Police urged to get tough on boy racers
ANGRY residents are calling for an ASBO-led clamp down on boy-racers who have been terrorising a historic town centre.Councillors and local people in Bury St Edmunds are demanding police do more to enforce anti-social behaviour laws on persistent offenders, which allow them to confiscate cars and issue warnings.
ANGRY residents are calling for an ASBO-led clamp down on boy-racers who have been terrorising a historic town centre.
Councillors and local people in Bury St Edmunds are demanding police do more to enforce anti-social behaviour laws on persistent offenders, which allow them to confiscate cars and issue warnings.
Officers say they are targeting the area after a rising number of complaints and have urged members of the public to come forward and help them identify problem hotspots.
Residents around Churchgate Street said they were plagued by vehicles with booming stereos that race along the narrow network of side roads.
Chris Movley, of the Churchgate Area Association, backed the use of anti-social behaviour orders and other tough measures to curb the problem.
“Police have got these powers but there's not enough of them in the right place at the right time to use them. People's lives are being made miserable by these drivers,” he said.
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Under recent legislation police were given the power to issue warnings to people that were seen to be driving in an anti-social and careless manner.
If the driver or vehicle is caught again for the same offence within a year then the car can be seized.
Roderick Sprake, vice-chair of Churchgate Area Association, said cars were not the only vehicles being driven recklessly.
He said: “I was at my front door and saw a motorbike fly past, there's no way he was doing 20mph - it looked more like 120mph - you couldn't see him for dust. The 20mph limit is a farce.”
Richard Rout, town councillor for the Abbeygate ward, said he would be liaising with the county council and police to see if mobile speed cameras could be bought into the town centre as an added deterrent.
“The police said because it's a 20mph limit cars tend to travel in a lower gear so vehicles with modified exhausts do make much more noise. But that does not excuse the minority that continue to speed and put lives at risk in this quiet residential area.”
Kate Pymont, from the Suffolk police Anti-Social Behaviour Unit, said: “Boy-racers spend a lot of money on their vehicles and they don't want to lose them. When an officer issues a warning notice it can act as a powerful deterrent.”
A police spokesman added: “We conduct regular checks in this area and public safety is a priority. Where possible we will enforce legislation that can make it safer for drivers and pedestrians. We appeal for people who have concerns to contact us and then we can take appropriate action.”
No figures were available as to the number of warning notices that have been issued in Bury or if any cars have been seized.
St Edmundsbury Borough council said it was unlikely to install any more traffic calming measures because of the adverse affect vibrations from speed humps have on old buildings.