October 1st, 2016

Thousand-strong boy racer ‘meet’ causes Bank Holiday misery for Solihull residents

Updated: 2:14 pm, Sep 02, 2015

PHOTOGRAPHS¬†have emerged of alleged ‘boy racers’ descending on a local supermarket car park over the Bank Holiday Weekend.

More than 1,000 drivers took over the car park of the Tesco Extra store in Monkspath on Sunday, August 31 – revving their engines and disturbing nearby residents.

The ‘meet’, thought to be one of the largest in the region, began at 7.30pm and continued to grow in numbers late into the night.

There are also claims a shutter for the Tesco Extra was forcibly broken.

Officers from West Midlands Police attended the site, but due to a lack of staff available on the Bank Holiday, they watched and gathered evidence from the sidelines.

One of the attendees, Luke Smith, argued that it was an organised ‘static meet’ charity event to raise money for Cancer Research and saw no racing take place.

He added: “As a group of car enthusiasts not boy racers we do not condone any sort of illegal activity – this being criminal damage, any showing of violence and street racing etc.

“Any member being found to do so is removed immediately.”

Mr Smith also argued that the ‘meet’ caused less noise and disruption than the unofficial St George’s Day Parade organised by Birmingham-based 1066 Motorcycle Club which sees thousands of cars and bikes ride along the Stratford Road.

He added: “As a respectable car group and public figure we would appreciate an apology as to trying to give us a bad name, were sincerely disgusted, upset and disheartened at the prospect of being called boy racers when we were purely raising money.”

But Coun Ken Hawkins argues Sunday’s ‘meet’ was just the latest incident in a long history of the Stratford Road, Tesco and Notcutt’s site being plagued by boy racers.

The Solihull Councillor for the Blythe ward attended the event to take pictures and videos to raise awareness of the problem such ‘meets’ pose for residents.

Coun Hawkins said: “I don’t want to demonise everyone who attended on Sunday as they weren’t racing like they have done before.

“But they were extremely noisy – the banging and revving easily heard from a good mile away.”

Writing on his blog, the Councillor noted how when one car owner who was making noise with his vehicle was ‘very apologetic’ when approached by police.

But when asked where he was from the young man replied Uttoxeter, prompting concerns that boy racers are travelling to Solihull from further away where such meetings are banned.

The Councillor submitted a petition to Solihull Council in June this year to work with other local authorities, including Birmingham City Council, to put a stop to the use of local roads and car parks as dangerous race tracks.

Coun Hawkins added: “I don’t want to be a killjoy as some of the vehicles are really fantastic and their owners are really passionate about them, but it is always ruined by a couple of idiots who take it too far.

“I also understand that the event was to raise money for charity, but again there are better and safer ways and places this could have been done.

“We need to work with Birmingham, Hall Green, Sheldon and local areas to ensure we don’t ban the ‘meets’ here and just pass the problem onto someone else.”

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