FAMILIES were kept awake all night by reckless boy racers using Shoebury park as a race track.

Residents in neighbouring streets reported two vehicles tearing around the park at high speeds in the early hours of the morning.

One resident said they were kept up until 4am by the noise of the vehicles which had been equipped with high-powered lights fastened to their roofs.

Shoebury has long had problems with anti-social drivers using parks and car parks at night for races.

In an effort to crack down on the issue, an Independent Shoebury ward councillor is calling for Southend Council to lock all car park and park gates at night.

Steven Wakefield said: “I have proposed to lock all car parks and parks at night will stop this kind of thing from happening.

“The motion to full council will keep these boy racers from getting into these places late at night and causing a nuisance to residents.”

Mr Wakefield, a member of the policy and resources scrutiny committee, submitted the motion on October 21, but has yet to be dated after full council was postponed following the fatal stabbing of Southend West MP Sir David Amess.

He added: “One of the main reasons we have called this moment is about providing preventative measures to something that doesn’t have a cure.

“While it is much harder to address the causes behind why people behave like this, we can take preventative action to keep people from doing it and make our residents lives a lot nicer. If we do nothing, then this is only going to get worse.

“We’re not looking to lock up the car parks and parks to upset people, it’s to prevent things like this happening.”

The Independent councillor says the motion will also prevent large groups of travellers from setting up illegal encampments overnight.

“A lot of these parks and car parks often fall victim to traveller incursions,” he said. “If we leave our parks and car parks open they are vulnerable to travellers pitching up at night”

The motion will be debated at full council on Thursday.