‘Dismayed and disappointed’ - Kirklees Council and Dewsbury councillor fume at ‘idiots’ for chopping down speed cameras
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As we reported yesterday (Tuesday), West Yorkshire Police confirmed that men on a quad bike caused damage to two speed camera poles on Leeds Road, near Shaw Cross Sharks ARLFC, with one falling into the road, on Monday evening at around 9pm.
A spokesperson for the council said after the incident: “It is disappointing that some people have taken it upon themselves to cut down the newly installed average speed cameras.
“Residents had been campaigning for improved road safety for a number of years and the installation of cameras provided a welcome solution to reduce speeding and prevent accidents.
“The police are investigating and collecting evidence, to hopefully bring those responsible for this criminal damage to justice.”
Councillor for Dewsbury East, Eric Firth, who was called out to the scene by a colleague who lives on Leeds Road, has said he has been left “dismayed” by the actions, especially as the cameras had only been installed earlier in the month after a two-year campaign.
He told the Reporter Series: “I was dismayed to see that somebody had chopped one down. What idiots. What really concerns me is that we have been campaigning and working very hard and closely with colleagues in Leeds, local residents and the Police and Crime Commissioner for over two years to get these in place.
“We originally wanted Gatso’s, the ordinary cameras, but because - and it’s really sad - no one has been killed, we couldn’t get them so we had to find another way to reduce the speed of the traffic that races down that dual carriageway, particularly on an evening and on a night. There have been accidents down there.
“We have worked so hard on this for so long and were successful with it - we are one of the very few places in the country that have urban average speed cameras. We got there, it was a success, only to find these absolute vandals. What do they get out of it I do not know.
“I only hope that the police can actually trace them, prosecute them and charge them because they have cost thousands of pounds.”
Enquiries into the offence are ongoing and anyone who has information which could assist is asked to contact Kirklees District Police on 101 referencing police log 1727 of October 23.
Information can also be given online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechat or anonymously to the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.