ARSONISTS have targeted a speed camera in a West Dorset village.

Police are investigating after a tyre was put over the fixed speed camera and set alight on the busy A35 in Chideock, near Bridport, around 5.20am yesterday.

Chideock traffic protester Tony Fuller said he was disgusted by the arson attack and warned it would ‘cost lives’ if motorists sped through the village.

Mr Fuller, 77, said: “As far as I’m concerned anyone who does anything like that should be locked up and the key thrown away because they’re complete and utter idiots.

“If the speed camera isn’t working to deter motorists, someone could get killed easy.”

Mr Fuller and other members of The A35 Protest Group have been asked by police to use hand-held speed cameras to monitor traffic.

He added: “I’m worried that if people can do this to a speed camera, what would they do to a couple of old fogies with a camera?”

Protest group member Reme Cortis said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw the burnt camera, it’s a disgrace.”

The camera was at the centre of controversy two years ago when it emerged it had illegally caught thousands of motorists between 1997 and 2007 due to an administrative blunder, which referred to the A35 junction with Seatown Road, when it should have been Duck Street.

Witnesses and anyone with information about the damage should contact Bridport police on 01305 222222.