TOUGH powers to tackle boy racers blighting Canvey is “integral to the quality of life of so many”, a council leader says.

First steps to bring in a stringent public spaces protection order to tackle anti-social boy racers was agreed by Castle Point Council cabinet.

Anyone flouting the order can be prosecuted, or issued with a £100 fine. Repeat offenders can find themselves in court.

Essex Police added its support for the introduction of the powers around Roscommon Way, which regularly sees anti-social behaviour and dangerous and careless driving.

Cabinet member, Wayne Johnson, said: “I fully support the introduction of a public safety protection order.

“It is important to note that we are not just doing this for the residents who are being impacted, we are also doing it for the safety of the perpetrators who are driving these vehicles.

“They are risking their lives. Recently, a very close friend of mine lost a grandson who was 17 years of age in a car chase.

“It is a very dangerous game and the message that needs to go out from this council is that we are doing this for their safety as well as being helpful to our residents and protecting them against this anti-social behaviour.”

The council has now agreed to a six week consultation – a necessary first step before it can make a protection order.

Essex Police have received reports of anti-social behaviour since the road opened in 2012.

One solution to lock the gates at Morrison’s car park and McDonald’s - where the crowds meet up and race between the three roundabouts on Roscommon Way, interfered with access for Morrison’s night workers.

Essex Highways say traffic calming is not possible.

Tory Castle Point Council leader, Andrew Sheldon, said: “This is a very important motion and step for this council and that has been a policy priority of mine for some time.

“It is very rare you find a motion that is so integral to the quality of life of so many and that has so much to do with a very serious concern about public safety.

“A public safety protection order is something this council can do.

“Police have gone out there and done a fantastic job time after time.”