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Tuesday 24 July 2018, 12:41 PM

A neighbourhood policing team has supported a village near Wotton-under-Edge in their battle to reduce the number of speeding drivers on its roads.

Villagers in Kingswood, where the roads have a 30 mph limit, have endured years of excessive speeding, particularly around the commuter and school run times.

But after exhausting other options the Parish Council has installed the latest high tech automatic number plate recognition and speed detection system at three key locations.

In June - the first full month of operation - 71,000 vehicles were clocked passing through the village, seven of which were being driven at more than double the speed limit.

Two BMW drivers were shown to be travelling in excess of 70 mph and neighbourhood officers from Dursley police station visited the drivers, causing one to update their insurance details which resulted in a £1,700 premium increase.

Throughout June, 28 per cent of the traffic exceeded the 30 mph limit and 417 vehicles were detected as travelling in excess of 45 mph.

The system is being used for educational reasons and warning letters will be issued to those who flout the speed. Police also make visits to those speeding excessively and words of advice are given, however further action would also be considered.

Neighbourhood Police Sergeant Liz Lovell said: "This is an excellent example of how neighbourhood policing can work with its communities to solve long term problems.

"The Parish Council has taken the initiative and invested in this system with the welfare of its villager's top of mind - it's really determined to tackle this very real problem.

"We will always try to collaboratively support our communities under such circumstances and particularly so where it ties into the Police and Crime plan around safe and social driving."

Parish Councillor Paul Hemming added: "We have spent a lot of time considering the best options for traffic calming measures in Kingswood.

"It has been a consistent thorn in our side for more than 10 years and we're delighted our neighbourhood policing team have embraced our solution to it with such endeavour.

"We very much support the educational, 'heart and minds' tactic in addressing driver behaviour through our village which the police have advocated in the first instance."

Parish Councillors met with police and entered into an information sharing agreement which gives the Force access to the system's combined number plate and road speed data. 

No personal data will be shared with the Parish Council and they only have the ability to see the vehicle registration number on the system which is then passed on to police.

This means police will be in contact with the most persistent and prolific drivers who flout the 30 mph zone around Kingswood. The agreement also allows police to use the system as a general crime prevention and detection intelligence tool.

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