More than 1,800 drivers have been caught defying the speed limit by a volunteer-led speed watch group in its first year.

Figures collated by the Buckley community speed watch team have found that since it started up in August last year, 1,862 motorists have been found going over and above a tolerated speed.

The team, co-ordinated by county councillor and former police officer Arnold Woolley, operates in 18 locations, spending almost 450 hours at the roadside in the last 12 months.

Cllr Woolley said while the team were not there to “prosecute motorists” they had taken to the streets after a strong feeling from concerned residents that vehicles when driving within the urban and residential estate areas needed to slow down for reasons of safety.

Figures compiled by the former county council leader found that speed watch members have been at the roadside on 140 occasions and he explained how the data was collected.

Cllr Woolley said: “I cannot over-emphasise the community safety aspect of our work.

“We do not nick people for doing a mile or so over the speed limit; we allow a 10 per cent plus one mile per hour tolerance, which means that only if a driver is driving at 35mph or greater in the 30mph zones, or 46mph or above in a 40mph zone, they attract our attention. We are not there to pinch pounds out of driver pockets, or put points on their licences.

“We are there to emphasise each driver’s duty to drive legally and responsibly and not just in a hurry.”

Of the 1,862 vehicles spotted, 1,670 were identified enough to formally inform North Wales Police.

A total of 71 drivers have been identified as going over the limit twice, six a third time and one on four separate occasions.

That driver became abusive with speed watchers, Cllr Woolley said, but on the whole the scheme has been met positively.

“I am also holding and discussing with police, requests for us to operate at four more locations around Buckley, where residents have got in touch with me, at the roadside or by phone, to ask if we can do something to slow down the excessive speeding which worries them. We do work closely with North Wales Police and we also feed information back to the Streetscene officers at Flintshire Council who have interests in traffic flow and safety issues.

“Yes, we do take some verbal abuse and hand gestures, but we also get a whole lot of support.”

Cllr Woolley added that among the speeding drivers, another matter was troubling him.

He said: “In the checking work that I carry out before forwarding registration numbers to NWP, the number of vehicles showing up with no tax and/or no current MOT, and therefore no insurance, give me cause for concern and fits in with press reports of a growing number of uninsured vehicles on our roads.”