Police warning to 'boy racers'

BOY racers using the "circuit" around Felixstowe to show off their souped-up customised cars have been warned that bad behaviour will not be tolerated.

BOY racers using the "circuit" around Felixstowe to show off their souped-up customised cars have been warned that bad behaviour will not be tolerated.

Police have warned the youngsters that if they misbehave this summer and upset residents they will be dealt with – and will pay the price.

Last year officers issued more than 20 fixed penalty tickets in a clampdown on boy racers using the resort for car cruises.

Traffic officers and vehicle inspectors swooped on those who stepped out of line and subjected a number of vehicles to a "car clinic" with a thorough inspection of every aspect of the cars.

Sgt Mick Richardson said the same sort of approach would be carried out this summer to deal with what was becoming an annual nuisance.

"It's that time of the year again, warmer, lighter evenings and the so-called boy racers come to Felixstowe to show off their cars," he said.

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"I want them to be in no doubt that if they come here and misbehave and cause nuisance then action will be taken against them.

"That nuisance can be in different ways and doesn't have to be speeding around the 'circuit' they use in and around Felixstowe.

"It could be having a loud exhaust, doing wheelspins, going up down Sea Road in first gear even if they don't exceed 30mph."

Officers from the traffic department would be called in using marked and unmarked vehicles equipped with video cameras to catch the antics on film.

The youngsters regularly use a route round the resort from the seafront, down the A14 Port of Felixstowe Road, round the dock spur back into the town centre and onto the seafront, and there have been concerns about speeding.

But the worst problems are on the seafront, where they drivers gather in Sea Road, playing music and revving their engines, and accelerating in short bursts over small distances, causing complaints from residents.

Because of the antics amid crowds of daytrippers, it has been suggested a pedestrian-only zone be set up outside the funfair arcades and kiosks in Sea Road to make the area safer.

But Sgt Richardson said this would not be necessary if speed humps were put in place as the boy racers would not be keen to drive fast over these because of the damage which would be caused to their low and expensive bodywork.

As well as fixed penalty tickets, last summer's lengthy inspections of the cars – which included whether windscreen washer bottles had enough water to whether they had the right wattage bulbs in their lights or the correct type of tint material on the windows – also led to enforcement notices for repairs being given out.

n What do you think is the answer to the problems of boy racers? Do they annoy you or are their activities harmless fun? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk