Road safety chiefs in Bradford are putting up a bounty to catch vandals who target speed cameras.

A £500 reward is being offered to people who provide information leading to the conviction of anyone caught damaging the familiar roadside cameras.

The Bradford-based West Yorkshire Casualty Reduction Partnership, which is responsible for the installation and upkeep of the cameras, has announced the move.

“It’s not a big or growing issue in West Yorkshire and we aim to keep it that way,” said partnership spokesman Philip Gwynne.

He said: “What few attacks there are tend to be ineffectual drive-by arson attempts, which might cause some superficial scorching to the camera cabinet but do not affect the workings of the equipment inside, as the cameras have protective fire-proofing.”

But Mr Gwynne revealed that, occasionally, there were more serious attacks.

He said one camera head was cut down using an angle grinder and another was “torched”.

Chief Inspector Christopher Moorhouse-Everett, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “This is not ‘just a bit of vandalism’, this is the serious offence of causing criminal damage and it can have dangerous repercussions for the road and the community alongside it.

“And the cameras are always replaced, so it’s a completely futile act in the first place.”

People who live on roads near cameras often report suspicious behaviour to the police or the partnership. Police said this was an indication that many residents welcomed the traffic-calming influence the cameras bring to their neighbourhood.

Now the partnership has arranged with Crimestoppers to reward “good neighbours” for reporting an incident that leads to a conviction.

Anyone who sees someone attacking a camera is urged to call the police on 999 if the attack is happening there and then. Otherwise, people can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

If people can see the camera number, they should give it to the operator. Descriptions of the people involved would also be welcomed.

When the offenders are caught and brought before the courts, the person who reported the vandalism need not give evidence in person.

A written statement will be sufficient and the person’s identity need not be revealed.