Volunteers could be used to trap town centre boy racers

IPSWICH: Neighbours could today hold the key to ridding their streets of the boy racers that are endangering lives by speeding around a one-way circuit.

Police have revealed that a new community speed watch programme is to be launched in Ipswich and hope that volunteers will come forward to police the notorious ‘Double Ds’ circuit - taking in Commercial Road, Russell Road and Quadling Street.

Sergeant Roger Salmon, of the South West Ipswich Safer Neighbo- urhood Team, said: “The community speed watch initiative has recently been launched in Ipswich, where members of the public can use speed detection equipment to record the number plates of speeding vehicles. This could potentially be utilised in this location as a deterrent.”

The news will be welcomed by campaigners who have criticised police for not stepping in sooner.

Sgt Salmon did, however, say they had been aware of the issues for a “considerable time”.

He said action has been taken in recent months to rid the area of the boy racers, who come out after the evening rush hour.

“We continue to consult with our partners in an effort to find a long-term solution to the problem and regularly conduct speed enforcement initiatives in the area.

Most Read

“In March this year an operation was held involving the police and a number of partner agencies with the aim of clamping down on anti-social driving and dangerously-maintained vehicles. Fifty vehicles were stopped and checked during the operation.

He added: “We want to assure all residents that we take this problem very seriously and we plan to actively target this area again in the future.”

Evan Heasley, who works close to the one-way system in Ipswich and believes those who race around the circuit feel they are beyond the law, has been leading the campaign to tackle speeding in the area.

He said he regularly sees young motorists travelling around at speeds in excess of the 30mph limit – something he believes could have tragic consequences.

The 40-year-old believes little has changed since he launched his campaign last November and said: “I have watched as groups of people flout the law with no fear.

“I have seen on numerous occasions drivers going straight through red lights and I’m sure that there has been times where accidents have very nearly occurred.

“I think that it is scary because it is only a matter of time before someone is killed or seriously injured at the hands of this obvious law breaking.

“These people are behaving with complete impunity and they have a total disregard for the law and safety of others.

“As far as I am aware, this has been a problem in Ipswich for a number of years. But I was quite shocked to find that police are only going to prosecute speeding motorist as a very last result.

“I believe that this should be a priority for police, speeding shouldn’t be taken lightly.”

n Do you think speeding is an issue in this area of Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk