A CRACK team of volunteers have put the brakes on speeding in Alderholt, after clocking more than 300 people racing through the village - many at double the limit.

Since the Alderholt Community Speed Watchgroup formed in February, random, roadside speed checks have curbed the speeding epidemic that has blighted the village.

Volunteers have carried out 21 speed checks, finding 336 motorists exceeding the speed limit.

Villagers do speed checks in daylight hours using handheld cameras after being trained by the police.

Police community support officer Steve Willis of the Rural East Dorset Safer Neighbourhood Team says the success of Community Speed Watch across East Dorset has prompted the force to spread the net wider, with Alderholt becoming the latest town to step up the campaign.

He said: “Many of those motorists were travelling at almost double the 30mph speed limit. This demonstrates the need for the CSW in Alderholt and we would like to thank the volunteers who have given up their own time in addressing this community problem.

“The Alderholt CSW team have received positive feedback from the local community who have noticed a reduction in the speed of vehicles in the area since the initiative started.

“Speeding increases the risk of serious injury and fatal collisions and CSW has a huge part to play in reducing road casualties across Dorset.

“I would like to remind motorists that Dorset Police and the Dorset Safety Camera Partnership will continue to carry out enforcement activity in Alderholt and throughout the county to catch those motorists who disregard the law.”

The move to form the CSW group in the village followed scores of complaints from residents, claiming that anti-social drivers were putting lives at risk, particularly in Station Road and nearby car parks.

One Station Road resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “Because Station Road is long and straight, you can hear the boy racers tearing up and down the road. I would definitely say that the problem has slowed down since the Speed Watch campaign.”

Dorset Police’s Safer Neighbourhood Team officers help groups set up with practical advice and support.

Volunteers use hand-held devices to record and take details of the motorists seen speeding, also noting drivers suspected of using a mobile phone or not wearing a seatbelt. The police then send warning letters to these motorists.

The information collected also helps Dorset Police identify areas and times for targeted road safety operations.

Anyone who would like to join the Community Speed Watch team or start a new group can visit www.dorset.police.uk or ring 101.