RETIRED volunteers including a former vicar and school headteacher were told they would be killed for recording the speed of passing drivers.

Frinton and Walton Speedwatch group pride themselves on being one the most active speed watch groups in Essex.

In 2018, the group recorded 2,950 drivers speeding.

This year they have already caught 552 drivers flouting the legal limit.

But Mick Carter, a former police detective sergeant and chair of the group, says rage-filled drivers do not understand their intentions.

During a recent report to Frinton and Walton Town Council, Mr Carter said: “On one occasion someone tried to assault me.

“A couple of days ago we recorded a chap on body cam. He was snarling away at the three people on speedwatch and threatening to get them.

“He said his wife had died and he was going to make sure the same will happen to them.

“He disappeared off and we had all his car details.

“A PC managed to arrange for statements to be taken from them, interviewed this man and after a week he appeared at Clacton Police Station, where he was given an official police caution.”

The three threatened volunteers were all retired, and included a former vicar, school headteacher and a former nurse.

Speaking following the meeting, Mr Carter said: “These are three pillars of the community, who do not deserve to be threatened in this way, to have someone snarling away at them like this.

“We are all retired and we are all over 60, we aren’t trying to cause trouble.

“We all live on or nearby to main roads, many with 30mph speed limits, and we see cars doing 40 or 50mph every session.

"We see some getting as high as 70 or even 80.

“I have more experience than most with what dangerous driving can do.

“I picked my neighbour’s eight-year-old boy out of the road when he was hit be a car and killed. That was very sobering.

“My father was killed as a passenger during a road traffic accident.

“Another friend of mine, a police officer, was killed when the driver in front of his police motorcycle decided to do a U-Turn right in front of him while eating a Chinese takeaway on his lap.”

Mr Carter says the Frinton group and the Harwich and District group are two of the most active in Essex.

Between them, the groups caught 6,500 drivers speeding in 2018, 30 per cent of the total caught by speedwatch groups across Essex.

The volunteers can issue a letter of warning to caught drivers, but also work with the police to identify speeding hotspots and give an idea of the scale of the problem.

“We don’t hide away or anything, we stand in the same places as the police,” said Mr Carter.

“When you have got hundreds of cars going over 35 in a 30 then you realise there is a problem.

"People are now getting fixed penalty notices and driver awareness courses as PCSOs use the Tru Cam in the same areas."