Donuts, drones and dodgy drivers – police tackle nuisance cars in Redcar.
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“They’ve knowingly harassed residents with their constant nightly torment; nobody should feel that way in their own home due to the selfish behaviour of others.”
This came from a fed-up resident as Cleveland Police turned their attention to so-called boy racers and antisocial vehicle use in a seaside car park.
Historically Redcar’s Majuba Road car park has seen issues with drivers gathering to put their vehicles through their paces, causing noise and nuisance for nearby residents.
Cleveland Police supported the local authority in bringing in a borough-wide Public Space Protection Order in Summer 2021. It had a positive effect for a while but then the number of reports began to creep up again.
So the issue was set as a neighbourhood policing priority and local officers directly approached some repeat callers to ask if they’d work with them in an enforcement operation.
And supported by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, police began the two-stage campaign.
The first phase involved evidence gathering; including collating footage of incidents at the car park.
Astonishingly two drivers were seen causing plumes of smoke after a burn-out when they tied their cars together and had a “tug of war”.
Other vehicles were seen doing donuts, racing around the car park at speed and another piece of footage captured a collision, with a vehicle sustaining minor damage from its antics. Thankfully no-one appeared to be injured.
Some householders even allowed police drone operators access to their gardens so the police officers could gather the best possible footage to use as evidence.
The second phase (enforcement) saw numerous drivers dealt with.*
Redcar Town Neighbourhood Police Team Inspector Neil Deluce said: “These drivers may think they’re just having a laugh, but it can be dangerous and it seriously affects local residents’ quality of life.
“We listened to local people’s concerns and took decisive action. We appreciate local residents’ backing whilst the operation took place, and the excellent support from Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council’s CCTV operators and their Enforcement Team - especially for securing the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in the first place.
“The PSPO applies to the whole borough so just because we’ve taken action in Majuba it doesn’t mean we’re simply shifting the problem elsewhere. We can - and will - repeat our clampdown if the issue emerges anywhere in Redcar & Cleveland.
“Anyone dealt with for Breach of PSPO could receive a fixed penalty notice of £100 or a fine of up to £1000 if they’re prosecuted, and a Section 59 notice means we could even seize vehicles.
“We’ve dealt with the issue robustly and I know from receiving feedback personally from residents that our efforts are appreciated and are making a difference.”
Coatham Councillor and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport Carl Quartermain added:
“Over the past few years, I’ve worked in partnership to tackle this including introducing a PSPO to give more powers to police and the council to act. This had some success but needed a more direct, cohesive action with our residents to be truly effective.
“The police reaction to the complaints was very positive; engaging with residents, collecting evidence, and acting on this with purpose.
“There has been a massive reduction and residents by all accounts had a very peaceful Christmas period. The reporting of every known incident will continue and be acted upon, as long as this problem exists.”
* Penalties issued as at Tuesday 23rd January
15 drivers issued with Section 59 notices
8 drivers dealt with for Breach of PSPO
1 dealt with for PSPO court summons (this is where they refused to accept the breach of PSPO)
1 case file prepared for driver with no licence and insurance
2 people dealt with for: Using on a road (motor vehicle / trailer) for the purpose in which it was used involved danger of injury
1 dealt with for: Driving a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road / in a public place without reasonable consideration to others
A 16-year-old boy has written a letter of apology and reflection to the affected residents.
And a male captured on CCTV urinating in the car park will be dealt with through Restorative Justice.