Body worn cameras issued to community Speedwatch volunteers

Speedwatch volunteers from the local community in the Crook area of the UK were recently provided with body cameras in order to increase safety. The body cameras are intended to protect the volunteers from irate members of the public. Anyone threatening or abusing the Speedwatch volunteers will be recorded by the body cameras and the footage can potentially be used as evidence in the event of legal proceedings.

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The background of Speedwatch

Speedwatch is designed to increase driver awareness of speed and safety issues. The educational tool aims to encourage drivers to think about the speed at which they are travelling and consider slowing down to reduce the risk of accidents. The Speedwatch programme is staffed by volunteers from the local area and covers the areas of Billy Row, Stanley Crook, Tow Law, Sunniside, Crook, Sunnybrow, Willington and Howden-Le-Wear. Each week, a team of dedicated and passionate volunteers from local communities carry out a number of speed checks. The speed checks are carried out on several days of the week.

The scheme has been a huge success in the local area and has won praise from many quarters. Unfortunately, some of the volunteers have reported that a number of motorists have reacted angrily and with aggression to the team. While these motorists are in the minority, the problem became enough of an issue for the Speedwatch organisers to issue the team of volunteers with body cameras to allow them to go about their business with increased confidence.

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You can read up on the UK’s legislation surrounding body cameras here:

Speeding in the UK

As well as local initiatives such as Speedwatch, the government has recently taken steps to stamp out speeding in other ways. In April this year, speeding penalties were increased, as the Telegraph explains.

Local PCSO Mike Gracey explained that the cameras are there to record any footage of members of the public behaving aggressively towards the Speedwatch volunteers while they carry out their speed checks. PCSO Gracey went on to say that there had been a number of instances where the volunteers had been spoken to angrily and confronted by irate motorists. He continued to warn that any member of the public found to be behaving towards the team in a questionable manner will be dealt with.

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