VANDALS who set a speed camera alight in Bournemouth are “putting lives at risk”, according to Dorset Road Safe.

Firefighters from Westbourne were called at 4.05am yesterday to the camera on the A338 Wessex Way, close to the County Gates roundabout, to put out the blaze.

Police said a burning tyre had been placed around the camera and the incident was being treated as arson.

No arrests had been made as the Daily Echo went to press last night.

Firefighters arrived to find the camera well alight, a fire service spokesman said.

Yesterday the camera had been covered with an orange hood and burnt debris could be seen on the ground underneath.

Speaking on behalf of Dorset Road Safe, which operates the county’s cameras, Pat Garrett said: “Dorset Road Safe can confirm that the safety camera on the Wessex Way near to County Gates was subject to vandalism.

“We would like to reiterate that vandalism is a criminal offence and perpetrators who are caught committing this crime will be dealt with accordingly through the criminal justice system. The people committing this sort of vandalism are putting lives at risk.”

Dorset has seen a spate of similar incidents in recent years.

The number of speed cameras in Dorset has been slashed this year, with just 15 fixed units left working.

Three red light/speed on green cameras have also been removed after local councils cut funding for Dorset Road Safe and the number of mobile camera sites has reduced from 33 to 28.