VOLUNTEERS have clocked more than 10,000 speeding motorists as part of a deterrent scheme.
Speed Watch schemes across Suffolk have caught 10,934 drivers flouting speed limits since 2009 – with 440 of those drivers receiving multiple warning letters.
The scheme puts monitoring equipment in the hands of volunteer groups who then set up speed traps.
Details of rogue drivers are sent on to Suffolk Police, who send out warning letters.
But the force has moved to defend the scheme after claims that it was toothless.
A spokesman said: “The Community Speed Watch (CSW) intiative has grown in popularity since its launch in 2009, and is proving highly successful.
“Speeding is an ongoing concern amongst residents and the scheme aims to reduce the number of drivers who exceed the speed limit.”
PCSO Jon Burke, from the Bury Rural North Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) emphasised the scheme’s role as a deterrent.
“Speeding is an issue that is raised with us time and again and although we conduct regular checks, this initiative empowers communities to work together with the police to make their towns and villages safer.
“The focus is on providing a visual deterrent and re-educate speeding drivers to slow down when driving through our communities,” he said.
John Adams, who runs the Speed Watch scheme in Norton, said the scheme had been positive.
“I think it helps by slowing people down and actually reminding them what speed they should be doing.
“Some people don’t care, they’ll still do 48 in a 30 and stick their fingers up at us as they drive past.
“We’d all like more police officers doing this but there are only a finite amount of resources and I don’t really want my taxes to go up at the moment,” he said.
Cllr Adams added that speeds had not dropped in the village since the scheme began.