BOY racers could be hit with fines as Southend Council scours through CCTV of an unofficial car meet that saw hundreds of people line the seafront.

Despite a ban on car cruises on the seafront, dozens of cars pulled up on Friday night for an “unofficial and unplanned” car meet.

A public space protection order has been in place since April 2023 which bans car meets and means fines can be dished out for excessive noise, loud music, parking breaches and other anti-social behaviour.

Essex Police has confirmed it was aware of the meet and no offences took place, while seafront trader Martin Richardson insisted it “wasn’t an issue”.

However, Southend Council’s community safety team is checking through CCTV and will dish out fines if necessary.

Simon Ford, head of community safety at Southend Council, said: “We closely monitor social media to track car cruise activity, even when unofficial and unplanned events happen at the last minute, as was the case on Friday.

“We are currently reviewing extensive CCTV footage from Friday’s car cruise unofficial meet-up, which could result in retrospective public space protection order fines being issued. Our CCTV network is integral in monitoring car cruise activities and supporting the police.

“Our community safety unit will be visible during the busy summer months, working alongside the police.

“Our primary goal is to ensure everyone visiting our city has a great time, prioritising safety. It’s crucial for everyone to take responsibility for their actions and remind anyone planning to breach the order that they face enforcement, either at the time or retrospectively.”

“Our car cruise order isn’t about banning car cruise events; it’s about ensuring they occur safely while addressing any antisocial behaviour to enhance the experience for all visitors to our city.”

Failure to comply with a PSPO is a criminal offence and can result in prosecution, which could lead upon conviction to a fine of up to £1,000 or a fixed penalty notice of £100.

Mr Richardson, owner of Happidrome Arcade, said: “I wasn’t there, but I saw it on CCTV.

“In my opinion, it wasn’t a problem at all. As far as I can see and know, for businesses and spectators, it was a very good evening.

“I didn’t hear of any anti-social behaviour. Businesses welcome it as they weren’t stupid. They were respectful. As traders, we would never want to stop people, who behave, coming to the seafront.”