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Bury St Edmunds town centre 'boy racer' ban plan




Bury St Edmunds town centre could become a no-go area for boy racers if proposed conditions are added to a public space protection order (PSPO).

On Wednesday, St Edmundsbury borough councillors will discuss the added measures to give police greater powers to crack down on anti-social behaviour.

The existing PSPO was introduced in 2017 to address anti-social behaviour related to alcohol and street begging.

The restricted area includes the arc/Cattle Market car parks and Parkway multi-storey. Picture: Mark Westley.
The restricted area includes the arc/Cattle Market car parks and Parkway multi-storey. Picture: Mark Westley.

However, from September 2017-September 2018 Suffolk Police received 23 complaints about anti-social behaviour caused by the congregation of vehicles. Meanwhile, Nelson Road Residents’ Association wrote a letter of complaint to MP Jo Churchill.

Complaints included:

  • Reports of vehicles racing up Parkway doing burnouts
  • Reports of doughnuts and handbrake turns
  • Youths racing round and setting fire to a rubbish bin
  • Erratic driving to make tyres smoke
  • Loud music coming from six cars
  • CCTV of vehicle being driven round with people hanging out of the boot
  • Racing around the multi-storey before doing circuits up and down Parkway

Extra PSPO conditions would allow police to crack down on gatherings of two or more vehicles for purposes other than parking in the existing restricted area, which stretches from Southgate Green to Out Northgate and includes the arc/Cattle Market car parks and Parkway multi-storey.

The council’s overview and scrutiny committee will vote on adding the conditions, which would also prohibit: using a motor vehicle to perform stunts; sounding horns or revving engines; playing loud music; using foul or abusive language; using threatening, intimidating behaviour and causing an obstruction.

As part of the proposal, 30 signs relating to the PSPO would be replaced, costing approximately £700.

If councillors give the green light on Wednesday the matter would go out to public consultation ahead of a cabinet vote in March.

A report to the overview and scrutiny committee said: “Both the council and the police recognise the problem caused by this issues and want to implement the quickest, most effective action we
can that will also have a
strong deterrent and high penalties.”

PSPOs can be enforced by police officers, PCSOs and West Suffolk Council enforcement officers. Anyone breaching the order could receive a fixed penalty notice or be prosecuted.



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