Visitors causing trouble for police

20:39, Aug 15 2012
Boy racers
BURNING UP: Ryan Westwood, left, and his friends Nathan Carmichael, and Jessie Bak, wait around after being pulled over by the police. They say if they had a specialist burnout pad to go to, they would happily use it.
Boy racers
ON THE TURPS: Young people, most of them drinking, hang around their cars, hoping the police will leave them alone.
Boy racers
CLEARING OUT: Police wait at the end of a cul-de-sac, giving boy racers the message that they need to move on. Fresh skid marks are clearly visible to the right.
Boy racers
TANKING UP: The last of 60 cars pulls out of BP in Rangitikei St, Palmerston North. Boy racers often use the service station as a place to meet.
Boy racers
Despite the possibility of having their cars crushed, boy racers are still taking to Palmerston North streets.

Boy-racer activity in Palmerston North is surging, with police having to cope with hordes of drivers descending on the city from as far as Wellington.

Acting Senior Sergeant Phil Ward said an increase in activity was largely down to out-of-town boy racers travelling to the city.

They had traditionally come from Wairarapa and Horowhenua, but many were now coming from even further afield, he said.

"We know that these car enthusiasts, or whatever you want to call them, are coming from Wellington."

About three weeks ago more than 150 cars from the Wellington area descended on Palmerston North, causing trouble for police.

Mr Ward said Palmerston North police were working with police south of the city to prevent the convoys making the journey.

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"If we can stop them before they can get here, it doesn't create all that activity around town.

"We certainly don't want them in our city."

A month-long operation to clamp down on boy racers has begun.

Last weekend, three people were arrested and multiple fines were given out, Mr Ward said.

The major troublespots included Airport Dr and the car park next to Breakers restaurant in Rangitikei St, while some boy racers also frequented the Kelvin Grove suburb.

"There will be ongoing traffic patrols to minimise them congregating in those areas," Mr Ward said.

"They leave skidmarks, they're congregating and drinking and breaking bottles.

"It is unfair for the retailers, because they have to clean up and keep their frontages tidy to make it look good for customers during the day."

City councillor Chris Teo-Sherrell said it was unfortunate the issue had reared its head again after the council and police worked hard to suppress boy-racer activity a few years ago.

"My attitude to it hasn't changed.

"Nobody has the right to disturb other people's sleep through the night."

He said he was disappointed they did not try to hire out places like Manfeild.

"They seem to want to exhibit themselves on the streets, rather than solely having a love of speed, noise and cars."

Police pressure would be welcomed by most in the community, he said.

"When a group of people are being thuggish . . . a bit of pressure could be good."

 

BOY-RACING HOT SPOTS

- Airport Dr industrial area

- Ex-Mitre 10 Mega car park in John F Kennedy Dr

- BP in Rangitikei St

- Breakers Restaurant car park in Rangitikei St

- Kelvin Grove

Manawatu Standard