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Canvey police launch crack down on boy racer menace
12:20pm Thursday 24th October 2013 in News
Fed-up neighbours claim they have been woken up every night for the past week by souped-up cars tearing up and down Roscommon Way.
Earlier this month about 80 drivers were charged with various offences after being caught driving at speeds of up to 80mph on a stretch of dual carriageway, near to the Lakeside shopping centre in Thurrock.
Traders at the centre claim racers have disappeared since the prosecutions, while islanders claim the problem on Canvey has got worse.
Canvey district and county councillor Ray Howard, who lives near Roscommon Way, said: “It seems that since these prosecutions the problem on Roscom-mon Way has got much worse and we are worried they are coming to Canvey instead of Lakeside.
“I was woken up a number of times last week, often at around 3am.
“We know the boy racers travel from all over the South East of England. What sort of life do these people lead? They cannot be at work during the day.
“I have had a lot of calls from residents about this issue, many of whom are very angry.
“We cannot let these people get away with this.
“I will be speaking to the officers to find out if there is anyway we can tackle this through environmental legislation.
Boy racer “cruises” used to dominate the roads around Lakeside most weekends, with up to 1,800 cars from as far away as Manchester turning up and hundreds of spectators lining the kerbs to watch.
Police launched Operation Wagtail throughout April and May this year to crack down on the motorists and numbers have fallen significantly.
The Canvey neighbourhood policing team have told the Echo they are aware of the problem and will be carrying out extra checks this weekend.
This week they will be training local officers to use speed guns with laser technology, which was previously the remit of traffic officers.
A spokesman said: “Officers are aware of the ongoing issues around Roscommon Way and Morrisons car park and so will be out in force in these areas this weekend.
“We take reports of antisocial behaviour seriously and any offences of careless or dangerous driving will be dealt with.
“We will also be looking closely at specialist vehicles to ensure they meet all requirements.”