Police promise crackdown on Wells car park anti-social behaviour
Fireworks, flashing headlights, handbrake turns and loud music have become a regular feature at a temporary car park in Wells.
Wells police have been receiving complaints of antisocial behaviour in Whiting Way and are taking action to prevent further disturbance to residents.
Wells Beat Manager, Darren Pearson, said: “I have been to the car park whenever I am on a late shift and spoken directly with the youths.
“Most do not cause any problem but are using the car park as a meeting place. Unfortunately the minority engage in some of the above behaviour, and all get tarred with the same brush.”
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The complaints have been starting from about 6.30pm until the car park is closed at 10.30pm.
There is a temporary car park on the site while the double-decked car park next door is being built.
The site will then become the home of a new Waitrose store.
The number of complaints about antisocial behaviour in the car park has doubled in a month.
Incidents often revolve around cars playing loud music and spinning their wheels. To counter this the police have been issuing Section 59 notices.
A Section 59 notice states that anyone driving a vehicle on or off road in a manner that causes nuisance or inconvenience to other road users or members of public will receive a warning that lasts for 12 months.
If at any point within that period they are caught driving in a similar manner then their car can be seized by the police and a penalty must be paid to get it back.
The size of the penalty depends on the circumstances of the offence.
PC Pearson said: “We are trying to tackle this problem by way of regular patrols and the issuing of Section 59 notices when offences are identified. There have been four warning notices issued to individuals about their manor of driving but no vehicles have been seized as yet.
“I am liaising with both Mendip District Council and Waitrose in order to get the car park closed at 7pm. If it is shut the youths will not be able to gather and the problem will be solved.”
There are also plans for a meeting between Wells Police, the force’s Road Policing Unit and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency during November in order to identify and deal with offences committed in the car park.