Car enthusiasts have been unfairly ‘targeted’ by residents

A GROUP of car enthusiasts have been wrongly targeted by residents regarding noise and speeding issues in Warndon Villages but are willing to help resolve the problem.

Twenty-five people attended a meeting at Lyppard Hub last week to discuss the “boy racer” issue on the estate, including residents, councillors, police, a Tesco representative and car enthusiasts.

Organised by resident Andy Graham and parish councillor Andrew Cross, the meeting came after the former had started a petition which currently has around 200 signatures.

Several members of a car enthusiast group which gathers on evenings on Tesco carpark in Mill Wood Drive attended the meeting to “defend ourselves because we are a targeted group”.

Charles, who represented the car scene, said: “The car community is massive, so to be pinpointed as a group that are responsible for this matter, is shocking.

“We are not the only car enthusiasts in Worcester, we are not the only people that would possibly speed.”

He said he and some other members drive for a living so would not risk losing their licences by speeding – and that police had been called on them before while they were parked up at Tesco.

Charles and other enthusiasts, including Scott, 30, said other modified cars come speeding into the carpark at times, causing noise, but it is not them.

Scott said most modified drivers who “go crazy” are younger than them and target car parks that aren’t “blocked off” on a night.

“You are not a minority that’s getting picked on because you’re in a certain area,” he said. “It’s happening everywhere.”

PC Jason Hart, of Warndon Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “A lot of the calls we get often do say someone was speeding down a 30 road, and they usually say they’ve come from Tesco.

“You guys are getting targeted because people are saying there’s noise on the A4440, and it must be those guys. There’s no correlation between that, there’s no suggestion that people who use Tesco, then goes racing,” he said.

PC Lauren Hasted, also of Warndon SNT, encouraged residents to call 101 and give as much information as possible to allow the team of five PCs to get a “full picture or the severity of it”.

“If more people can phone us and we can get a better idea of timings and where it’s happening, we can obviously work with Tesco as we have with other issues that have been happening there,” she said.

PC Hasted went on to say that any vehicle “driving in an anti-social manner, we can issue a section 59” on the driver and the vehicle – but they need registrations.

A resident called Ian said he had approached certain drivers and had been threatened and called on those at the Tesco meetings to help, including collecting registrations.

“It’s your scene, well then protect it. [Tell them] if you don’t behave then clear off because you’re ruining it for other people,” he said.

“There are cars that are revving until the point they back fire, at night, then the horns, and it’s back and forth,” he said.

Some residents questioned why the carpark’s CCTV couldn’t capture some drivers.

John Ellis, Tesco security manager, said the CCTV will be improved soon but Worcester is considered “low risk in general” as an area and upgrades are done on “how big the crime rate is” in each place.

“It’s something I can feedback, but for Tesco, Worcester is a low risk area. Every store is going to be done [get new CCTV], it’s just part of the process, of who gets done first.”

Scott, who also drifts at organised events and has been part of the scene for 13 years, said Tesco should look at shrinking down its car park on a night, like Blackpole Retail Park does.

“It will stop that car scene happening. All they can do is park up and that’s it [like they do].”

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