MORE communities will be armed with speed guns as part of a £135,000 war chest enabling people to crack down on dangerous drivers blighting their neighbourhoods.

The cash is up for grabs for people living in streets and roads across the county, empowering them to snare speeding drivers in their area.

Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Simon Hayes, pictured right, has pledged to release the cash over two years to rapidly expand the force’s Community SpeedWatch programme across the county and the Isle of Wight.

The money is being allocated to fund up to 70 new SpeedWatch schemes in new areas focusing on speed prevention and education.

It is nearly double the 45 SpeedWatch schemes already up and running.

Volunteers in each taskforce will be provided with equipment to monitor the speed of passing traffic in approved 20mph and 30mph zones.

Details of those breaking the speed limit are recorded and checked against the Police National Computer Bureau before letters are sent out to the vehicle’s registered keepers.

Schemes are managed by local Safer Neighbourhoods Teams with neighbours regularly liaising with local police officers.

Mr Hayes stressed that speeding is one of the biggest priorities flagged up by residents – especially in rural areas.

He said: “I want to encourage local residents to take positive action.

“They can do this by volunteering and taking action on the roads of concern in their neighbourhood.

“SpeedWatch now forms part of the constabulary response to speeding issues and is the first tier in response to the problem.

“It’s not all about enforcement; it’s about prevention, education and awareness.”

The funding, covering the cost of equipment, training, high-visibility clothing and signs, is being allocated from the PCC’s Commissioning Fund.

Prospective volunteers should email for more details.