EXISTENCE of a "militant group" attacking and burning Somerset speed traps has been denied by police - despite the Safety Camera Partnership claiming the force is investigating one.

Sometime on Tuesday night (October 24) tyres were placed around the base of one of the devices on near East Huntspill on the A370 before vandals set them alight.

Ground around the yellow machine was completely destroyed with fierce scorch marks snaking up the pole of the Gatso.

This is the latest in a number of incidents around Somerset in which the speed traps have been attacked by unknown members of the public.

Safety Camera Partnership spokesman Dave Gollicker revealed to the Mercury that he was aware of the problem, but insisted it was a minor bit of damage.

"It's going to have to be removed to get repaired before we put it back in place," he revealed.

"We seem to be having a little bit of a spate of minor damage in the area. If you think about the community of East Brent they have all benefited from the camera.

"In the meantime we will be using one of our mobile units in the area. We are aware there is a militant group in the area, but I don't know any further details because it is a police investigation."

Avon and Somerset Police said if the burning of the camera had been reported to the force it would be looking for witnesses to find out who was behind the attack.

However, spokesman Ian Drury denied there was any king of vigilante team gunning for speed cameras.

He said: "In a nutshell we do not necessarily think there is an extremist group.

"There is nothing to suggest any of the incidents have been linked by any sort of militant group as such - it appears that they are individual incidents.

"Anyone who sees anyone that is acting suspiciously round a safety camera should contact police."