Police say they will act as residents in Peterborough complain about series of car meets

Police say they will act on residents’ reports of informal car meets in Peterborough after complaints about a number of incidents in the city.

Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 12:33 pm
Police at a car meet at Fair Meadow car park in Peterborough last month which sparked a number of complaints from residents about noise.

The issue is a particular problem for residents in Hampton where regular gatherings have been taking place in the car park at Vivacity Premier Fitness.

The latest incident saw Police called on Sunday when a dispersal order was issued after a number of vehicles gathered there.

A police spokeswoman said: “We’re aware of the ongoing issues relating to car meets and anti-social driving in the Hampton Avenue area and wider across the city, and we’re working with partners including Peterborough City Council to address these.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Since June 1 we have received ten reports of nuisance behaviour involving vehicles at the Vivacity Gym car park or roads nearby, including Ashbourne Road and Hadfield Road.

“We were most recently called to the area on Sunday (August 2) with reports of a large car gathering.

“A dispersal order was issued allowing Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and police officers to direct a person to leave the area if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that their behaviour has caused, or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to members of the public.

“Two motorists were also handed traffic offence reports for anti-social driving in the Ferry Meadows area.

“We ask the public to continue to report any information they have about anti-social driving online at cambs.police.uk/report/Vehicles, speak to us via our web-chat or call 101. The more information we have, the better picture we can build and the more efficient we can be at targeting those responsible.”

Ward Counciilor John Howard said that residents have been complaining about the meetings for some time.

He said: “Many residents have approached me expressing their frustration about the car meets taking place at Vivacity Premier Fitness.

“The car meets have escalated with lockdown measures easing and they have really disrupted residents evenings.

“Last weekend a dispersal order was in place, three dispersal orders and three Section 59 notices for dangerous vehicle use were issued, and the Police are reviewing CCTV footage to identify further cases of dangerous driving that can be linked to individuals. If anyone has specific information to help the Police, please do report as soon as possible.

“This issue has caused much frustration, however it is complex to solve, council officers have been working hard to get the cooperation of the car park landowners to help implement restrictions, this will also help our Policing colleagues as gatherings in large groups are a challenge to the Police.

“These groups are not illegal on their own and not all in attendance will be breaking the law, where offences are occurring Police can take action. The dispersal powers allow the police to compel individuals acting in an anti-social manner to leave and not to return, however it is not intended as a prohibition on these groups meeting in all circumstances.

“I will continue to work hard with my councillor colleagues, our enforcement team at city council and the police, as we continue to work hard on further preventative measures.”

One resident, who lives in a nearby apartment block, compared the noise to machine gun fire and told the Peterborough Telegraph that one night the noise got so loud that their windows were shaking and they had no choice but to leave their flat and seek refuge from the noise in a communal lounge. They also informed the PT that many residents in their building were elderly and that the issue was causing them problems with their sleep and aggrevating existing health conditions.

Earlier this month Orton Waterville councillor Julie Howell told the PT that it was only a matter of time before a child is killed by cars racing inthe Ortons area of the city.

She said there had been severe issues with anti-social driving in the area in the past and the issue was getting worse.

She said: “During lockdown, a menace that had previously been restricted to a local industrial estate is now on public roads. Speeding, racing and performing stunts around roundabout (such as ‘drifting’) have been seen at early as 8pm almost every evening in Orton. Orton Parkway and Oundle Road have been badly affected.

“A vixen and her cub crossing Oundle Road were hit – the cub was killed instantly. There has been an increase in animal fatalities along these roads. How long until this is a child?”