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Police and public to join forces and enforce Islington’s 20mph limit in UK’s first community speed watch

PUBLISHED: 06:44 27 November 2014

(L-R) Constable Rebecca Masters, Councillor Caroline Russell & Constable Lauren Cairns during a police operation enforcing the 20mph zone on Highbury Park (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

(L-R) Constable Rebecca Masters, Councillor Caroline Russell & Constable Lauren Cairns during a police operation enforcing the 20mph zone on Highbury Park (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Archant

A pioneering plan to get the public and police working hand-in-hand to stop speeding was launched this week.

Community speed-watch, a joint effort from Islington police and the Green Party, is the first of its kind in the country and will involve concerned residents on patrol with officers, warning drivers who break Islington’s 20mph speed limit.

The announcement came following a day of action in Blackstock Road, Highbury, last week, which saw almost 20 drivers hit with fines and points on their licence for breaking the limit.

Caroline Russell, Islington Council’s opposition Green Party member, said: “The new community speed-watch scheme will involve residents working alongside police officers to speak with people caught driving faster than 20mph. The aim is to spread the word within our local community and help raise awareness of the risks of speeding and the importance of sticking to limits.”

Jeremy Leach of campaign group 20’s Plenty for Us said “I’m sure campaigners around the country will be watching this scheme with interest.

“It could become a model for community engagement on speed awareness and taps into the interest people have in reducing speeds to make our towns, villages and cities more pleasant places to live.”

During the operation near the junction of Riversdale Road last Thursday and Friday, a total of 18 fixed penalty notices were issued, including one to a motorbike speeding along at 45mph.

Anyone travelling between 20 and 25mph was given a verbal warning.

It is the second operation in which police have slapped drivers with fines for breaking the barrier following a day of action in October. The limit has been in place on all Islington’s roads – apart from the Transport for London-run “red routes” – since last year.

Cllr Russell said: “By reducing speeds they are helping to reduce the likelihood of serious crashes resulting in death and injury.

“I receive regular complaints about speeding traffic making it hard for people on foot to cross the road to schools, shops and services on the other side.

“The fact that so many people were driving over the speed limit emphasises how important this is. If it saves even one family from the trauma of a serious collision, then it is worthwhile.”

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