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Councillors vote unanimously to investigate unauthorised car meets

Peterborough councillors have voted unanimously to investigate anti-social behaviour associated with car cruising in the city, following a number of complaints from residents over the past few months. 
Car meets block
City councillors vote unanimously to investigate anti-social behaviour associated with car cruising (photo: Councillor John Howard)

Proposing a motion to his fellow members at their online Full Council meeting (October 21), Cllr Andy Coles said: “For some time, councillors representing wards across Peterborough have received several complaints from residents about the anti-social behaviour of car cruisers, drift racers and drivers performing stunts and tricks on local roads and in car parks. 

“The council appreciates that static car meets are a popular event and many local residents enjoy showing off their cars to fellow enthusiasts. 

“However, most of these meets are not organised with prior notice to the landowner – the organisers of these events do not seek or obtain authority to hold these events on Council owned or private land, they often occupy central locations in the middle of residential areas and there are no controls on who attends. 

“A small number of people participating take part in dangerous or reckless use of their car, which can lead to criminal damage of roads, other vehicles and surrounding property. 

“Some drivers also risk injuring themselves, other road users, cyclists and pedestrians as they do not have full control of their 185 vehicles. 

“Driving in this way can also be used as a form of intimidation, either to other road users or the community. 

“Loud noise from engines and music, and deliberately creating large amounts of exhaust or tyre smoke can also take place and continue through to the early hours, disturbing residents’ rest. 

“Many councils around the country have taken action to ban car cruising, racing and stunt driving. 

“There are many good examples showing how to initiate city-wide action that prevents these anti-social incursions into quiet residential areas.” 

Cllr Coles' motion asked the council to resolve to instruct the relevant scrutiny committee to a cross-party Task and Finish Group to investigate these matters with terms of reference that include: 

  • Inviting Cambridgeshire Constabulary to appoint a representative to join the group; 
  • Ensuring that all available powers are utilised to prevent unauthorised, anti-social, dangerous car meets from taking place or continuing; 
  • Exploring what other legislative powers may be obtained to help address this issue; 
  • Working with organisers to facilitate, where possible, safe events for static car meets that are lawful and non-disruptive to our residents; and 
  • Providing advice and support to private landowners in the defence and protection of their property. 

Members voted unanimously to agree the motion. 

By Robert Alexander

Local Democracy Reporting Service