It has been reported in the Daily Echo that a ‘Gatso’ style speed camera, worth £40,000 and sited on the B3037 Bishopstoke Rd was destroyed by an ‘explosion’ at about 2.30 am.
It is unclear as to whether this was as a result of indivduals acting alone or as part of a wider campaign.
This August, two speed cameras in Verwood near Ringwood were torched within a week after they had issued 151 speeding tickets in 3 days.
Since 2002, a group calling themselves ‘Motorists against Detection’ ( MAD ) have claimed resonsibility for the destruction of over 700 speed cameras nationally – either through arson or explosives – at a total cost to the taxpayer of £28 million.
This led to the group being labelled as ‘Terrorists’ by the recently retired Chief Constable of North Wales Richard Brunstrom.
“We’ve had things that are effectively terrorist devices, bombs, planted in speed cameras” he told the BBC
“These are people who as far as I can see would prefer to be allowed to drive dangerously and kill their fellow citizens, or my wife and children, or your family standing next to a bus stop, than pay a fixed penalty ticket for speeding”
In 2006 a Doncaster railway worker, Craig Moore (28) was jailed for 4 months after blowing up a speed camera using Thermite – a pyrotechnic substance used for trackside repairs.
However, despite the obvious danger and cost to the taxpayer a recent survey by sat nav company ‘Road Angel’ found 16% of respondents supported the destruction of speed cameras by Gatso ‘vigilantes’.
Speed camera vandalism is not confined to the UK either. Speed cameras also regularly come under attack in France and the USA.
In 2005 a Swiss man was fined the equivalent of £17,000 after destroying a Gatso with a pick axe.