A St Neots councillor has called for police action on “boy racers” who drive at high speed making circuits of the town after being told the issue was not a policing priority.
Cllr John Dunford, who is chairman of the transport and development committee on St Neots Town Council, has urged residents to make formal complaints to the new police and crime commissioner, Jason Ablewhite, who informed him the number of calls, about so-called boy racers, from the public was low.
Cllr Dunford wrote a letter to Mr Ablewhite to complain about the lack of police action and was told in a written reply there had only been one complaint in the last three months. This is despite numerous complaints to councillors and a concerted effort by St Neots Town Council to reinstate the barrier at the Riverside Park to stop youngsters racing around the car park late at night and disturbing nearby residents.
A town council meeting in November heard that drivers were completing loops of the town, driving up to Loves Farm, down Priory Hill and back through the town to Eaton Ford.
“This needs a concerted police effort, maybe only once or twice a month, but enough to catch a few of these drivers, check their cars and issues fines if they are breaking the speed limit,” said Cllr Dunford.
“I appreciate police records show the number of complaints is low, but this behaviour is happening most weekends and it is completely unacceptable - there are nights when it sounds like something out of a Mad Max movie. You generally hear the roar of the vehicles long before you see them. I can quite often hear them on the other side of town when I walk my dog. I do appreciate the police are pushed for resource but something does need to be done.”
In his letter to Cllr Dunford, Mr Ablewhite pointed out that calls regarding parking issues were much higher and deserved a higher priority.
“I am sure you understand the chief constable must also balance his resources,” said Mr Ablewhite.
He did, however, say that work was continuing to re-install the barrier at the Riverside Park “in order to disrupt this activity [boy racers]”.
The barrier system would prevent drivers both entering and leaving the car park after a certain time. There are some fears it would inconvenience genuine users who may become locked in. The park did have a barrier, but it was damaged some time ago and has not been repaired.
St Neots Town Council has also agreed to fund a consultation to instate a 20MPH speed limit across the whole of St Neots. This work will be carried out in the next few months.