Volunteers in villages near Westbury will be hoping people will drive more slowly and safely near their homes, after being trained to use a speed camera by police.

Three villagers from Bratton were the first to trial the camera as part of the Speed Watch scheme last Thursday, after they, along with other residents, were trained by police to use the equipment, which was bought with a £1,000 grant from the Westbury Area Board.

Parish councillor Stephen Lloyd, his wife Mary and villager Brian Croucher tested out the camera on the B3098 Melbourne Street, for an hour.

Mr Lloyd said: “I can say it was a success as we didn’t catch anybody exceeding the speed limit, so people people coming into the village were seeing us and slowing down which is what we intended to happen.”

Mr Croucher, 51, who lives in The Piquet, said he had volunteered to take part in the scheme because he felt people were speeding in certain areas of his village.

He said he would be giving up around two hours a week of his time to stand with another volunteer recording the speed of passing cars.

He said: “We are not out to get people or anything like that, it is just a survey to find out how fast people are going and to see what kind of problem there is.

“I think it’s something very good to bring the community and the police together.”

Residents trained to the use the camera will be able to capture the details of speeding cars before passing them onto police. The drivers will then be sent letters, with their details kept on file. No fines or penalty points will result.

The speed gun will also be used in Coulston, Hawkeridge, Edington, Dilton Marsh and Heywood.

Cllr Lloyd, who is 67 and also lives in The Piquet, said: “I am the co-ordinator for the scheme in the village, so I help organise which of our six volunteers, all of who are residents, will be out with the camera and then help get the information back to police.”

PC Darren Foulger, the community beat manager for Westbury Rural neighbourhood policing team, attended the launch.

He said he hoped the scheme would act as a warning to drivers to check their speed and if they found themselves speeding, to be aware that the camera would be used in the village in future.

He said: “What I hope is that people in their own communities take the issue seriously.

“We also have six volunteers for Edington who will be sharing the use of the camera.”