Essex Police visit village to help community speedwatch programme

ARMED with a speedgun and ready to assist the law, pupils got the opportunity to help their community this week.

On Wednesday year six students at Thaxted Primary School welcomed partnership and community engagement officer (PCEO) Debi Grayfarrer and Essex County Council’s assistant road safety officer Lorna Yeadon to raise awareness and learn about road safety.

After a morning of teaching the students how to use the speedgun and breathalyser the children went out into the village to spread what they had learnt.

PCEO Gray Farrer said: “We are not here because there is a big problem with speeding in Thaxted but because we want to make the children more aware of road safety and, through the children, make the whole community more aware.”

Mrs Yeadon said: “Thankfully, in this district we have a really strict road safety measures so we are well below our target which is fantastic.

“We are trying to get this age group to tell their parents to not speed or talk on the phone while driving and to always wear their seatbelt.”

Teaching assistant Nicola Wardle was with the children all morning during three sessions.

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She said: “The children have thoroughly enjoyed and learnt so much from doing this.

“Some of them have even asked to go in early for a debriefing so they can have the chance to talk about what they have found out.

“Hopefully this should make a difference. The children have been talking about it all week and telling parents so it should have a positive impact on the whole community.

“The adults are embarrassed that children are talking to them about speeding. Their face just drains in colour so hopefully this sort of thing is having an impact on speeds in the village.”

While patrolling the village, the students caught three people speeding. The offenders were stopped and given the option of receiving a FPN for the offence or allowing the children to talk to them.

The children tell the driver why they do not want them speeding past their school and go on to give facts relating to speed.

The driver is then asked to sign a declaration saying that they pledge not to speed in the future.