Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster has praised the contribution of the county’s road safety volunteers during a special event celebrating the success of the scheme.
The Derbyshire Community Speedwatch Seminar was hosted at Force Headquarters in Ripley and recognised the efforts of hundreds of Community Speedwatch volunteers who help to promote safer driving behaviour across the county’s towns and villages.
The Commissioner prioritised Road Safety in her Police and Crime Plan as this is a key concern for residents, who consistently raise the impact of speeding and dangerous driving in their communities as an issue.
Her plan sets out expectations for Derbyshire Constabulary to help tackle the fatal four causes of collisions (speeding, drugs/alcohol, seatbelts and mobile phones), increase the number of Community Speedwatch volunteers and support their work while also using intelligence from their activities to inform proactive enforcement by the force.
The seminar was attended by Speedwatch Co-ordinators within the Casualty Reduction Enforcement Support Team (CREST) and Speedwatch volunteers from across the county, honouring the role volunteers play in helping make Derbyshire’s roads safer for all.
Commissioner Angelique Foster said: “The public want to see speeding and dangerous driving tackled and reduced, they want the police force to work harder to keep their roads safe.
“That’s why, as Commissioner, I have invested additional resources to help tackle the Fatal Four (speeding, drink/drug driving, lack of seatbelts and mobile phone use while driving) to enable the force to deliver a robust and well-resourced roads policing unit and to ensure proactive speed enforcement is conducted on the county’s road network alongside a tougher approach to dangerous driving.
“But the Police can’t resolve everything and schemes like Community Speedwatch play a valuable role in helping communities to increase their safety.
“Earlier this year, I launched my Road Safety Grant scheme offering community groups and parish and town councils the chance to bid for a share of £150k to fund new Community Speed Watch schemes amongst other schemes which included the movable Speed Indicator Devices programme, and I am pleased many organisations took up that offer.
“There are now more than 700 volunteers involved in the scheme and over 90 active groups – a significant increase on the 25 groups in place in 2019.
“It is impossible to measure the full value these dedicated volunteers bring to their communities. I know our residents are greatly appreciative of their work and commitment and the Roads Policing Unit recognise the added value they bring to their own enforcement work.
“I was proud to gratulate the volunteers on their achievements and promote opportunities for schemes to learn from one another. There are plans to build on the work of our Speedwatch schemes next year and I am looking forward to seeing that, with my ongoing support, this initiative goes from strength to strength.”
The seminar included an address from Assistant Chief Constable James Abdy and Sgt Paul Moorcroft as well as a question and answer session by key speakers.
Attendees also witnessed a fire extrication display led by Simon Booth from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and a collision investigation demonstration involving drone and laser technology.
The Seminar provided an overview of the scheme from a county-wide perspective, sharing data on the number of schemes, letters distributed and volunteers in place. The event also was aimed at sharing best practice among the various schemes and highlighting key successes.
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