YOUNG men and their cars can get a bad reputation – but two police officers are on a mission to re-educate boys behind the wheel.
Officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Team in Ashington, Martin Hayes and Andy Crosby, decided to tackle the issue of boy racers and have organised the first of what they hope will be monthly educational car shows.
Yesterday, the first event for young drivers and car enthusiasts in the area kicked off at Woodhorn Museum in Ashington.
Through the car shows the two officers hope to offer young men in the area a place to go where they can explore their interest in cars and chat with other people with similar interests but at the same time learning how to do so in a way which is not anti-social.
CSO Martin Hayes said: “We have had problems with boy racers in the area and residents complaining about racing through car parks, loud exhausts and speeding in built-up areas.
“This event is of benefit both to the community and the motoring enthusiasts alike. It gives the drivers somewhere safe and legal to go. And it keeps them from driving in the streets of Ashington and gathering in car parks.”
Throughout the evening the group were joined by members of Cramlington Motorclub, who brought along examples of racing cars.
They were also on hand to provide advice and expertise in how the young men can channel their talents and interests in a positive way. A crew from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service also attended the event and put on a car-cutting display to demonstrate the perils of driving dangerously.
CSO Andy Crosby said: “We are looking to organise more events of this type in the future. It gives us the ideal opportunity to engage with a section of the public that can be quite hard to reach and who there are a lot of negative opinions about.
“Hopefully this will see some of the drivers think a little more about how their driving can impact on the whole community.”