‘Brands Hatch boy racer’ encounters torment residents of North Portsmouth as police issue warning to runners

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The revving, backfiring and screeching of vehicles are familiar irritating sounds late into the night as weary residents are kept awake by the incessant ‘loud’ noises – said to be the worst in 18 years.

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Airport Service Road – near the new Eastern Police Investigation Center – has been singled out as a particular hotspot.

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Airport Services Department, Portsmouth. Google pic.

Hot air cars congregate in the area before performing races or “drifts” – where cars perform a controlled side-slip – in industrial areas.

But police have issued a stark warning to menacing drivers on the streets that the seized vehicles are among a range of options for officers as they seek to quell the ‘unacceptable risk to public safety’.

Sally Hackney, 42, from Copnor, said: ‘I’ve lived here for 18 years and in the last 12 months we’ve had very loud boys’ racing cars/motorcycles spinning, flipping and screeching all the way to the early morning.

“Earlier in the month it was probably one of the worst it’s ever been and it was going on at 1am.”

“The noise is so loud it’s like Brands Hatch. The sound really travels and has kept me and my kids awake. It’s worse in the summer because people have their windows open. It must be affecting a lot of world. It’s very boring.’

Many other locals posted on the neighborhood site nextdoor.co.uk to vent their frustrations.

One said: ‘The noise of the engines, the squealing of tires and the smell of burning rubber is overwhelming.

Another added: “They were driving me absolutely crazy. I’m surprised they can afford to waste the gas money.

Copnor adviser Benedict Swann said: “The boy runners take advantage of the quietness of industrial areas and run there.” Airport Service Road is a favorite spot.

“I have been in contact with the police who are increasing patrols to catch people in the act and throw the book at them.”

Chief Inspector Paul Markham said: ‘These events are unsanctioned and unlicensed, and on occasion a minority of attendees may display anti-social behaviour, including loud noise and driving at excessive and dangerous speeds . This can upset and disrupt residents and pose an unacceptable risk to public safety.

“We will not allow such behavior to go unchallenged and we ask all drivers to act responsibly and drive safely.”

“We will take action, using available legislation which may include seizure of vehicles, fines, notification to insurance companies, dispersal notices or arrests and prosecutions if necessary.”

Police will review incidents and reports of antisocial or dangerous driving related to car meetings, including cellphone footage, dashcam and CCTV footage, and body-worn video footage from officers, to identify violations.

The Chief Inspector added: ‘We would also like to remind event organizers that they must first obtain permission from the landowner and the district or town council.

People have been urged to call 101 or go to the Hampshire Police website to report incidents, including car number plates, where possible.

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