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West Suffolk Council joint executive approves extension to Bury St Edmunds PSPO to crack down on boy racers

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Measures to stop boy racers wreaking havoc around Bury St Edmunds have been given the green light, with councillors saying homes have had to put up with issues for too long.

The joint executive at West Suffolk Council unanimously approved an extension to the town’s public safety protection order (PSPO) – an order which allows police and councils to tackle problem behaviours more stringently.

The order means those who rev engines loudly, race around the streets, do ‘donuts’ or carry out related anti-social behaviour can be stopped by police, PCSOs or council officers.

West Suffolk House. (7753466)
West Suffolk House. (7753466)

Failing to adhere to the rules of the PSPO is a criminal offence, meaning persistent troublemakers could face an £80 fine or prosecution.

Last night’s joint executive adopted the proposals last night, with signs now set to be erected in problem areas warning motorists.

Councillor Ian Houlder said: “It’s a bit of an indictment these things have been allowed to go on for so long in the town.

“We are working on the ground with our PCSOs and PCs.

“CCTV could certainly help and I hope the message gets out there to people who are anti-social, playing music etc to desist – it’s totally unnecessary.”

The order will be in operation 24 hours a day, and curbs the use of motor vehicles for racing or stunts; repeatedly sounding horns or revving engines; playing music excessively loud;using foul or abusive language; threatening or intimidating others; or causing a highway obstruction.

The problem is largely thought to be around groups who gather with their cars in car parks late at night.

Councillor Robert Everitt, portfolio holder for families and communities, said: “The main issue is around the central market car park when we have had residents who have had to put up with anti-social behaviour by some of the motor vehicle enthusiasts who had been causing problems.

“I think it’s right this council is seen to be taking action against these people who seem to have no respect or regard for people living around the area they are causing problems for.

“I am very pleased we have taken this step.”

Suffolk police said the behaviour was clearly having a detrimental impact on homes.

A survey carried out during the public engagement revealed that 75% of respondents had suffered as a result of the car gatherings.