A TAMAR VALLEY councillor is calling out the “flawed” design of the newly rolled out speed cameras after a village’s speed camera was vandalised for a second time last month.

The camera situated at the eastern end of St Ann’s Chapel near the border with Drakewalls has been subjected to another incident of vandalism days after being repaired, an incident which Calstock parish councillor John Wells puts down to the speed camera’s design making the control panel too easy to access. 

Towards the end of last month, it was discovered that the speed camera situated along this stretch of the A390 had had its panel removed and wires pulled out, putting the camera out of action.

The incident which was reported to the local policing team on December 23 is the second instance of vandalism of the speed camera after the same incident occurred in November where the camera’s panel had been removed and wires cut. 

The new high-tech bi-directional speed cameras that were installed last year and funded by Cornwall Council enforce the 30mph speed limit along the A390. The speed cameras have been erected on bright yellow posts for maximum visibility and are able to detect speeding motorists in either direction.

Cllr Wells who tirelessly campaigned for years alongside Cllr Kirk and Cllr Trapp to push for the installation of the cameras over safety fears for pedestrians and continuous damage to parked cars said: “I think it’s a design flaw.

“If vandals can access the hatch so easily then it isn’t right.”

“The inspection panel should be 15ft up near the top of the camera. 

“They put steel bands around where you could get into it, on the assumption that they would be vandalism proof...well that lasted a couple of days.”

The camera had only been repaired for two days before the second incident occurred.

Cllr Wells who called those behind the vandalism “mindless idiots” highlighted that the second spate of vandalism is frustrating for those who feel safer in the villages since the arrival of the speed cameras.

“It’s frustrating for a lot of people as most people think the cameras have brought a huge degree of safety”’, he said. 

“People feel a lot safer even just walking along the road as the cars are going along slower.”

“Most people in the villages of St Ann’s and Drakewalls agreed for the proposals when they were put forward in 2021.”

He highlighted that the damage to the camera is not as severe as the instances of speed cameras being chopped down further west in the Duchy, but the repair still requires time and is a waste of taxpayer money.

He added:, “they need to get used to it, because the cameras are here to stay.”

If you have any information about the incident you can contact Devon and Cornwall Police online at: https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/reportcrime and quoting the crime reference number 50230331661.