A Speedwatch volunteer who was sacked by police for catching too many drivers has lashed out at police.
David McCandless caught 40,000 speeding motorists in Cambridgeshire with a hand-held speed gun but was 'sacked' for being too over-zealous
The former community Speedwatch leader set up his own speed monitoring group, after he fell out with the police.
The retired RAF officer's Roadwatch group is complementary to Speedwatch.
But he has questioned the tactics of police who were last week out with Speedwatch volunteers for a crackdown on the driving offence.
Mr McCandless hit out at police for 'banning' Speedwatch volunteers from the best locations to trap drivers flouting the law.
He said: "I see the police are having a purge with Speedwatch but in locations where Speedwatch is already slowing traffic because they can be seen for miles in their hi-vis.
"Would it not have been better to share the effort and the police support those villages and road stretches where the villagers have been banned from doing Speedwatch because its too dangerous or the best locations to catch speeders are not allowed because it would not be fair on the speeders because they would not have long enough to slow down before they entered the Speedwatch display radar beam?
"And what about those villages with a speeding problem that we have identified where everyone either works or is unfit to stand at the side of a road for an hour at a time and breath in the traffic fumes that will put them at risk of heart attack for six hours afterwards?
"Enforcement by favouritism or just taking an easier option that wont mean too much work for the ticketing office."
Don't make volunteers pay
And barely catching his breath, the speed campaigner added: "There is a lot of crime out there in the community that needs addressing with a real consequence, and not by Speedwatch alone.
"The police cannot abdicate their responsibility to Speedwatch for community policing and the constabulary should not have such a policy whereby they wont do anything unless you first try Speedwatch and then make them pay for their own kit because they have mismanaged the resources and where the PCC believes the villages are rich enough to buy their own £3,000 kit that we have seen end up rotting away in someones shed because the coordinator dies or moves away and no one can pick up the reins.
"In North Yorkshire the PCC (Police and Crime Commissioner) funds Speedwatch from the rebates the Constabulary gets from Speed Awareness Courses drivers are sent on instead of getting points if one timers and under 42mph."
The campaigner said: "Also look up a 21 century solution, the TruCam that empowers PCSOs to carry our realtime enforcement for the first time – adopted by several constabularies that do take community safety seriously.
"We need our PCSOs, that are now identified to each village according to the Policing Plan 2018, to be so empowered by a device that costs a mere £7,500.
"We would fund that if the Constabulary promised to plough back into Speedwatch or fund more TruCams the rebates they generate from Speed Awareness Courses.
"Community Road Speedwatch is not against the police or PCC, I just wish they would use their resources to maximum effect for the greater good of the community and not to what they think is best for them when evidence points to better ways or more accurate reliable information. "
Taken to the top
Mr McCandless said: "I took these problems to the PCC and Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) last May and – to my knowledge – despite support from several parish councils writing in – there has been no movement on either by the PCC or the police since then.
"The use of SIDs by Speedwatch being of particular relevance because villages are having to buy kit to put on tripods when identical kit for the same cost can be put on lampposts and server a greater 24/7 purpose.
"I should point out that the Chief Constable leads the field in considering Community Roadwatch a thorn in his side because he was party, as Deputy Chief Constable, to my being kicked out of Speedwatch in November 14 for objecting to the way it was being changed and for the ACC not providing sufficient resource to meet the needs of this area of 26 villages that was submitting 1,000 letters a month on its own and because we can prove that the Police do NOT have communityspeeding under control in our residential 30mph zones."
What the police say
A police spokesman said they were content for Mr McCandless to continue with the monitoring scheme as long as he stayed within the law.
Throughout last week, Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit (RPU) worked alongside Speedwatch, a scheme supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner to give the public an opportunity to deter speeding drivers in their community.
Speedwatch volunteers use speed detection equipment at the roadside to monitor passing motorists at dangerous driving hotspots.
Once a speeding driver has been detected, an advisory letter is sent by the scheme and the drivers details are passed on to the police.
Drivers who repeatedly sped through the area can expect a visit from a police officer.
Jason Ablewhite, Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I am fully supportive of the enormous contribution Speedwatch volunteers make in keeping our roads safer.
"The role they play in helping to reduce speeding as well as educating inconsiderate drivers to change their behaviour is hugely important. I am pleased to see the number of schemes increasing and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the scheme.”