Sussex Safer Roads Partnership marks Volunteers’ Week – June 2023.
2023 marks the 39th year of Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June), when Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) will join thousands of charities and voluntary organisations recognising the contribution volunteers make across the UK. With this year’s theme of ‘Celebrate and Inspire’ we hope to encourage people to be the change that we want to see and get involved in volunteering in whatever way works for them.
The contribution of volunteers is often unseen and unrecognised by many, visible only through the incredible impact of their volunteering, so taking the time during Volunteers’ Week to celebrate their efforts and all they contribute to our local communities, the voluntary sector, and society as a whole has never been more important.
This Volunteers’ Week SSRP will be celebrating their Community SpeedWatch volunteers, by shining a spotlight on numerous individuals throughout the week, who continue to give up their free time to help their local communities to reduce those killed or seriously injured on the roads of Sussex.
Day 1 Spotlight: Chris Broadley – Coordinator – Henfield Community SpeedWatch.
Chris Broadley is Henfield’s Community SpeedWatch Coordinator, the group has been operating since 2019 and completed over 250 sessions at the roadside resulting in 3,289 vehicles being recorded for exceeding the speed limit in this small Sussex Village! There are several Schools in this area, and on a recent visit by staff from Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, the speed of vehicles at school time was quite an eye opener along with the poor parking witnessed around the village by parents and commuters on the busy London Road through Henfield. Thank you Chris for your commitment and contribution to Community SpeedWatch Sussex.
Day 2 Spotlight: David Wright and Bernie Isles – joint Coordinators – Storrington Community SpeedWatch.
David Wright and Bernie Iles have run one of our longest-standing Community SpeedWatch groups in Sussex for over 10 years, during their time running the group they have assisted the Town council and Community by completing over 3,069 roadside sessions, recording 49,892 vehicles. Resulting in capturing a vehicle 146% above the speed limit at 74mph in a 30mph zone, this achievement is nothing short of outstanding work by the whole group and very good management from the group coordinators. This work in cases such as the 146% above the speed limit will always be followed up by an intervention and through their work we have carried out over 187 of these stage 3 interventions in the area based on the group’s quality data and work ethic. This just shows when our volunteers are trained to a high standard and show dedication what can be achieved! So, from us all at Sussex Safer Roads and Sussex Police a massive thank you to the whole Group, and keep up the great work.
Day 3 Spotlight: Paul Hammond – Coordinator – Bexhill Roaming Group.
Paul joined Community SpeedWatch as a coordinator in January 2022 to help pull together several non-functioning Community SpeedWatch Groups in the area with the help of our District Administrator. We have received many reports of speeding and anti-social driving from residents, and the new Roaming Super Group with support from Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and Sussex Police has already made a big impact. The dedication and attention to detail in the reporting, with the support of the correct training has made a huge difference, with Paul’s input.
Paul has an Emergency Services background so can fully understand the human cost of getting it so badly wrong when driving. From us all to the Whole Group in Bexhill, a massive thank you from Sussex Safer Roads and Sussex Police, keep up the good work!
Day 4 Spotlight: Bob Kenward – District Administrator – East Sussex.
Bob has gone above and beyond as a volunteer to help promote road safety practice in Community SpeedWatch to ensure that support is given in his area for Operation Downsway and helping to reduce the number of KSI’s (Killed and Seriously Injured) on the roads of Sussex in line with SSRP and Sussex Police Force priorities, his contribution to this has been immeasurable in time and effort.
Bob’s enthusiasm has been immense and his passion for Road Safety has shone through, he has made a big impact on what has become a challenging role in looking after so many groups and volunteers across Sussex. Bob has made every effort to ensure our high standards including our education ethos have been strictly adhered to.
Bob has been a Community SpeedWatch Volunteer Coordinator and recently a District Administrator for well over 10 years and has not only helped his local group / Local Neighbourhood Policing Team and residents deal with speeding issues in the Community in all weathers but has selflessly put in hundreds of hours of voluntary work achieving an outstanding result locally that is deserving of recognition. He has also attended events and training scenarios and has acted in a truly professional manner and has recently been nominated for a Chief Constables Award for Volunteer Service.
Day 5 Spotlight: Terry Purcell – Coordinator – Seaford
Terry has been a Coordinator of the Seaford group for well over 12 years even before we started to keep digital records on the new scheme, this is a real achievement and dedication to volunteering and supporting the local community for what is an emotive issue. Speeding and anti-social driving kills around 46 people a year in Sussex alone and seriously injures around 934 so the magnificent efforts of these volunteers should quite rightly be referred to as lifesaving.
Terry has a very dedicated group and the records supplied to us including the high-quality data obtained has enabled us to reduce reports of speeding issues in this area compared to when the scheme started. Thank you to Terry and His Deputy Nick for the fantastic service provided, and the courteous professionalism always shown whilst at the roadside.
Day 6 Spotlight: John Punter – Deputy Coordinator – Hastings
Community SpeedWatch Volunteer John Punter from the Hastings and Westfield Group was recently awarded his 10 years service award at Bohemia Road Police Station in East Sussex. John’s service and commitment to the group as Deputy Coordinator is very much appreciated not by Sussex Police but by the wider community in Hastings.
The group is out in all weathers at strategic times of the day monitoring speed based on the complaints from residents and the data supplied to them pinpointing problem areas around the town. John helps to lead a very committed and well-trained team of volunteers to tackle the ever-increasing demands of anti-social driving of which speeding is just one small element in the educational armoury that sits under the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, from all of us to the Hastings Group thank you for your hard work.
Day 7 Spotlight: Keith Watson – District Administrator – West Sussex.
Keith joined the team in April 2021 as a Volunteer District Administrator for West Sussex to assist with the setting up and running of groups in the west of the County. Keith has a Roads Policing background and is a retired Metropolitan Police Traffic Officer. His skills in dealing with group issues around speeding including dealing with members of the public are invaluable.
Keith has a passion for Road Safety and does many hours volunteering for us, utalising his knowledge and expertise, always ensuring that the groups are serviced and that our high standard of operation is adhered to at all times, well done Keith and thank you for your sterling efforts and helping to reduce the number of killed and seriously injured on the roads of Sussex.
Community SpeedWatch has grown exponentially over the last few years in response to anti-social driving pan-Sussex, which of course tackles speeding. This is not just a local problem to Sussex but a Country Wide epidemic. There are many ways to tackle this issue but for most by far the best way forward is appropriate education measures followed by targeted enforcement.
How is the above achieved? We have a large cohort of well-trained and equipped volunteers that assist Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and Sussex Police with this life-saving task.
Worried about the rising trend of speeding vehicles through their communities, the dedicated and passionate volunteers can report these vehicles accurately through their training and enter them into the database securely enabling us to target vital road safety messaging to those who choose to break the law. It is the profiling and mapping of these offences that ultimately leads to the follow-up process whereby Police Officers visit the offenders and offer further education or in some cases other preventative measures, following on from letters.
None of this would be possible without the volunteers, in Sussex we have just over 2,400 volunteers trained, and over the last 12 months they have put in over 10,612 hours’ worth of work completing over 4,400-speed checks across Sussex, a truly amazing contribution to the communities we serve. The work resulted in over 48,165 letters to drivers regarding the dangers of inappropriate speed!
The compliance rate based on repeat offenders being fed back into the system is 94.10% as of 11th May 2023, this figure is the culmination of some really good work being achieved in casualty reduction and education.
Why do it? In Sussex alone last year 1085 people were seriously injured and 48 people sadly lost their lives on our roads so the overarching message is “road safety is everyone’s responsibility” and a massive thank you from all at Sussex Police, Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, and the wider Community for your volunteering service.
All the volunteers are trained to a high standard by Sussex Police and if you want to volunteer for any of our areas please contact Steve O’Connell via email at firstname.lastname@example.org from us all at Sussex Safer Roads and Sussex Police a massive thank you to all the Community SpeedWatch volunteers across Sussex!