Video: illegal road racing menace in Wirral - police given fresh powers to crackdown

Drivers and anyone gathering to watch an anti-social event can be fined up to £1000.

Merseyside Police and Wirral Council have taken special measures to help combat high speed car racing, drifting and other anti-social behaviour on public roads in a trouble hotspot in the borough.

A Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) has been approved which gives police and the local authority fresh powers to deal with incidents making life a misery for residents and businesses in Bromborough.

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One business was struggling so much with the anti-social behaviour outside its premises, bosses had to tell staff to work from home ‘for their own safety’.

The PSPO has been approved to address ongoing complaints of vehicle nuisance taking place around Bromborough industrial estate and surrounding areas - examples of which can be seen in the video above.

Drivers screeching around a roundabout in Wirral.

The new order will ban groups of more than three vehicles on the roads between 6pm and 7am and will make taking pictures or recording events like those seen above an offence.

Mark Camborne, assistant director neighbourhoods, safety and transport at Wirral Council, said: “These complaints highlighted details of vehicles racing at high speeds along the public highway, damaging street signs, street furniture and road surfaces and disrupting and disturbing businesses that operate within the area.

“In one of the complaints, a representative from one of the businesses said they had to instruct their staff to work from home for their own safety whilst this reckless behaviour was taking place outside their premises. It was clear that decisive action had to be taken and this is exactly what the council and its partners have done.”

A public consultation, which took place earlier this year to gather feedback on the proposal to introduce a PSPO in this area, found widespread support for the measure and the final order was approved this month.

What is the PSPO?

The PSPO will remain in place for a period of three years and the measures set out in the order are designed to prevent – or at least reduce the impact of - the nuisance and dangerous behaviour taking place and include:

• Racing any vehicle and /or driving or riding any vehicle at a dangerous speed and /or in an otherwise dangerous manner at any time;

• Being part of a convoy or group of more than three vehicles between 6pm and 7am - this does not apply to commercial vehicles;

• Driving and / or riding and /or parking any vehicle in a manner which causes or is likely to cause nuisance or annoyance to any person in the restricted area at any time.

• Causing damage to any public highway, footpath, fence, street furniture or grass verge by the use of a vehicle at any time;

• Photographing or recording or spectating at any prohibited activity at any time; and

• Littering at any time.

Breaches can be enforced by any police officer, community support officer or council officer authorised to issue fixed penalty notices.

Anyone found in breach may be required to leave the restricted area and remain outside for six hours.

Offenders can be fined up to a maximum of £1,000.

What’s been said

Wirral local policing sergeant Haydn Ward said: “The Wirral local policing team has previously worked alongside our road policing unit to disrupt drivers who choose to use the roads in Bromborough in an antisocial manner, using relevant legislation to prosecute offenders where appropriate.

“We also continue to work closely with the local authority and the council’s Antisocial Behaviour Team to tackle the problem as we know the impact this type of behaviour can have on people’s lives and wellbeing.

“It is good to know that following a public consultation that people living in the Bromborough area who have been affected by this issue support the introduction of the PSPO which we hope will go a long way to tackling the issue and making a real difference.”