Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Mary wins award for Community Speed Watch programme

Congratulations to Community Speed Watch Co-ordinator Mary Whiley who was crowned winner of a prestigious award at the annual Essex Police Awards on Tuesday (25 September).

Mary scooped the trophy in the Public and Partnership category for her outstanding work leading the Community Speed Watch programme.

The scheme empowers volunteers to help reduce speeding in their local community by observing 30mph and 40mph roads, educating motorists about the dangers of speeding and encouraging them to change their behaviour.

When Mary took on the role of Community Speed Watch Co-ordinator in 2016, the scheme was lacking in active members and leadership. Since then she has reinvigorated the scheme, recruiting more than 600 volunteers, creating 18 new Community Speed Watch groups and identifying 200 new sites.

Last year the team recorded more than 15,000 incidents of speeding across Essex - a remarkable 41 per day. All those motorists were subsequently contacted either via letter or in some cases (for repeat high end offenders) police intervention. Their work helped reduce the rate of re-offending to just 5.7%.

The award is presented every year to a police officer, member of staff or volunteer who has shown outstanding commitment to public service and partnership working. Based at Essex COunty Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Mary works alongside Essex Police and the Safer Essex Roads Partnership.

She was nominated by Chief Inspector Janette Rawlingson who said: "Mary’s team of volunteers come together to form a countywide effort against irresponsible driving. Mary has driven the scheme and motivated its members to be a driving force to be reckoned with.

"Mary is modest and measured in her approach and diligent and fair to everyone. The significance of her efforts has meant that people are safer on the roads of Essex. She is very worthy of this prestigious award."

Mary said: "I am honoured to have been considered for this award, not just for myself, but for everyone involved with Community Speed Watch.

"It is the result of total collaboration and commitment by all involved and I would  like to thank The Safer Essex Roads Partnership for their support of the initiative, my colleagues at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service for their encouragement and expertise in working with volunteers, Essex Highways for the training they have provided, the police processing team at Billericay for coping with the huge numbers of letters that they have administered,  local policing teams and the Casualty Reduction team for their support.

"Lastly and most importantly, a huge thanks to over 700 fantastic volunteers who do an amazing job and without whom I would not have been nominated for this award."

Are you interested in volunteering for Community Speed Watch?
You’ll be given full training, the role is entirely flexible and it’s completely up to you how often you’d like to take part.
Email for more details




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