Crackdown on nuisance motorists begins

VIDEO Police began a week-long crackdown on anti-social motorists by targeting young drivers on a stretch of road which has attracted almost 200 complaints in one year.

POLICE began a week-long crackdown on anti-social motorists by targeting young drivers on a stretch of road which has attracted almost 200 complaints in one year.

The roads around Grafton Way, Commercial Road and Chancery Road - known as the 'Double D' - have developed a reputation as a late-night race track.

Because it is used by a large number of pedestrians during the evening, travelling between pubs, restaurants and clubs, there are fears it is only a matter of time before someone is killed.

In a report handed to officers before the launch of the operation earlier this week, Pc Ben Coombes said: “For several years now Ipswich town centre has seen a growing group of motorists, who meet up in car park areas and 'show off' their cars and the changes they have made to them.

“The trend has also grown, to try their cars against one another in what has been described to me as 'race track conditions'.

“I am informed some drivers even attend the area from London.”

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The first night of Operation Jockey saw around 20 officers, including several student officers, take over a section of Staples car park in Grafton Way.

Lanes were marked out with cones and patrolling officers brought in anyone they found driving with defective lights, without wearing seatbelts, or in an erratic manner, on what was described as a 'zero tolerance' basis.

As the night drew on, a succession of sporty vehicles, mainly driven by youngsters, were lined up and checked for defective tyres or any faults which could pose a hazard.

Of the 20 vehicles stopped, the vast majority of the drivers took the brief inconvenience in good spirit.

Acting sergeant Paul Smith, who oversaw the operation, said: “Luckily most people see it that way - they realise it is important to keep unsafe cars off the road, and part of doing that is to occasionally stop people and check them.

“We know we have a problem with this area now, and we will be back to carry out a lot more checks around here.”

During the first night of the operation, two fixed penalty notices were issued, one for a bald tyre and one for driving while talking on a mobile phone.

One person was issued with a warning for possessing cannabis, and five people spoken to about their lights.

Are roads where you live used as race tracks? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveninstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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