Community Speed Watch (CSW) is a volunteer programme run by Northamptonshire Police in conjunction with the Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance. It enables local people to be actively involved in road safety, reducing speeding in their community.

Volunteer groups are given training and equipment to enable them to operate roadside speed monitoring patrols in their area over a four-week period.

Roadside speed monitoring activities are carried out between March and October. These are organised geographically so groups can share the speed monitoring equipment, with the time of year each group has it rotated to keep things fair. Groups are able to apply to use the equipment more than once a year where availability allows.

Drivers detected as speeding by CSW receive a police warning letter and their records are held for 12 months to identify any repeat offenders. Anyone detected three or more times will be visited by police officers.

The CSW programme works with hundreds of volunteers representing more than 60 communities across Northamptonshire. With those communities participating in speed monitoring activity in 20mph, 30mph & 40mph speed limits.

The scheme only covers excess speed, it does not cover other traffic offences such as vehicle weights, no insurance or mobile phone use.


When a group applies to take part in CSW, we ask for evidence to show there is a good level of support for the scheme locally. This is either in the form of a letter of support from the parish council or pledges of support from individuals.

Any parish council supporting a scheme must provide a letter formally offering that support and undertaking to make the community aware of the upcoming CSW activity.

Alternatively, pledges of support are required from 20 per cent of the electoral role, or 500 people, whichever is least. Those making a pledge are only stating their support for the scheme, and are not required to volunteer themselves.

To join the scheme each community will need:

  • one co-ordinator
  • one deputy co-ordinator
  • 10 volunteers (fewer volunteers can be agreed)
  • parish council support or pledges of support

The above conditions will need to be completed before a space in the programme can be allocated to your community.

CSW roles


Acts as the group point of contact with the police, arranging the enforcement patrol timetable along with the details of their active volunteers and equipment delivery/collection. Takes part in roadside activities the group runs.

Deputy Co-ordinator

Acts as deputy in the absence of the co-ordinator, and also takes part in roadside activities the group runs.


Works alongside other trained residents during roadside enforcement sessions, using the speed detection equipment and recording details for offending vehicles in accordance with the training provided.


All volunteers must undergo a digital training session to enable them to take part in roadside sessions. This covers the practical and operating elements, and will be delivered by firstly watching our training video-presentation followed by attending a physical practical session in your area before a group has use of the detection equipment. Once trained, volunteers are covered by a form of public liability insurance while volunteering for CSW. While there’s no need to repeat the training, volunteers are welcome to undergo a refresher and can do so anytime.


For further information or to join CSW please email us at [email protected]