Poll: Suffolk police set to change strategy to crackdown on speeding motorists

Police carrying out speed enforcement

Police carrying out speed enforcement

Police waging war on speeding motorists in Suffolk are set to change their enforcement strategy in response to public concerns.

A report due to be discussed by the Suffolk Police and Crime Panel today states officers now only intend to concentrate their efforts on areas where there are a high risk of serious accidents.

Communities which are continually plagued by vehicles breaking the limit, or locations such as around schools and care homes, will also become priority hotspots.

Among the accident blackspots which are due to be targeted as part of a more focussed approach are the A12 at Wrentham and the A140 at Brome.

A stronger emphasis will also be put on villages such as Elmswell, Long Melford, Gorton, Framsden, Melton and Wickhambrook where residents have expressed continual concern over speeding.

The report states: “Proactive speed enforcement will now only take place where there is an evidence-based need.”

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, who has been holding public forums across the county, said speeding has topped residents’ agendas.

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He added he was also aware of the accusation that police use speed cameras as a cash cow to make money and wanted to counter that criticism.

Mr Passmore said: “At every single one of the district and borough forums in the last five weeks speeding was one of the major issues.

“I would say it was the number one concern. “

He added that after taking office last November he became aware of a lot of comment about how the speed limits were enforced in Suffolk.

Mr Passmore said: “There was a perception police were concentrating on ‘easy to catch’ areas and whether this was really the most appropriate use of resources. There was a perception this was to catch people out and to raise money.”

A crime survey at this year’s Suffolk Show yielded 2,000 responses and further strengthened people’s worries over speeding.

The results were analysed and Chief Constable Douglas Paxton was asked to come up with an enforcement plan which demonstrated the force is listening to the concerns of the public.

All speeding fines go to the Treasury. However, police benefit from money raised by speed awareness courses.

Mr Passmore said: The money will be invested in a variety of methods for safety on the road such as the Community Speedwatch Initiative or mobile warning signs.

“Whatever we can do to ensure people drive in a safe way and don’t endanger members of the public we will do. In no way are we condoning speeding at all.”