Exmouth sergeant busts myths about town’s ‘boy racer’ problems

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:06 22 October 2018

Seaton Councillor Jim Knight and Seaton Police Sergeant Richard Stonecliffe

Seaton Councillor Jim Knight and Seaton Police Sergeant Richard Stonecliffe

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An Exmouth police sergeant has been myth-busting on the town’s problems with boy racers.

Speaking at a town council meeting, sergeant Richard Stonecliffe was responding to concerns over boy racers turning the town into a race track.

He told councillors the perception is that Exmouth has a problem with anti-social drivers who are generally thought to be teenagers.

Sgt Stonecliffe said this is not necessarily the case, adding: “Road collision data and statistics doesn’t indicate significant problems in any part of Exmouth.

“Across East Devon, we do have a rise in road traffic collisions involving older members of the community.

“I don’t know specifically why that is, but we don’t have data to suggest that we’ve got significant problems with younger people or ‘boy racers’.

“I know we call them ‘boy racers’, but they are usually older men and women they are not teenagers. They generally look after their vehicles even if they have modifications.”

He also said the biggest issue is with noise pollution caused by modified exhausts.

“I think the biggest issue is the exhausts and that’s what causes the noise,” said Sgt Stonecliffe.

“That can be exhausts on 50cc or 49cc bikes or it can be exhausts on V8 engine super cars or more recently standard cars.

“How do we prevent that?

“All I can ask you do is you keep reporting these incidents.”

Sgt Stonecliffe also said the problem is not a new one and was an issue when he first joined the Exmouth team.

He said: “The anti-social driving issue was an issue before I arrived here.

“One of the things I found in my office when I took over was a copy of the magazine called Max Power which was a ‘boy racers’ type magazine and they would go around the country each week and feature the latest crews.

“At that time, the crews they featured was in the Foxholes car park.”

In September, the police ran two operations to clampdown on anti-social driving, talking to more than 70 motorists and seizing one vehicle for having no licence.

Sgt Stonecliffe said: “I don’t have a solution immediately available to me, except to say we will continue to do these operations.”

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