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Community speed watch volunteers reveal daily abuse from drivers

PUBLISHED: 20:46 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:33 20 August 2019

Volunteers from Attleborough community speed watch on London Road, near Rosecroft Primary School. Photo: Victoria Pertusa

Volunteers from Attleborough community speed watch on London Road, near Rosecroft Primary School. Photo: Victoria Pertusa

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A community speed watch group has spoken out about the daily abuse endured by volunteers. Reporter BETHANY WALES joined them on patrol to find out what they are up against...

Volunteers from Attleborough community speed watch on London Road, near Rosecroft Primary School. Photo: Victoria PertusaVolunteers from Attleborough community speed watch on London Road, near Rosecroft Primary School. Photo: Victoria Pertusa

We have only been stood on the side of London Road in Attleborough for 10 minutes when a driver in a black Mercedes gives us a middle-fingered salute.

The group coordinator, 74-year-old Robert, laughs. Apparently this is a regular occurrence and is often accompanied by verbal abuse.

"We get abuse most times we come out, it's very naughty. People will swear at us even when they have kids in the car."

Volunteers from Attleborough community speed watch on London Road, near Rosecroft Primary School. Photo: Victoria PertusaVolunteers from Attleborough community speed watch on London Road, near Rosecroft Primary School. Photo: Victoria Pertusa

The group was set up six years ago by the now-mayor of Attleborough, Tony Crouch, in an effort to tackle speeding on roads into the town.

Since then it has grown to 18 members, with groups meeting every day to carry out patrols.

Despite shrugging off the abuse as "part of the job," Robert believes volunteers deserve more respect.

He said: "It's not a nice thing to have to deal with.

Volunteers from Attleborough community speed watch on London Road, near Rosecroft Primary School. Photo: Victoria PertusaVolunteers from Attleborough community speed watch on London Road, near Rosecroft Primary School. Photo: Victoria Pertusa

"There was one occasion when a man got out of his car and was shouting at us.

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"I managed to calm him down but we were seconds away from having to call the police.

"It was reported and the police visited him at home."

Volunteers from Attleborough community speed watch on London Road, near Rosecroft Primary School. Photo: Victoria PertusaVolunteers from Attleborough community speed watch on London Road, near Rosecroft Primary School. Photo: Victoria Pertusa

Although community volunteers do not have any enforcement powers, motorists who are caught receive a warning letter from the police telling them that neighbourhood volunteers have recorded them speeding.

However, if they receive three of these letters, they may get a home visit from a police officer and their vehicle details could be put on a police database.

For volunteers like former-traffic professional Barry, 79, the work of speed watch volunteers is essential for tackling dangerous driving.

The team regularly monitors traffic half a mile away on London Road, outside the newly-built Rosecroft Primary school.

On one occasion, 104 people were caught speeding in an hour.

Tony said: "Speeds up to 100mph have been recorded on London Road and Queen's Road, which are 30mph limits.

"It's the children we worry about.

"People know how dangerous it is and that's why the vast majority of the community support what we do."

To find out more about becoming a volunteer contact Tony Crouch on f227@btinternet.com

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