Police warn street racers: ‘Listen, or you will learn the hard way’
Street racers have been warned: tone down your noise and speed, or you will be in trouble.
Gangs of boy racers in modified vehicles – cars and bikes – have plagued south Norfolk of late.
Diss is particularly badly affected, as well as Harleston and other communities.
Social media is flooded with complaints of anti-social behaviour with almost daily examples of illegal driving, high speeds and loud exhausts.
Putting a stop to it is one of the Norfolk Police’s priorities, but Insp Jason Selvarajah emphasised it was not a crackdown.
“We first of all want to engage with these young people,” he said.
“However, other residents in the community have their right to a peaceful life which must be respected.
“Noise is a particular problem for people trying to get young children to sleep or shift workers.”
The favourite gathering places in Diss for the young drivers and riders – male and female, said Insp Selvarajah – is the Morrisons supermarket car park and Vinces Road. In Harleston, it is the Bullock Fair car park.
Some of them are from Suffolk, probably because their gathering places on privately owned land have been closed.
Local police are being supported by traffic officers who are able to measure the decibel level from exhausts and equipment is on order for Diss officers to use.
Cars with heavily tinted front windows will also come under scrutiny, he said.
Insp Selvarajah said those who continued to flout laws risked losing their vehicles and paying higher motoring costs for years if they stack up points on their licences.
“If you respect other road users and residents and don’t litter where you meet, you have nothing to worry about any approaches from the police,” he said.
The police’s primary objective was to engage and encourage good behaviour. But persistent offenders who ignored advice were likely to be served with a Police Reform Act Section 59 notice.
This puts drivers on good behaviour for 12 months and, if in that time they are reported for any driving offences, they could forfeit their vehicles.
“This means paying for the recovery and storage of the vehicle and is likely to result in higher insurance premiums, as would penalty points for driving offences, especially if it is also discovered that modifications have been made since the vehicles were registered,” he said.
“We have served lots of these notices.”
Some drivers had sensibly equipped themselves with “black boxes” from their insurers to record their driving habits and Insp Selvarajah encouraged more to consider them.