Skelton-in-Cleveland, North Yorkshire - A motorist took revenge on police who gave him a speeding fine by using his car to block a mobile camera at the spot where he had been caught.
Chris Welford, 23, parked on the pavement next to the unmanned camera van and raised the boot of his BMW 5 Series to stop any speeding motorists being photographed.
He stood there for an hour as drivers honked their appreciation and police did nothing to intervene. A picture of his protest went viral after he posted it on Facebook, but on Thursday social media was divided between those calling him a ‘hero’ and those branding him an idiot.
Cleveland Police identified Welford and visited him at home hours later to give him a ticking off. He defended his stunt by claiming it was not a danger road and there was ‘no real need’ for a mobile camera van to be there apart from making money.
The offshore worker was driving on Marske Lane in his home town of Skelton-in-Cleveland, North Yorkshire, at around 1pm on Tuesday when he noticed the van at the same spot where he was caught speeding five years ago shortly after he passed his driving test.
He said: "I just thought I would try to wind them up a little bit."
Messages of support
Welford has clearly enjoyed the attention, and was flattered when a man wrote on social media: "Not all heroes wear capes."
But he said he accepted that others viewed his actions as irresponsible.
He said: "I’ve had loads of messages of support but quite a few telling me I’m an idiot. I know that some speed cameras are just there to make money but they can be a deterrent and people get killed from speeding."
Welford said he was surprised police did nothing to stop him.
"At one point an unmarked police car came past with two officers inside but they just looked at me and kept driving," he said. "The police came around later to my house and I was told I was lucky as I could have been done for harassment."
Welford claimed police chose the spot because drivers go down a sloping road and "pick up speed". He added: "There was a school there years ago but that was knocked down so I don’t think there is a real need for them to be there."
Inspector Harry Simpson of Cleveland Police, said: "Most members of the community do not want the safety of their children put at risk by the drivers of speeding vehicles."
The road was the site of a serious crash in 2012. During the past year 227 drivers have been caught speeding there, including 71 during the past six weeks.