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West Suffolk Council backs Moreton Hall protection order to tackle Bury St Edmunds boy racers

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Public order powers to tackle boy racers around a Bury St Edmunds estate are set to be introduced at the end of this month.

Backing was given by around 90 per cent of respondents to a West Suffolk Council consultation on plans for a public space protection order (PSPO) – giving councils and police more powers for specific anti-social problems – for the Moreton Hall area of town.

The consultation found more than half of respondents had been affected by late night street racing and loud revving of engines in the area, first reported in 2016.

West Suffolk House.
West Suffolk House.

Final approval of the powers has been granted, and can be implemented from March 26. It follows similar powers introduced in the town centre in 2019 to curb anti-social motorists.

Councillor Robert Everitt, Conservative cabinet member for families and communities, said: “These orders are an important way we can support communities and the police deal with specific anti-social behaviour issues.

“By nature, they must respond to local issues and the changing situations in our communities which is why they must also be regularly reviewed and backed by evidence to deal with local problems as they occur or be changed to reflect local need.

“The orders are also a good way for local residents to influence their area and reduce anti-social behaviour where it occurs.

“These powers are most effective when enforced in defined locations and against specific antisocial behaviours. But they have to be supported by robust evidence of need, and I want to thank everyone who took part and gave their views.”

Other issues related to late-night street racing the powers will help address are littering from those motorists, verbal abuse from those drivers, speeding and dangerous driving.

In January when the council agreed to launch a public consultation on the proposed powers, local councillors highlighted how much of an issue it had been.

Ward councillor Trevor Beckwith, Independent, said “residents are fed up with it”, while Labour group leader Diane Hind who lives in the area said it was “very disturbing”.

A change was also made to the Haverhill street-drinking PSPO, where the Tudor Court area was removed.

That area had originally been included when it was recreational ground but is now no longer needed as it is residential. The wider PSPO which restricts street drinking remains in place.

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