will have no authority to issue fines, but will be able to trigger warning letters sent to drivers observed as breaking speed limits and also to act as intelligence gatherers – allowing police to step in and take enforcement action where repeat problems are identified.

Using civilians – including school children – in work using speed detector guns is not new, but historically they have always been supervised either by police or PCSOs.

Now police chiefs in the Rotherham district are to go a step further and leave volunteers from the community in charge of the work, after training.

The first scheme will be launched in the Swinton area, with police encouraging members of the community to adopt a ‘go bag’ of equipment provided by the force.

A report to South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, explained: “After initial assessment, volunteers would manage/look after their own equipment, attend the identified locations in their neighbourhood, generate letters and escalate (where appropriate) for more formal action/activity.”

Supt Steve Chapman told a meeting of the PCC’s Public Accountability Board, which holds the force to account for its performance that locations where repeat speeders were identified would be highlighted for police attention.

He said: “We try to use social capital, where we use volunteers rather than PCSOs.”