COMMUNITY speedwatch groups could be brought into the police and crime commissioner’s office as part of a new ‘game changing’ plan.

Residents, particularly in rural areas, have sought to deter people from speeding by working in speedwatch groups.

Thames Valley’s deputy police and crime commissioner Matthew Barber said there is work ongoing to see whether they could be funded with police money.

Although Mr Barber said he felt community speedwatches ‘are really good things,’ he said they ‘are not well suited to policing.’

Mr Barber said: “It’s not enforcement. There’s lots of community engagement. But we’ve got roads policing and we’ve got this other community thing and the two don’t necessarily sit well.”

He added: “There [is work] happening between roads policing and an organisation called Speedwatch Online, which I’m hoping we [will] effectively take the community speedwatch bit and potentially even bring it into the PCC office to run and volunteer from it."

READ MORE: More than 8,000 drivers caught speeding in West Oxfordshire in 2018

Mr Barber said: "[We could] put some additional funding into it and say to community groups: if you want to set one of these up we will give you the camera and the hi-vis jackets and some signs and we’ll give you a nice online system that will do all the training and do all of that stuff.”

Mr Barber told the county council’s performance scrutiny committee of the potential plan on Thursday. He said there is ‘still a lot of work to do to see whether [the PPC’s office] can fund it’.

But he said if it was possible, it would be a ‘game changer’ for the way they work.

At the meeting, new Thames Valley Police chief constable John Campbell said: "My inbox is as full of people complaining about speeding enforcement as it is by those wishing for more.

"From a policing point of view, it’s a tricky one to try to get the balance right."

Last October, a speedwatch group in West Oxfordshire said it had spotted a woman driving a Range Rover through a village at 47mph in a 30mph zone.

Hailey parish councillor Andy Smith said: “There are concerns about speeding so having people visibly looking out for it makes people think.

"It’s quite easy to go straight through the village above the 30mph limit.”

READ AGAIN: Charlbury Community Speedwatch unveils new kit to deter motorists

West Oxfordshire county councillor Liam Walker, who represents Hanborough and Minster Lovell, said at the time: “These schemes are a brilliant way to involve the community in helping to tackle the issues around speeding that is sadly all too common in our villages.

“As a local county councillor I find the data collected from these groups to be really helpful."