9 May 2007
Council is currently considering a suite of hard hitting responses intended to directly reduce the negative impact of 'boy racer' activity on the city's residents and business owners.
Statutory Management Committee chair John Gower says that Council has been looking into this serious issue for over six months and has met with Police, local residents and businesses to discuss the best steps forward.
"Boy racers are not a new issue, nor unique to Hamilton, however escalating behaviours in the city over the last year have deemed it necessary to investigate a comprehensive and regulatory response to the problem.
"Groups that gather to watch illegal boy-racer activity are growing and resulting in significant residential disturbance and damage to private property. These destructive and anti-social behaviours often involve aggressive and dangerous driving coupled with alcohol and large uncontrolled gatherings. They are resulting in damage to private property, particularly to businesses in the Te Rapa area and represent a serious and complex problem that requires a multi-layered response".
Reponses that Council are currently considering for implementation in the short to medium term include:
Implementation of a liquor ban in the affected areas
Bylaws that restrict use of public right of ways and private access ways to those who have genuine need
Review of road signage and markings to prohibit U turns at notorious 'boy racer' hot spots
Introduction of discreet mobile observation cameras to assist in gaining evidence for the prosecution of offenders
Collaboratively work between local businesses and Police to allow Police to act proactively in response to trespassers, on behalf of property owners
Introduction of strategies to combat graffiti including 24 hour removal and environmental deterrents
Intelligent sharing of information between Council and Police regarding boy-racer and tagging offenders
Mr Gower says that partnering with Police and subsequent positive enforcement is absolutely critical to a constructive outcome.
"While Council can take significant steps in introducing new legislation that will empower Police to take action in these circumstances, the reality is that only if the Police are sufficiently resourced to respond will we see significant change in the current environment. We are maintaining strong communications with the Police and are confident that they fully understand the breadth of the problem and will respond both proactively and according to any legislative response Council implements."
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Name: John Gower
Mobile: 021 318 789
Name: Sarah Bettle
Designation: Communication Manager
Tel (Direct): 0 7 838 6843
Mobile: 021 279 2338