WINCHESTER civic chiefs are supporting community speedwatch where members of public use speedguns on passing cars.

The town forum heard that some villages such as Hursley are taking part in the scheme with Hampshire Police.

Volunteers check on the speed of motorists and anyone breaking the limit will be sent a police letter, although they cannot be fined.

Only police officers can issue tickets.

Councillors on the forum liked the idea and agreed to encourage members of the public to volunteer.

They see it working in conjunction with the introduction of 20mph limits in Highcliffe, Stanmore and Winnall.

Sgt Richard Holland, of Hampshire Police, said the scheme was working well in east Hampshire in villages such as Clanfield. He said experience showed that community speedwatch was cheaper and more effective than the static speed signs that tell speeding drivers to slow down.

Sgt Holland said drivers usually only receive two warning letters before they chnage their behaviour.

It has yet to take off in the Winchester area. The forum heard that in Hursley it was hampered by a lack of volunteers.

Cllr Ian Tait said he did not think speeding was a major problem in Winchester.

The forum agreed to be prepared to spend £5,000 on equipment if the demand was there from volunteers.

Cllr Robert Sanders said it should be trialled first, using borrowed equipment, before any money was committed.