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Dicing with death on Ipswich streets

PUBLISHED: 13:33 03 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 March 2010

BOY RACERS are dicing with death in central Ipswich as they turn the town's streets in to a nightly rat-run and pit their cars against one another in high-speed heats.

BOY RACERS are dicing with death in central Ipswich as they turn the town's streets in to a nightly rat-run and pit their cars against one another in high-speed heats.

"It's only a matter of time before some one gets killed as they race around," said Ross Howard, senior instructor at Fitness First in Russell Road near where up to 30 young motorists gather.

Mr Howard said he has alerted police to the high-speed chases almost every night over the past week but the racers, many of whom drive customised cars, put the brakes on their competition every time officers arrive. "A police car comes and they all slow down and then speed up again when the patrol car has gone," said the 22-year-old.

"They treat the roads like a race-track and skid their cars around," he added. "It's been going on for months and it happens nearly every night. It starts around 8.30pm and at 10.30pm it's still going on."

Mr Howard said the racers gather in the Fitness First car park and at another car park in Russell Road before racing a loop that takes in Grafton Road, Chancery Road, Quadling Street, Commercial Road and part of West End Road.

"Up to six or seven cars go around at once. It's lucky no one has been killed yet. They go around the corners at ridiculous speeds and then all meet in the car park where they rev their engines, do wheel spins and leave their rubbish," Mr Howard said. "Itlike the Wacky Races." The motorists appear to be between 17-years-old and their late 20s, he added.

An eye witness who saw another high-speed contest around 10pm yesterday said: "There must have been about 12 cars there and they were racing around about three or four at a time. There seemed to be several heats and they were really moving. They were driving at speed."

He said that the heats tended to take place when there was a lull in traffic but the boy racers kicked off their contests when there was still other traffic on the roads.

Each car had between two and four young men inside, he said. After racing, the young motorists would meet in the car parks again and talk, he added.

A police spokeswoman said: "Police in Ipswich are aware of this problem and have been actively targetting this area using all the means at their disposal."

Several arrests have already been made.

"The message to these people is simple," she said. "If they continue to act in this way, they will be caught, prosecuted and could lose their licences."

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