Crackdown on boy racers in Basildon

Cars are set to be banned in several areas across Basildon in a bid to crack down on boy racers, with rule breakers fined up to £1000.

A Public Space Protection Order is being considered by Basildon Borough Council, which would see people using cars or other vehicles without permission fined between £100 to £1,000.

Car meets would also be banned in Pitsea town centre and at Festival Leisure Park, as well as public drinking and illegal drug-taking in the borough’s town centres.

The Enforcement and Public Order Committee hopes the new measures will allow the council to better combat antisocial behaviour in the borough.

At a meeting on Monday February 21, officers said implementing and advertising the order would cost £21,500.

Councillor Craig Rimmer (Con, Pitsea South East) said: “It is a massive issue to actually deal with the noise nuisance and the misbehaving drivers that we are getting, be they on motorbikes, or be they in a car.

“Using those illegal car meets in various locations, it’s been near the Tesco car park, it’s been near the fly over, it’s been in other car parks as well and we know other parts of the borough also have this issue, but it’s been a long running, chronic issue that hopefully will now get resolved and this is a great joy to my residents in Pitsea South East.”

Labour councillors at the meeting also expressed support for the measures.

Alex Harrison (Labour, Lee Chapel North) said: “I also have plenty of conversations in Lee Chapel about very similar things, so I just wanted to say I think it’s an excellent report and an excellent idea and I’ll be supporting it.”

According to the draft order, using any motor vehicles without “reasonable excuse” or permission from the council would be banned in Lake Meadows, Mopsies Park, Wickford Memorial, Barn Hall, Cranfield Park, Barnstable Open Space, Eversley, Northlands Park, Kingswood Open Space, Gloucester Park, Markhams Chase, Vange Hill Drive Open Space, Swan Mead, Victoria Park, and The Wick Country Park.

Urinating in public would also be prohibited, as would using a pony and trap in Northlands Park, Cranfield Park and Barn Hall Recreation Ground.

Alcohol would be banned in both Basildon and Pitsea town centres, according to the report.

Councillors also said illegal drug taking and binge drinking had become a “chronic” issues over the last five to ten years.

Cllr Rimmer told the committee: “There’s been a culture that’s been allowed to develop I’m afraid to say in the borough where it’s acceptable, it seems to be tolerated, people walking around smoking cannabis.”

If approved by the full council next month, the order will be enforced for the next three years, with a review after one year.

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Charlie Ridler

Local Democracy Reporter