Residents plead for action on boy racers

One of the main areas of concern is Belfast and Blakes Rds. Photo: Supplied
One of the main areas of concern is Belfast and Blakes Rds. Photo: Supplied
Excessive speeding and burnouts have pushed residents of a Christchurch suburb to ask for deterrents like anti-hoon bars, anti-skid surface spray and security cameras.

Charlotte Gavin, a Belfast resident of more than 25 years, said the interactions between boy racers and locals are becoming more frequent and hostile with people at their wit’s end from the intimidation and damage caused by the illegal activity.

Gavin presented her concerns to the Waimāero Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board.

“Belfast is one of the fastest-growing residential communities and a gateway to the city from the north," she said.

"This is also one of Christchurch’s oldest suburbs . . . many of the streets were designed to provide access to a growing industrial area which is now retracting.

“Therefore its intended use and design is redundant, being no longer fit for its existing purpose for the quiet enjoyment of residential activities.”

Gavin said the new Northern Motorway and Johns Rd former highway provided a wider than normal roading infrastructure, which created opportunities for disruptions.

The main areas of concern are Belfast and Blakes Rds, March Pl, and the intersections off Tyrone St – Donegal, Third and Richill Sts – as the three intersecting roads are “extremely wide”.

“There are also a number of quick road exits available to these individuals who are intent on disturbing the peace to evade capture.

“With all respect to the police, spinouts are not a priority . . . the ultimate result of any call-in is for the culprit to be notified via a police scanner and escape via many of the motorways available.”

March Place. Photo: Supplied
March Place. Photo: Supplied
Board chair Bridget Williams said its biggest concern is safety.

“It’s about making sure whānau feel safe in their homes and neighbourhoods and behaviour of this nature can not only disturb peace and quiet but, if not handled, can escalate to reckless, which we see this situation as being.”

Gavin mentioned one option to prevent hooning could be to trial pavement treatment, like the calcite bauxite treatment which is laid down at two intersections in Moreton Bay, Queensland.

“Cath Tonks, councillor for Division 9 Moreton Bay, wrote: Council will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the trial pavement treatment to reduce/deter hooning in this area, by all accounts it has seen a dramatic reduction.”

Other alternative options include installing anti-hoon bars such as the Omnigrip Direct, anti-skid surface spray, security cameras and providing boy racers with an area away from residential zones.

“We want to leave no stone unturned and try a range of measures with the resources we can access, and the pavement treatment is an option to explore,” said Williams.

Gavin plans to meet with the police and she will then update the community board.