A man caught speeding by a community speed watch group in Storrington has labelled the process ‘bad policing’ and ‘menacing’.
Amberley resident Martin Carter was logged by Storrington and Sullington Community Speedwatch last month for driving at 37mph in a 30mph zone on Amberley Road in Storrington.
The team of volunteers then reported the information to Sussex Police’s Operation Crackdown, which in turn wrote a letter to Mr Carter, stating that although there will be no points or fine imposed, the report will be held for 12 months by police.
“I am all in favour of clamping down on speeding but not in such a threatening manner based upon information gathered by a non-police officer,” claimed the 55-year-old.
“It greatly concerns me. I found it very menacing. I don’t know what they’ve got up their sleeves.”
The letter by superintendent head of road policing, Jane Derrick, states: “A report to Operation Crackdown does not constitute a driving offence. It is an opportunity for us to draw our attention to the consequences of dangerous or anti-social driving. The report will be held by Sussex Police for 12 months and if the vehicle comes to our notice again, it will be investigated further.”
Mr Carter said he would rather face the consequences under the usual police protocol.
“What has really angered me is the fact that some anonymous volunteer is able to generate information for the police to hold and ‘investigate further’ under certain circumstances.
“This is not an acceptable way of policing. If I have committed an offence then please prosecute me.”
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “The initiative is an important way for members of the public who may be concerned about the manner of someone’s driving or abandoned vehicles to get in contact with the authorities.”
Superintendent Jane Derrick said: “Speeding is a top priority for those who live in Sussex and for us at the police. The limit through residential areas is 30, at most, to keep those living in the area safe and anyone caught breaking the speed limit, even by just a few miles per hour, is more likely to kill or seriously injure someone.”
Mr Carter continued: “In Storrington they are mainly retired people with a camera monitoring speed and I have no problem with that, but I think the letter is completely out of order. It sets the police against the people.”