Local communities to pay for own speed guns


SCOTS police have asked communities worried about speeding drivers to pay for their own radar guns.

Lothian and Borders Police wrote to seven community councils telling them they did not have enough speed guns to go round.

The groups were told they could have a speeding crackdown if they contributed £500 towards the cost of the £3,500 devices.

The cuts in funding have been blamed on the economic climate


In an approach described as “laughable”,  a police sergeant told the councils that community officers did not have access to the radar guns.

He added: “In these times of financial resources and competing demands on those resources, the force is not in a position to purchase additional equipment.”

Norman Tinlin, secretary of Fairmilehead Community Council in Edinburgh, said the request for  cash would alienate the public.

He said: “To suggest that the public should provide funds for the purpose of a device to be used against them is laughable.

“Community councils have very restricted funding and as it comes from public funds there are strict limits on how it can be spent.

“If we did have funds of the size suggested we could find a whole lot more worthwhile projects to spend them on.”

Councillor Steve Burgess, leader of Edinburgh’s Green Party group, said that the move meant poorer areas could be left with more dangerous streets.

He said: “If the police need community councils to buy a speed gun for them it means areas that couldn’t have one would not have the enforcement of speed limits. It’s postcode policing and it’s not fair.”

A Lothian and Borders spokesman said one area of Edinburgh, Balerno, had agreed to help pay for a radar gun.

“We agreed to explore the suggestion and have now written to the other community councils in the area in order to seek their views.”