A Norfolk council is putting the brakes on dangerous “drag race”-style events which have blighted rural communities in recent months. 

South Norfolk Council (SNC) has agreed to give extraordinary powers to police in the district as part of an effort to tackle reckless and noisy drivers. 

The Conservative-led authority has agreed to implement a district-wide Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), which will ban anti-social activities such as drag-racing, revving of engines, loud music, wheelspins and doughnuts.    

Eastern Daily Press: Diss is one of the market town's to have been impacted by dangerous driving in recent monthsDiss is one of the market town's to have been impacted by dangerous driving in recent months (Image: ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434)

Anyone who breaches the PSPO could be fined £100, which can go up to £1,000 if they fail to pay. Enforcement will be handled by police and council officers. 

While the PSPO will apply to the whole of the district, officials singled out Diss, Harleston and Wymondham as areas that have had ”serious and repeated antisocial behaviour” issues. 

A report to a recent meeting of SNC’s cabinet said some of the events that have disrupted towns in the district have been attended by upwards of 100 vehicles. 

Events have included: 

  • Drag-style street racing which has involved illegal road closures and pose a risk of injury to spectators and crashes 
  • Stunt driving, doughnuts, burn-outs, and drifting 
  • Excessive engine revving and noise 
  • Vehicles being driven in race-style ‘circuits’ along town and village routes 

It follows Norwich City Council implementing a city PSPO in July this year, following years of complaints of yobbish drivers in the area.

Eastern Daily Press: Keith Kiddie cabinet member for safer environmentKeith Kiddie cabinet member for safer environment

Speaking at a recent cabinet meeting, Keith Kiddie, SNC member for a safer environment, said: “Over the past few months, and particularly during the summer we noted a substantial rise in complaints about vehicle-related gatherings and reports of nuisance from associated gatherings. 

“This ranges from the single boy racer and one person on a motorbike doing loops around the estate to fairly large gatherings, in some cases of many hundreds of vehicles, which cause a great deal of worry to our residents.” 

The PSPO was approved. 

It will stay in place for three years and be reviewed in 12 months.