YOBS in cars are putting children at risk as well as causing a nuisance in Cheadle town centre and residential areas.
Cheadle Town Council are calling on Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to join forces with them in a bid to stamp out the problem.
Well Street long stay car park and Churchill Road recreation ground have been highlighted as two areas particularly affected.
In a letter to the town council discussed at a meeting of committees on Monday, a resident of Well Street outlined their plight:
“My family and I have lived here for over 10 years and it has become apparent to us and others that the amount of anti-social activity on the car park has increased considerably over the past 24 months or so.
“It is only a matter of time, due to the speed at which these cars race around the car park, before someone gets seriously hurt or worse.
“I have seen several near misses with cars and people coming out of Asda and also several occasions where the cars racing around have either hit each other or struck the lamp posts.
“We are unable to open windows during the summer, we are unable to sit outside either due to the language we have to endure or the very real possibility of one of these clowns losing control of a vehicle and crashing into the back wall.
“We cannot risk our children playing on the back for one of these to have an accident. The consequences are unthinkable.”
The resident’s letter sparked a debate among councillors about how to tackle the problem.
Cllr Kate Martin said: “I was at the Churchill Road residents’ meeting last week and there were people riding round on the grounds with quad bikes and cars.
“We need to know if it’s the same group riding around in cars.
“There are concerns about young people – and young girls – getting in cars and riding round.
“There were cars riding round on the recreation ground at Churchill Road. The gates have been locked, but they keep knocking the locks off.
“There were 10 cars there the other night while little kids were running out to play.”
In the letter to the council, the Well Street resident outlined similar concerns along with grievances over car engines revving, loud music, youths urinating against the car park walls, foul language and racing up and down the car park at speed.
Cllr Ron Locker said: “I think this residents’ letter is superb – it’s well-written and factual, spelling out what we’ve known for a long time.
“It’s quite obvious that that particular car park is a problem area to all of us. It costs a fortune to maintain and doesn’t take a penny.”
Councillors agreed to write to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) and Staffordshire Police asking what action can be taken and for a review of CCTV footage from the area.
Councillors considered asking police to implement a Section 59 notice, which gives police the powers to seize a motor vehicle if it is driven inappropriately after the driver has been given an initial warning.
Staffordshire Moorlands’ Chief Inspector Mark Thorley said: “Both Section 35 dispersal notices, and Section 59 notices have been used previously in these areas to good effect.
“Local officers are aware of the concerns, continue to monitor incidents and make necessary patrol plans to ensure that any anti-social behaviour is addressed.
“Those involved are dealt with accordingly, by means of long term solutions such as Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and Community Protection Orders.
“The number of anti-social behaviour incidents in the Cheadle area reported to the police has been below average since December, which is a reflection on the hard work undertaken by the local officers.
“Anyone with information regarding those who engage in such behaviour or their vehicles, can contact us on 101. Alternatively, to remain anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
A spokesperson for Staffordshire Moorlands District Council said anyone concerned about anti-social behaviour should report it to the council and they would liaise with local Police to seek to address the issues.
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