Community Speedwatch Scheme in South West Edinburgh

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Below is a briefing from the police in South West Edinburgh on the “Community Speedwatch Scheme” which allows trained private citizens monitor speeding in their neighbourhood. The scheme is already working in Fife.  I’d rather the police were doing this work, but I accept residents may want to play a role in making their community safer. 

I am contacting you to provide an update in relation to the Community Speedwatch Scheme. As most of you will be aware, this was initially mentioned some time ago by CI Alan Carson when he was the South West Chief Inspector.  Community Speedwatch is a voluntary scheme, involving approved members of local communities to monitor vehicle speeds at identified sites. This scheme is not about enforcement or intended to replace any police activity, this scheme is another layer of road safety that members of the community can be involved in.

In the South West we have been continuing to work on introducing the scheme. It has taken longer than expected due to insurance and financial complexities but I am pleased to report that we have now addressed these and are at the stage where we can introduce the pilot.

The pilot will be the first time that Community Speed Watch has operated in Edinburgh Division and we are offering the South West local Community Councils an opportunity to apply to take part. From applications  we will initially select 2 locations to launch the scheme in Spring 2020 and if successful, roll out availability  to all South West Community Councils in later in 2020.     

The scheme will work by trained volunteers working  in a team of three, using a detection device to monitor the speeds of vehicles travelling through their local area.  The registration number of speeding vehicles is recorded. Warning letters are then sent out by the Police to the registered keepers stating that their vehicle has been reported as speeding.  Locations for monitoring speed are selected from sites suggested by the community, based on where there is most local concern about speeding traffic, or the impact of speed.  Sites will be risk assessed for suitability by Police, and we will provide the use of a speed detection device, high visibility jackets, signage and equipment for the collection of data. Any ongoing issues will be picked up by the police and enforcement activity undertaken.

We are this week contacting  every Community Council in the South West providing details of the scheme to allow them to discuss with their members. The Police Community teams will provide a full overview in due course during their attendance at Community Council meetings allowing members to decide if they wish to participate.

A training package will be provided by the Police to all volunteers.  The training provided will cover an overview of the scheme and how it works, the operation of the speed detection device, how to record the data collected by volunteers, general data protection principles, personal safety and conflict management, in addition to health and safety awareness. 


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