CAMPAIGNERS have criticised police for parking a speed camera car in a “dangerous” position alongside Poole’s busy Dorset Way.

These photos were taken of the van on Monday morning, then posted on the anti-mobile speed camera website Dorset Speed.

Ian Belchamber, of Dorset Speed, who has been crusading against speed cameras on Dorset’s roads for years, claimed: “This van clearly presents a risk.”

He explained: “There is a safety barrier there, presumably to stop any wayward vehicles from going down the slope.

“If there’s a possibility a vehicle is out of control, it’s going to be a whole lot worse if there’s a van there to crash into. It’s also very dangerous for the person inside the van.”

Mr Belchamber describes the area where the van is parked as more like a “little hard shoulder” than a pavement.

“As we all know,” he said.

“You don’t stay in a vehicle on the hard shoulder for risk of being hit.

“Whatever way you look at it, this does represent a danger. So what I am asking is a simple thing. I’m asking for Dorset Police to recognise and explain they understand the risks, then demonstrate a positive safety balance.”

Dorset Police declined to comment on the photographs.

Mr Belchamber and Dorset Speed have been campaigning for the suspension of mobile speed camera operations ever since the death of Burley motorcyclist Timothy Rowsell on Bournemouth’s A338 Spur Road in April 2011.

At the subsequent inquest into Mr Rowsell’s death, Bournemouth Coroner Sheriff Payne concluded the biker lost control after braking in response to the presence of a safety camera van at the side of the road.

Dorset Speed’s website calls for all mobile camera operations to be halted until “an independent and proper investigation into effectiveness of all speed cameras, taking into account such negative effects, has been fully completed.”

A Police spokesman said: “The mobile camera van was on duty at an authorised location.”