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Health and safety scuppers installation of cameras to nab boy racers
7:00am Wednesday 12th February 2014 in News
RECKLESS racers returned to cause havoc on Canvey’s streets while the CCTV cameras bought to catch them sat in storage.
Scores of cruisers descended on Roscommon Way over the weekend to race down the new £18million road in their soupedup cars.
The event prompted residents to contact the police after being kept awake all night by their noise.
Last month, Essex County Council and Castle Point Council announced they would be spending £5,000 to install two CCTV cameras.
But red tape means they can’t go up until health and safety checks have been carried out.
George Whatley, of Limburg Road, Canvey, called the police.
He said: “The boy racers came out in full force at the weekend, despite promises from the authorities that this is under control.
“The cameras are all ready and waiting, but they can’t go up as the council wants to do health and safety assessments to see if the street lights can take the weight of them.
“It’s ridiculous – they’re not heavy at all.
“People are going to get fed up and start taking things into their own hands. It’s bureaucracy gone mad.”
If the cameras don’t pass the safety checks, the county council could have to fork out extra cash for new poles to put them on, meaning the project could cost £20,500.
The safety checks were requested by the Castle Point local highways panel.
Canvey county councillor Ray Howard, who chairs the panel, is frustrated by the bureaucracy.
Mr Howard said: “The racers came from miles around and the manager of Morrisons couldn’t close the gates of the car park.
This is unacceptable behaviour.
“What’s frustrating is we have got the money for the cameras, and purchased them, and then they dither over whether we can put them on the lamp posts or not.
“It’s ludicrous we have to go through all these obstacles to get anything done.
“Now they’re talking about having to buy two support poles, which cost more money than the cameras themselves. This is health and safety gone out of control.”
Essex Police confirmed they were called at 9.45pm on Friday by Morrisons.
A spokesman said: “About 50 racers were using the car park and nearby roads for cruising.
“Police also received calls from other people reporting noise nuisance from car exhausts and engines.
“A police car attended the scene and the driver of one car was reported for a motoring offence. However, once police were on the scene, no other offences were reported.”
Police say they are monitoring the road and patrol the area regularly.
Castle Point Council said Essex County Council will be carrying out tests to see if the cameras can be fixed to the lights.