A former chairman of Stithians Council has condemned mindless vandals who cut down a speed camera near Penryn for putting children’s lives at risk.

Cllr Peter Tisdale was chairman for six years and during that time campaigned to get the speed cameras the A39 at Longdowns near Penryn.

The camera has caught hundreds of speeding drivers since it was first installed, some on multiple occasions on the same day, with many ending up in court.

The speed camera, which has the ability to monitor drivers in both directions, caught almost 700 speeding motorists in its first full week of operation when it was installed in February 2022.

However last night vandals struck and cut the camera down, the fourth to be cut down in the last two months.

Falmouth Packet: The camera was damaged in the fallThe camera was damaged in the fall (Image: Paul Armstrong)

It is exactly a week since an average speed camera was cut down on the A39 on the Helston side of Trewennack and in October two average speed cameras were cut down on the A39 at Stickenbridge near the Norway Inn.

Cllr Tisdale told the Packet that there had been a couple of incidents before the cameras went up of schoolchildren being knocked down getting off the school bus.

“The reason we got these cameras in the first place is because there have been quite a few accidents with people turning into the garage,” he said.

“But there’s also been couple of children, well youngsters, knocked down getting off the school bus trying to cross the road.

He added: “They’re not here for fun. They’ve got to be out of their tiny minds. Are they copycats for ULEZ? Is that what they’re doing? Thinking they are doing some kind of good? No they’re not.

“We’re talking about public money criminal damage, we are going to put them back, they’re there for a reason.”

Falmouth Packet: Cllr Tisdale says schoolchildren have been knocked over crossing the roadCllr Tisdale says schoolchildren have been knocked over crossing the road (Image: Paul Armstrong)

In a statement issued to the Packet police say they were called at 1.45am on Friday, November 17 to a report that static speed camera in Longdowns, Penryn had been cut down.

Enquiries remain ongoing in relation to this matter.

Superintendent for local policing, Ian Thompson said: “The recent rise in criminal damage to speed cameras in the West Cornwall area continues to cause concern. Such acts cause a danger to the public and diverts resources from critical police activity.

“They also disrupt local communities and road users, and the cost of repair falls on the taxpayer.

“We are investigating these crimes and continue to urge the community to report any suspicious activity or share information that might help our enquiries.

“Please contact the police on 101 and quote reference number 50230302450.”