Peering out from behind a Dorset beach hut, this police officer is armed with a speed camera waiting to catch cyclists travelling too fast along a promenade.
As unsuspecting riders peddled past, the officer clocked them with the hand-held speed gun.
Those who were found to break the 10mph limit were stopped 200 yards along the prom by a council “seafront ranger” who was in radio communication with the PC.
Despite their zealous pursuit, the officials had no powers to punish offenders with fines as cyclists don’t have speedometers and so don’t know when they break the law.
Instead they are given words of advice and a leaflet on the dangers of cycling too fast on the seven mile prom in Bournemouth, Dorset.
In the first hour of the scheme more than 30 people were caught in the speed trap.
One of them was Nick Lomax, a 26-year-old chef who was peddling to work at 16mph.
“I didn’t see the police officer at all, he didn’t show himself,” he said.
“The next minute I was stopped by a council officer who said I had been caught on a speed camera going too fast.
“The weather was bad so the prom was empty. Obviously if it was busier I would have gone a lot slower or even walked with my bike.
“I cycle to work every single day and I think this is absolutely ridiculous. It is a complete waste of time and money.
“The council and the police must have too much time on their hands if they can spend the day on the beach with a speed gun.
“A couple of days ago I had a friend who was beaten up and mugged not far from the prom, that is the sort of thing the police should be spending their time on.”
Nick Robinson, 28, said: “The first thing I knew I was going too fast was when I was stopped and it was only then that I looked back and saw the policeman behind a beach hut.
“It is all a bit sneaky.”
Claire Armstrong, from the campaign group Safe Speed said: “This is completely ludicrous and a waste of taxpayers’ money.
“It’s just nonsense and I think cyclists will show the disrespect that it deserves.”
The speed trap has been brought in after a two-year-old girl was struck by a cyclist along Bournemouth seafront last summer, leaving her with a cut to the head.
Cyclists are currently banned from the area between 10am and 6pm in July and August, when they can be fined if caught on the prom but the 10mph speed limit is permanent.
Charmaine Andrews, spokeswoman for Bournemouth council’s leisure services, said: “We have a duty to ensure the promenade is a safe environment for everyone to enjoy.
“It’s a joint initiative with the police, involving one police officer and one seafront ranger on each day.
“They will catch any cyclists that are going too fast, give them a safety talk and provide them with a leaflet explaining the bylaws along the seafront.
A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “Bournemouth seafront is a very busy area in the summer months and it is essential that members of the public are able to enjoy themselves in safety.”
Published on http://www.telegraph.co.uk/