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Give our Police resources to protect Surrey's beauty spots and seize vehicles racing illegally

June 29, 2020 2:40 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

Paul Kennedy with Lib Dem stake boardPaul Kennedy, a Mole Valley councillor and Liberal Democrat candidate to be Surrey's next Police and Crime Commissioner, has called on David Munro, the current PCC, to give Surrey Police extra resources to address the increasing problems caused by visitors to our beauty spots during the lockdown.

The call comes after the A24 near Denbies was used as a car meet for two weekends running, with little police interference. Drivers showed off their modified vehicles by speeding and driving inconsiderately, narrowly missing other vehicles, and firing noisy and polluting exhausts. This follows similar problems with motorbikes racing, and meets in other parts of the county.

Police have also been called to disperse groups congregating at beauty spots such as Box Hill, Fetcham Splash in Cllr Kennedy's own ward, as well as Frensham Ponds and Virginia Water, and landowners and local authorities are having to cope with unprecedented amounts of littering and flytipping.

Cllr Kennedy said:

"Illegal car meets are a danger to other road users, and need to be clamped down on, with the vehicles dispersed or seized.

Mixed messages from the Government have encouraged many more visitors to come to Surrey's beauty spots, particularly in the Surrey Hills and along our rivers. But innocent days out are increasingly turning to antisocial behaviour.

Surrey Police need the resources to protect residents and our environment, and keep our roads safe."

Police powers include:

- powers to issue dispersal orders under section 35 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. The powers can be exercised to prevent anti-social behaviour, crime or disorder;

- powers to issue section 59 warnings (under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002) against vehicles which are driven carelessly or inconsiderately. A repeat offence within 12 months allows the police to seize the vehicle.