Plans to hit anti-social drivers in Crawley with £100 fixed penalty notices have been approved.
The plans, aimed at cracking down on car cruising, were discussed by members of Crawley Borough Council’s cabinet last week.
County Oak retail park, Manor Royal, and supermarket car parks have been among the hotspots for car cruising, with meet-ups also held in Tilgate Park.
Nearby residents have had to endure anti-social behaviour such as racing and speeding, stunts, revving engines, blaring horns and loud music.
Over the last three years Sussex Police has received at least 280 complaints about meet-ups across the town.
With cabinet members reporting that residents were criticising the council for not taking action, some felt it was important for the whole council to be seen to support the necessary Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).
Sharing views from a recent meeting of the overview and scrutiny commission, Chris Cheshire (Lab, Bewbush) said: “This is quite a big thing to do and local people should know the whole council is behind it, not just the cabinet.”
Ms Cheshire also said some concern had been raised that car enthusiasts who ‘simply enjoyed cars but were not doing anything particularly anti-social’ would also be penalised.
Others had little sympathy with anyone taking part in the cruising meet-ups.
Chris Mullins (Lab, Gossops Green) said he was disappointed at calls to ‘mollycoddle’ them, adding: “Frankly, they’re noisy tykes that are causing terrible problems and they have no consideration for other people.”
There was some initial disagreement over whether to bring the PSPO into play immediately or to refer the matter to a meeting of the full council.
Ian Irvine (Lab, Broadfield North) called in the decision for further discussion, with support from Brenda Burgess (Con, Three Bridges) and Bob Burgess (Con, Three Bridges).
But two days after the meeting, he dropped the request.
PSPOs were introduced under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and can last for up to three years, after which they must be reviewed.