Clampdown on town's boy racers

By James MortlockBOY racers who plague a town's car parks could have their vehicles confiscated under a pioneering initiative to stamp out the menace.

By James Mortlock

BOY racers who plague a town's car parks could have their vehicles confiscated under a pioneering initiative to stamp out the menace.

People using the Jubilee Centre car parks in Mildenhall have long complained about the antics of boy racers.

Now police and Forest Heath District Council are working together to take advantage of new “on-the-spot” to tackle the problem.

New laws have given police the power to seize vehicles in certain circumstances where the drivers are deemed to be causing “harassment, alarm or distress” and have already been warned once in the previous 12 months.

Inspector Nick Bennett, of Mildenhall police, said two drivers had already been warned and he felt the threat of having their cars taken away if they were caught driving irresponsibly again would drastically cut the problem.

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“It's an on-the-spot decision and it will cost them £105 to get the vehicle back and an additional £12 every day it is in the hands of police. If after 21 days the vehicle is not claimed, it will be sold at auction,” he added.

Mr Bennett said his officers often received complaints about cars being driven irresponsibly.

“The new legislation provides the police with extensive powers to combat the problem - if drivers fail to heed warnings, we will take positive action against them,” he added.

“I'm confident this will be a good deterrent. Our aim is not to seize machines - it's to encourage drivers to behave more responsibly.”

He added the town's closed circuit television cameras would be used in the crackdown to help identify drivers behaving badly.

The new laws can also be used to confiscate motorbikes or cars being driven irresponsibly at off-road sites.

Mr Bennett said parts of Thetford Forest were often plagued with speeding bikers, resulting in complaints to police from members of the public concerned for their safety.

The culprits could have their bikes taken off them if their behaviour persisted, he warned.

Forest Heath council's community safety officer, Lesley Gyte, welcomed the initiative.

“This sort of anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and, with the evidence from cameras around the town, the police will be taking firm action,” she said.

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