A SPEED camera was torched in Chiseldon and residents says a disgruntled motorist could be to blame.

The burned out remains on the A346, pictured right, in Marlborough Road, opposite Chiseldon Primary School, has shocked residents.

The incident occurred during the early hours of Wednesday.

Resident Jenny White, 62, said: "I wonder if the camera had caught a driver and he or she was taking revenge?

"I didn't see anything and I don't think this has ever happened before - certainly not in the six years I've been living here."

An 80-year-old woman, who did not want to be identified, said: "I've lived in the village since 1955 and never heard of any vandalism as severe as this."

A 65-year-old neighbour added: "I think the camera has been making a difference.

"Sometimes you hear people applying their brakes as they spot the camera but this person has obviously taken matters in their own hands."

The speed camera was removed yesterday for further examination.

"The camera is well established and has been in place for the last 10 years without a problem," said Sgt Nick Blencowe of the Wiltshire and Swindon Safety Camera Partnership.

"A tyre was set alight and thrown over the camera.

"Although this person might not support the idea of a camera it doesn't give them the right to commit criminal damage.

"We haven't had a problem with damage to cameras in the Swindon and Wiltshire for seven years.

"But since then we think there might have been copycat incidents in the county after damage in the Avon and Somerset areas."

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call Wiltshire Police on 0845 408 7000.

Alternatively, call anonymously Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.