Community Roadwatch and Speed Awareness Courses

The “Community Roadwatch” scheme has been promoted by a number of police forces in the last few years. This is where the police train local residents to use speed guns who then report malefactors to the police who send the drivers a “warning” (one might even say “threatening”) letter. But so far as this writer is aware, such letters have no legal force. This scheme has been promoted by Transport for London and the Metropolitan police in London.

According to a recent press report, in the London Borough of Havering they have gone one step further. According to the Romford Recorder, after issuing a letter for the third time to a driver, the police will take further action by issuing a “mandatory speed awareness course” invite. It is not at all clear what legal basis the police might be claiming for having powers to do this. Could they prosecute the driver for example if the speed awareness course invite is ignored?

Of course this kind of scheme, effectively local vigilantism, is opposed by many. For example a poll by Populus conducted on behalf of the AA showed almost equal numbers of people in favour as opposed. As one person said, it was “just an excuse for local busybodies to interfere with neighbours behaviour” (quote from a Guardian article on the subject).

The writer is looking into this topic further.

Roger Lawson

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One thought on “Community Roadwatch and Speed Awareness Courses

  1. As an example of this Vigilantism’, the local ‘Speed Vigilantes’ alleged that they had ‘caught’ a car which was registered to me, but used mainly by my wife, 3 times in 15 months, at 36, 35 and 37 mph in villages around our area in Cambs.

    A Community Support Officer called at my home one day when I had a bad cold & a sore throat. He wanted to lecture me, but could not answer the simple question as to what percentage of RTC’s involve vehicles being driven over the posted limit. He said it was 30% and when told the TRRL had established it at 4 to 5% didn’t agree. I said that in that case I was not prepared to discuss road safety with an amateur and that he could leave, which he did. He didn’t return!

    How the Police can ‘mandate’ a SAC from the ‘evidence’ of unqualified vigilantes is beyond me. I would simply refuse, then challenge the ‘evidence’ if it went to court. How the vigilantes would stand up to being cross questioned by a lawyer in a court would be interesting to say the least.

    Good luck with the campaign,

    Peter Valentine, Cambridgeshire.

    On Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 4:08 PM, AMPOW – Speed Awareness Campaign wrote:

    > abdlondon posted: “The “Community Roadwatch” scheme has been promoted by a > number of police forces in the last few years. This is where the police > train local residents to use speed guns who then report malefactors to the > police who send the drivers a “warning” (one might e” >

    Like

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