Measures to put a stop to boy racers in Devizes
4:00pm Thursday 30th January 2014 in By Lewis Cowen
A grant of £1,000 has been given to elderly residents in Devizes who are plagued by the noise and mess left by boy racers.
Councillors were so horrified to hear of the problems of residents of Stanford Court in Sheep Street that they set aside the money to help alleviate the situation.
The Devizes area board meeting at the sports club in London Road on Monday evening heard that the residents have had to put up with revving engines, loud music and shouted obscenities for many years, and police officers are regularly called to the flats.
A spokesman for the residents told the meeting: “We have been working for nine years to get someone to listen to us.
“These boy – and girl – racers cause chaos for the residents, who are in their 80s, and it is extremely stressful for them.”
Wiltshire councillor Simon Jacobs, who is also chairman of the area board, has taken up the residents’ case.
He said: “This is a sheltered scheme that has a flying freehold over Wiltshire Council’s Sheep Street public car park.
“The problem is that late at night young drivers use the shelter that the flying freehold provides to park up and meet.
“This causes issues for the residents, including litter and loud noise when they are trying to sleep. This is completely unacceptable.”
Police officers have been regularly called out to the site, with 31 incidents in the past year alone.
This skews the figures for anti-social behaviour in the town, making it, on paper, one of the worst in the entire county.
Coun Jacobs moved that £1,000 of the area board’s funding should be ring-fenced to pay for measures, such as a barrier to be locked at night, that would resolve the problems.
Inspector Matt Armstrong of Devizes police said: “Long-term issues such as the one in Sheep Street, while a focus and priority of police activity, cannot be resolved by police alone.
“It is pleasing to have the support of the council who have responsibility for the car park and also the area board.
“With the correct problem-solving approach we can put in place effective solutions so the problem does not persist to the detriment of the residents and others in the area.”