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Benhall: Speed camera targeted by arsonists

PUBLISHED: 06:00 25 July 2011

A12 Speed Camera damage at Benhall

A12 Speed Camera damage at Benhall

Archant

JUST hours after an announcement that the county’s speed cameras were being switched back on, one of them was targeted by arsonists.

A tyre was placed over the safety camera on the A12 at Benhall, near Saxmundham, in the early hours of Saturday and set alight.

The incident happened at just before 1am and a crew from Saxmundham was sent to the scene.

The flames were extinguished by 1.10am but the camera was visibly damaged.

The arson attack was reported on the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service Facebook page and by last night 23 people had “liked” the news that the speed camera had been targeted.

In Saturday’s East Anglian Daily Times, which went to press at about the same time as the incident, it was reported that, following safety fears, it had been agreed that the county’s speed cameras would be reactivated.

They had been switched off in a bid to save an annual £1million but at a meeting on Friday of the Suffolk Police Authority (SPA) it was agreed that a decision on the long-term future of the speed camera network should be postponed until later in the year.

Suffolk County Council had voted to pull out of the Suffolk Safecam Partnership in January. It stopped any funding in April and said it would cease speed camera operations by the start of July.

The cameras were switched off on July 1 although the boxes were left in place.

But confirmation the speed cameras have been reinstalled came on Friday after a meeting of the SPA, which had raised concerns about the switch-off.

Despite the rethink there are still doubts over how many there will be in the future and where they will be sited.

SPA has commissioned a review of the devices, to consider their cost, effectiveness and whether digital technology needs to be introduced.

The issue will be discussed further at a meeting of the Suffolk Road Safety Partnership in September where a long-term plan to keep the cameras operating will be thrashed out.

On Friday Joanna Spicer, chairman of SPA, said: “We, together with the council, are committed to enhancing road safety in Suffolk and this demonstrates our partnership-approach to reducing road crash casualties.”

A police spokesman said the fire was being treated as an arson attack and any witnesses should contact officers on 01473613500.

7 comments

  • It must be replaced ASAP. And why has Suffolk Council never replaced the one at Angel Hill, Stonham on the A140? They are almost as irresponsible as the idiot arsonist. I suggest discreet CCTV surveillance of the replacement.

    Report this comment

    EN Heath

    Monday, July 25, 2011

  • At genuine danger spots, such as the Friday Street turning, I accept safety cameras are a very good thing. But (big big BUT) mobile vans and other sites are just revenue earners. If the police were serious they would find a way to site the mobile vans in our country villages were many motorist pay scant regard to life or limb!

    Report this comment

    Midasi

    Monday, July 25, 2011

  • A shame the quoted £1m wasn't spent on more police officers rather than these pointless machines that everyone knows are there. Policemen are mobile and therefore can be anywhere, but also doing anything police related, not just sitting waiting to catch motorists.

    Report this comment

    Dean

    Monday, July 25, 2011

  • What a terrible shame

    Report this comment

    Sam

    Monday, July 25, 2011

  • I 'like' this news too!

    Report this comment

    David White

    Monday, July 25, 2011

  • No doubt, in their narrow-minded Clarksons-esque world the people responsible think they are some sort of avenging hero acting in the public good. They're not. They're just petty vandals.

    Report this comment

    Origami Penguin

    Monday, July 25, 2011

  • I expect the idiot which did this had points in the past from this camera but the must be a fool if they got caught in the first place

    Report this comment

    the opinion man

    Monday, July 25, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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