The latest in speed camera technology to hit British roads is already under attack as one has been pictured having been chopped down by a vigilante.
A Jenoptik VECTOR-SR unit – dubbed the new ‘ultra’ speed camera – has been photographed with its pole sliced almost in two on New Row in Longdowns, Cornwall, with the incident reportedly taking place overnight.
It is the fourth in a string of recent attacks that have seen speed cameras hacked down across this part of Cornwall.
The incident comes after it was announced earlier this week that Greater Manchester Police has installed over 100 of the devices across the city in its crackdown on speeding and other motoring offences.
Britain’s new two-way ‘ultra’ speed camera under attack: A vigilante has chopped down one of the latest hi-tech roadside cameras in Cornwall
Cornwall’s speed cameras have been targeted over recent weeks, which has led to police being forced to increase monitoring of speed traps in the area to prevent further damage.
Last week, a speed camera also on the A394 at Trewennack near Helston, appeared to have been taken out using an angle grinder.
That followed two hacked down a few weeks ago on the A39 at Perranarworthal between Truro and Falmouth.
The latest incident involves a VECTOR-SR unit, which is one of the most advanced of its type that is capable of recording more information than a standard camera.
The one on New Row had been installed to enforce the 30mph limit in the area.
It has reportedly caught hundreds of speeding drivers since it was first installed, some on multiple occasions on the same day, with many ending up in court.
The speed camera, which has the ability to monitor drivers in both directions, caught almost 700 speeding motorists in its first full week of operation when it was installed in February 2022.
The recently-installed camera has reportedly caught hundreds of speeding drivers since it was first fitted, some on multiple occasions on the same day, with many ending up in court
Photos of the felled camera shows its pole sliced almost in half, likely with an angle grinder
It is the fourth speed camera to be attacked in the area in recent weeks. Superintendent for local policing, Ian Thompson said: ‘We’re deeply concerned about the recent surge in criminal damage to average speed cameras in the West Cornwall area’
Local, Ryan Moses, said he saw the camera pole had been attacked after 1.40am on Friday morning, telling Apex News: ‘I spotted it just after it happened when police just turned up and were searching for whoever did it.’
Superintendent for local policing, Ian Thompson said: ‘We’re deeply concerned about the recent surge in criminal damage to average speed cameras in the West Cornwall area.
‘These acts not only endangers the public but also diverts resources from critical police activity, it disrupts the local community and road users, and places a burden on the taxpayers for the repair costs.
‘Our investigations continue and we urge the community to report any suspicious activity or share information that might aid our enquiries.’
Cornwall Council and Devon & Cornwall Police have erected a number of the bi-directional ‘ultra’ cameras on routes with a history of problems with collisions and speeding vehicles. Within two weeks of them being installed, 3,280 drivers were issued with tickets – with one camera being activated around 120 per day
It has been reported that the damage caused when vigilantes strike speed cameras can amount to £6,000 to £10,000.
However, this is the latest in camera technology, which was only approved by the Home Office in 2019.
The VECTOR-SR can double for both speed and red-light enforcement, making it one of the most versatile cameras on the market today – which has made it very attractive to cash-strapped police forces and local authorities.
It uses a video-based system that works in tandem with an intelligent virtual grid to judge if a driver is speeding.
Measurements from its radar technology is then validated by secondary independent and image-based evidence.
That means there is no need for road markings – which have typically been one of the biggest tell-tale signs to let drivers know the whereabouts of speed cameras.
The system uses infra-red technology which allows images to be captured via still photos and video recordings, which eliminates the need for a camera flash, even at night and in bad weather.
The VECTOR-SR uses a video-based system that works in tandem with an intelligent virtual grid to judge if a driver is speeding
And because the camera records footage of a driver breaking the limit, any visual evidence showing motorists driving without a seatbelt or using a mobile phone can be used for further offences.
Unlike previous cameras which only capture vehicles travelling in left-hand lanes, the new model captures up to three lanes of traffic going in both directions. This means one installation can enforce an entire section of road.
It will also be able to identify speeding vehicles and their owners quickly, too, as it has built-in Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) tech.
Mabe Parish councillor Peter Tisdale said the latest attack will cause a lot of upset, especially after it had taken ‘years and years of campaigning’ to have the camera installed on what had been a hazard hotspot.
‘The reason we got these cameras in the first place is because there have been quite a few accidents with people turning into the garage,’ he said.
‘But there’s also been couple of children knocked down getting off the school bus trying to cross the road.
‘The cameras are not here for fun.’
He added: ‘We’re talking about public money criminal damage, we are going to put them back, they’re there for a reason.’
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