Police success after street racing dispersal order in Stevenage

A DISPERSAL order granted in Stevenage last month to prevent illegal and dangerous racing on public highways is proving highly effective, according to police.

The three-month order, authorised by police and Stevenage Borough Council, allows police officers to order groups of two or more people to leave the affected areas surrounding Gunnels Wood Road.

If they return within 24 hours, they can be arrested and potentially have their cars seized.

On Thursday, September 23, when the order came into force, a number of vehicles turned up in a road off Gunnels Wood Road and people were seen to leave their cars and congregate.

Officers were patrolling the area and the police helicopter was also monitoring the situation from the air.

They approached the groups congregating and gave them copies of the dispersal order and ordered them to leave, which they did.

Mark Kirbyshire, 22, of Benington Road, Stevenage, has been charged with endangering an aircraft by shining a laser pen at the police helicopter flying over Gunnels Wood Road on September 23. He is due to appear before Stevenage Magistrates’ Court tomorrow (Tuesday).

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On Thursday, October 7, a group turned up with vehicles in the same area and were again given copies of the notice and told to leave, which again they did.

Stevenage chief insp Richard Liversidge said: “We want to reassure local residents and businesses that we are taking robust action and that the situation is being consistently monitored. We will not tolerate this kind of behaviour which I can only describe as foolhardy and selfish at best.

“We will continue to do our utmost to ensure that the people living and travelling through Stevenage are safe.

“We would ask members of the public to report any suspicious behaviour by calling 0845 33 00 222 or if you are witnessing something as it’s happening, ring 999.”

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