Anger as ‘boy racers’ cause misery for hundreds in Peterborough
A councillor has spoken of her anger after anti-social driving and cars racing in Peterborough made life a misery for residents in Orton and Woodston.
Orton Waterville cllr Julie Howell said anti-social driving kept residents awake until 3am on Saturday and Sunday morning as car enthusiasts met at the Orton Southgate Industrial Estate, while Fletton and Stanground cllr Christian Hogg said there were similar issues caused at Fair Meadows Car Park on Oundle Road.
Both councillors have now called for more action to be taken to ensure the meetings do not cause problems in the future.
Cllr Howell said the anti social driving had been a major problem throughout the past year. She said: “The particular problems of this past weekend were at Orton Southgate.
“The police said they were too busy to attend. On Friday and Saturday nights it went on for at least five hours until around 3am, with the effect that hundreds of people in Orton Goldhay were affected by noise and smell.
“There had been car cruises by The Apex on Oundle Road. We know the organisers of these are keen to distance themselves from any problems, but when there are car cruises the problems with anti-social drifting in Southgate do seem to be worse. We do need to work together to get on top of this problem.
“It has been a lot worse since the beginning of the pandemic, with more and more dangerous driving at night on local roads.
“At the weekend, the police did issue a dispersal order. However, this did not extend to Orton, which may have had the effect of pushing the problems into Orton.
“The problem is where it happens. Orton Southgate industrial estate is just over the parkway from residential streets of dense housing. The people doing it may be unaware that they are badly affecting hard-working people with young families who need their sleep. There is no doubt this persistent noise late at night is affecting their health after what has already been a very difficult year for many.
“Both I and Cllr Hogg spoke to the police but to no avail. The 101 service was quite dismissive of our complaints. The police tell us to report all problems to 101, but sometimes when we do we are made to feel like we are the problem.”
Cllr Hogg said: “Over the weekend there were two car meets at the Pleasure Fair Meadows Car Park, on the Friday there was a low key event which whilst mostly well behaved, with a few exceptions.
“Saturday’s event organised by Static Revolution was a different matter, the whole of the car park was taken up by cars attending the event,
“As you will see from the videos whilst the vast majority of attendees were well behaved and just looking to enjoy themselves in a shared interest in cars.
“However the residents in the surrounding area, Apex House, the Springview Apartments, the top end of Hawksbill Way, Cubitt Way and the East Station Road apartments experienced antisocial behaviour from some attendees, from hard accelerating around the vicinity with modified exhausts that create a loud noise. On site there were engines revving, creating pops and bangs that are as loud as gun fire.
“I also witnessed cars accelerating hard down the aisles between the cars and some drifting in very tight conditions one car in particular struggled keep control.
“As for the police response, I believe there was a dispersal order in place but no attempt was made to use it and the only police attendance I saw was a van that came in drove round and then exited the site.
“I was told on two occasions that a traffic unit had been tasked with attending but I saw no evidence that it ever arrived. I understand that officer levels are currently below minimum levels at times and that the halving of PCSO numbers has left a gap in the force’s ability to respond to such events. However this event was known about, evidenced by the dispersal order being in place.
“Following the end of the event I know there were a number of incidents of car drifting in the Orton Southgate industrial estate which went on for some time.
“Regarding this coming weekend I have seen two more events are planned for this Saturday organised by Kleenscene and Dynasty UK, I am hoping that the Police are able to direct adequate resources to keep the events controlled.”
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police spokesperson said: “We received four calls at the weekend concerning anti-social driving and related noise in Orton Southgate.
“Officers attended in the early hours of Saturday morning, but did not witness any drifting or other anti-social behaviour. They did however offer words of advice to a number of drivers.
“We’re aware of the ongoing issues relating to car meets and anti-social driving and we’re working with partners including Peterborough City Council to address these.
“It is important residents report these issues on our website, or by calling 101. There are a number of powers available to us and the council. Information and intelligence reported to us from the public helps us to establish which of these powers can be used.
“Local councillors chair a newly formed working group to tackle this issue, which the police sit on. The group are working to formalise a response and examine what interventions we as a group can take to prevent this from affecting local residents.
“Demand for our service remains incredibly high and we have to prioritise every call for service alongside the crimes and incidents ongoing at that time.”