Boy racers could be targeted by increased police powers on estate
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A public space protection order (PSPO) which aims to break up groups of boy racers and illegal gatherings on Bury St Edmund's Moreton Hall estate is to be debated at a council meeting next week.
The plans for the order, which will allow the police to break up groups in the area, will go out for public consultation if councillors support it at the meeting on Thursday.
Problems were initially raised about anti-social behaviour in the area in 2016 and complaints have continued about the reoccurring issue.
Such were the problems that the culprits even painted a start/finish line on the roads for them to race around two years ago.
Peter Thompson, district ward councillor for Moreton Hall, raised the issue three years ago and is "100%" behind the PSPO.
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He said: "My initial interest was because we had a group of boy racers who used part of the new road and the industrial estate to race cars.
"There are also other areas in the town that had a similar, and in my opinion a lesser problem, so from that perspective alone I considered that a PSPO for policing, for people's safeguarding and their safety is essential.
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"There are other wider issues that we can address with a PSPO, like gatherings which shouldn't be authorised. It could also help with some traveller encampments later on.
"There are other side aspects as to why this is a good thing."
According to the report, which will be used at the council meeting, Suffolk police say the issue of anti-social driving is a long-standing concern of residents within the estate.
Officers added that, although Covid-19 has had an impact and reduced the number of vehicles in the area, concerns are still being expressed by residents.
Mr Thompson also said he believed that Covid-19 is "masking" the problem.
He said: "In my opinion, the PSPO isn't something that is just nice to have. I think it is essential to control and police the areas for the benefit of the residents.
"I'm hopeful that it will go through on Thursday.
"I couldn't support this any more than I do and I hope my colleagues will vote it through."
If the PSPO is approved by the council, it will go out for public consultation before being debated by West Suffolk's Council's cabinet meeting in March.