Crackdown on engine-revving ‘racers’ doing donuts in town centre is planned

Street racing in Bury St Edmunds would be banned under the new measures Picture: MICK WEBB

Street racing in Bury St Edmunds would be banned under the new measures Picture: MICK WEBB - Credit: MICK WEBB

Tougher rules could be brought in to curb car gatherings after widespread complaints were made about people loudly revving their engines and doing donuts in a town centre.

A public space protection order (PSPO) was introduced in Bury St Edmunds in 2017 to tackle alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and street begging.

But St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s scrutiny committee now wants to bring in additional measures to prohibit the use of vehicles for stunts, repeated use of horns or engine revving, playing music excessively loud, motorists using foul or abusive language or threatening behaviour, or causing an obstruction on the road.

Among the associated issues are ‘racing’ of vehicles, revving engines loudly and performing donuts.

Carrying out any activity banned in a PSPO is a criminal offence, and could result in a fixed penalty notice or prosecution.

Between September 2017 and September 2018, Suffolk police received 23 complaints over the issue.

The plans are due to be discussed when the council scrutiny committee meets on Wednesday, January 9 and could be approved when a joint cabinet meeting of West Suffolk’s two councils meet in March.

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Councillor Robert Everitt, cabinet member for families and communities at the council, said: “We are working closely with the police to tackle the nuisance caused by people gathering to show off their vehicles in the town.

“The PSPO for our town centre provides an opportunity to address the problem, and we are asking councillors to agree public consultation between 16 January 2019 and 13 February 2019 on new conditions around non-congregation, which cover noise nuisance, intimidating behaviour and obstruction.

“The PSPO can be enforced by council enforcement officers, police officers or PCSOs and will be greatly assisted by the CCTV coverage of the area, by additional private security in the Arc centre and underground car park who are already reporting matters regularly to the police.”

A report prepared for next week’s scrutiny committee said previous attempts to engage with the gatherings had resulted in short term improvements, but “each year a new cohort of individuals appear and the problem begins again”.

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