Lack of police scrutiny of speeding data branded 'slap in the face' for Norfolk communities

PUBLISHED: 12:44 03 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:44 03 April 2019

A Speed Awareness Message (SAM2). Pic: Norfolk County Council.

A Speed Awareness Message (SAM2). Pic: Norfolk County Council.


The admission by police that they do not look at data on speeding drivers captured by flashing signs in Norfolk's towns and villages has been branded "a slap in the face".

Fran Whymark, Broadland District Councillor. PIc: Archant Library.Fran Whymark, Broadland District Councillor. PIc: Archant Library.

And Broadland District Council’s representative on the county’s police and crime panel has pledged to raise the issue with the police and crime commissioner and chief constable.

As reported, over the past two years, Norfolk County Council and parish councils have spent thousands on more than 100 Speed Awareness Message (SAM2) signs, which activate and flash when drivers go over the limit.

While details of the vehicles and drivers are not captured, some devices record information about the number of times the signs are activated, along with the time. Data about traffic volumes is also recorded.

Wroxham Parish Council had been sending such information to Norfolk police, but were surprised to get an email saying the data could not be passed to the police road traffic unit or the safety camera team.

The police said they had “no capacity” to look at the data. They added units were not calibrated regularly, so could only give a guide to speed and that the safety camera team only respond to data from their own cameras.

Fran Whymark, Conservative district councillor for Wroxham, wants to raise the issue at the Norfolk police and crime panel.

He said: “I am somewhat surprised at the police response to the parish council. One of the priorities for the police and crime commissioner is improving road safety.

“This is very frustrating, if not a clear slap in the face, for parishes who have, with the best of intentions, invested their often very limited, precept to assist local policing.

“At the very least this is likely to deter local parishes from investing their precept in this way in the future.

“I hope that this can be revisited to enable parishes, and their residents, to feel they are working together with the police. To alienate the very people who are trying to help is not productive for anyone.”

A Norfolk police spokesman had said the force was keen to work with parish and town councils which, based on their own reading of their data, flagged up patterns and concerns, to see if police action could be taken.

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