‘Disgust’ over Preston speed camera arson attack

Torched: The speed camera on Lea Road, which was set on fire
Torched: The speed camera on Lea Road, which was set on fire
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Police are treating an attack on a speed camera in Preston as arson.

The camera, on Lea Road, was completely destroyed by the blaze at around 11.20pm on Saturday night. Community leaders say they are “disgusted” by the attack.

A spokesman for Lancashire police said: “We got a call at 11.20pm on Saturday to reports that the speed camera was on fire.

“We attended the scene and the fire is now being treated as arson.”

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “We are aware of the incident and have notified our contractors who will properly assess the damage.

“We would remind people of the contribution that speed cameras make to road safety and would urge people not to vandalise them in any way.”

They said incidents of this kind were “very rare” and estimations on damage could not be made until contractors had been out to the scene.

Speed cameras can cost thousands of pounds to replace.

Coun Christine Abram, who represents Lea at Preston Council, said: “People have to watch their speed on that road and it is hard to cross. The camera is there for a reason, to help with safety. It is disgusting that someone would do this.”

Franki Hackett, campaigns officer at road safety charity Brake said: “Speeding makes crashes more likely and more serious, and speed cameras act as a vital deterrent to this life-threatening behaviour.

“Damaging them costs local authorities money at a time when finances are tight, and makes it harder for the police to enforce the law.

“We need higher fines and greater investment in life-saving speed camera technology to deter speeding behaviour.”

In 2009 a speed camera on Woodplumpton Road had a petrol-soaked burning tyre thrown over it.

In 2008, a camera on The Marshes Lane at Mere Brow was torched, after being set on fire twice in 2004.

Firefighters from Fulwood fire station were called to the fire, and the cause of it is still under investigation..

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.