View Full Version : Boy cruisers-police action promised

08-Feb-11, 12:23

TEENAGE car cruisers are plaguing residents at a Wick hotel and affecting the owner’s business.
Some of the guests have vowed not to return.
It prompted the boss of the Norseman Hotel, Andrew Mackay, to make a personal appeal for action, to police and his local community council.
The noisy youngsters follow a nocturnal route from the Highland Council car park along the route taking them up past the rear of St Fergus Church onto George Street, High Street, down past the former tourist office and into the car park which fronts the Haldanes, store, at the riverside.
Mr Mackay told the monthly meeting of the Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council, last night (Monday) that he was losing business because an increasing number of his customers had complained and told him they would not be coming back to his hotel because of the persistent engine revving, horn blasts and unnecessary tyre spinning. He also made the point that the cruisers posed a danger for other drivers and pedestrians, entering and leaving the car park.
Chairwoman, Coreen Campbell said that she had personal knowledge of one family who were not returning to the Norseman, because of the noise.
Community councillor Geraldine Durrand, sympathised with Mr Mackay’s predicament and added: “It’s a pity when you are trying to build up your business.”
Closing off the car park and installing a CCTV camera which could cover the area from the fountain on the other side of the river, were potential measures, suggested, to solve the problem. However, the camera was dismissed as it would mean cutting back some of the trees bordering the fountain and, the community council was told that a potential objector had threatened to chain himself to it, if the saws moved in. Closing off the car park, owned by Highland Council, at night, was said to be a non-starter.
Councillor Graeme Smith wondered if the noisy cruisers were breaking the law with excessive use of their horns and revving engines and took the view that some prosecutions would act as a deterrent. He felt that it might force the offenders to move on, possible to the airport industrial estate where it might not constitute as serious a problem. Mr Smith said he had tracked one young driver who had circled the cruise route no less than 49 times.
Mr Mackay said that charging offenders had worked in Aberdeen which had faced a similar problem but Chief Inspector MacInnes said that drivers who re-offended had their cars impounded but could recover them on payment of a spot fine. The hotel owner instanced a situation where a young cruiser had mounted the pavement to pass a coach which was starting to move away from the establishment and added: “If a kid had been coming out of the car park, it could have been serious. I don’t want to wait until something happens.”
The chief inspector promised action but Mr Mackay questioned whether the force would have the manpower to take effective steps.
The community council pledged their support to the police in any steps they could take to reduce or eliminate the problem.
*Chief Inspector MacInnes has appealed to the public to act as the eyes and ears of the police in their fight against vandalism.
He said that by its very nature-vandals do damage when there is no-one around- vandalism was difficult to detect and added: “ Please let us know about anything you come across, however minor so that we can put together a jigsaw on vandalism.”
Northern Constabulary currently has two officers dedicated to tackling vandalism which, it was stated, accounts for a considerable percentage of crime in the county.