THE people of Kinglassie are to take a hands-on approach to tackle a big problem in the village, reports KEVIN QUINN.
For the past two years the number one priority at Fife Constabulary’s Kinglassie community engagement meetings has been stopping speeding through the village, where the speed limit is 20mph.
Locals will now be trained to use speed guns as part of a brand new scheme- ‘Community Speed Watch’, which is funded by the Community Safety Partnership.
Joanne McEwan, Community Sergeant for Glenrothes West, believes this scheme lets Kinglassie people take ‘ownership’ of the problem.
She said: “Locals have always been concerned that people are driving at a speed that is inappropriate with the surroundings.
“Community Speed Watch will see them use a speed gun, as well as signs and fluorescent jackets.
“The key difference is that it is not the police officers, it’s members of the community. This allows them to monitor the speed of vehicles that go along the main street.
“They have no enforcement powers, but they can take down the details and pass on the information to us.
“It’s quite a visual thing as well, it’s a preventative measure. Seeing someone there with a speed gun makes you slow down.
“They will have to be properly trained, with personal safety training too.
“It’s allowing them to take a bit of ownership of what they have told us is the key problem in the area.”
Sgt McEwan said that this pilot should be on the streets of Kinglassie within the next month or two, before moving on to other areas in and around Glenrothes- where speeding has been raised as an issue at community engagement meetings.
PC Ian Bennett is one of the two community police officers assigned to Kinglassie, he explained how the Community Speed Watch Scheme will be implemented.
He said: “They are going to be in teams of three within the community of Kinglassie. They will pass on the registration numbers of those speeding, and we will send those people letters regarding their speed.”
PC Bennet has had an enthusiastic response to the project, which he had seen be a success down South.
He said: “The scheme was a recommendation from myself. Some of the forces down in England were doing this so I put it to the Kinglassie group and they seemed quite keen.
“I have got ten volunteers, we will probably only need three. They will have the equipment for a month, then it will move on to another area. It will then go on a cycle between the areas.
“This scheme shows a deterrent to motorists, and we don’t have to be there every time.
“We will see how it goes, it’s only a new thing. After a period of time we will review it and see if the numbers of speeding incidents in the area are coming down or not.”