A SPEED watch group has been clamping down on dangerous drivers in a bid to make the district safer for a year.

Harwich and District Community Speed Watch Partnership started monitoring vehicles' speeds within the area last January.

The group, which launched on January 27 2018, started by covering Harwich and six other parishes including Dovercourt, Little and Great Oakley, Ramsey and Parkeston, Wix, Wrabness and Bradfield.

By August the group spread to Mistley, Manningtree, Lawford and then Little Bromley.

It is now working with two town councils and nine parish councils.

There were initially three local monitoring locations which quickly grew with additional locations in six parishes.

Currently, the group has 50 locations and a further five locations have just been approved.

Dave Blackiston, who runs the scheme, said: "Although we were a new group, Community Speed Watch has been around since early 2000’s, with 85 such groups in Essex and thousands nationwide.

"Our first monitoring session was in Colchester Road, Wix, and we recorded one vehicle, a silver Ford Transit, travelling at 42 mph in a 30 mph area and adjacent to a primary school."

The group started with 15 volunteers which has increased by more than double to 35.

Mr Blackiston, who spent 41 years as a policeman, added: "Regrettably, in the year we have recorded 3,657 vehicles exceeding the 30 mph limit, including one vehicle at 62 mph.

"The better news is that only 262 drivers have continued to reoffend.

"Essex Police have provided enforcement action and additional support to us during the whole year, and I would like to thank them.

He added: "I would like to thank all motorists who adhere to the speed limit and who realise that excess or inappropriate speed is one of the fatal causes of road accidents.

"Please remember that there is no excuse for excess speed, and only one person is to blame – the driver."