YET another speed camera has been torched by vandals.

In the latest incident, the vandals hung tyres around the camera on Ringwood Road, Longham, and then set the tyres alight, in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze.

Ferndown mayor Queenie Comfort said: “It could have cost lives. You might have three or four Fire engines dash off to this and they might have been needed more urgently at a fire or a road traffic accident.

“The cameras also cost a lot.

“When you set tyres on fire they make a most ghastly smell and they are toxic.

“It is really wanton vandalism.

“It’s not to be encouraged. I hope they catch the culprits.”

Cllr Comfort added: “I have a speed camera very near my home and I think it’s excellent. It does slow people down.”

A series of Gatso cameras have been set alight over the past few months, at Ringwood Road in Verwood, and at Horton Road near Three Legged Cross.

In Bournemouth, the camera near Cemetery Junction on Wimborne Road, Bournemouth, was sprayed over earlier this year and previously the one on Wessex Way approaching the County Gates roundabout was damaged by fire.

Dorset Police said: “The incident was reported to us by the fire service in the early hours of this morning and it is being investigated as arson.”

The 38 fixed cameras across the county are operated by the Dorset Safety Camera Partnership. Johnny Stephens, head of fixed penalties for the organisation, told the Echo in August that vandalism of safety cameras was “wholly irresponsible behaviour that could endanger people’s lives”.

“There is vast evidence to show that motorists who speed increase their risk of being involved in a collision and pose a real risk to other road users,” he added.