RESIDENTS in Shaftesbury have called on the authorities to stamp out anti-social driving and other problems which have plagued the neighbourhood in recent months.

At a public meeting on Friday, some said so-called boy racers “drive like looneys” around the area, treating the streets in that area of Newport “like a grand prix”.

Recent weekends have inevitably meant boy racers congregating in the nearby Sainsburys car parks on weekends, causing headaches and sleepless nights for locals, residents told a panel of representatives.

The problem is especially bad in the “treacherous” Albany Street, where the speed limit is 30mph, residents said. One man told the Argus he had seen some motorists clock nearly 60mph as they passed an electronic speed checker sign there.

South Wales Argus: An electronic speed checker sign in Albany Street, Newport.An electronic speed checker sign in Albany Street, Newport. (Image: Google)

At the public meeting, in Shaftesbury Community Centre, police and crime commissioner Jeff Cuthbert, Newport West Senedd member Jayne Bryant, and a representative from Sainsburys formed the panel; along with Inspector Mervyn Priest and Sergeant Paul Turner of Gwent Police, and ward councillor Lauren James.

Together they heard calls for more policing of the area, as well as the installation of speed bumps or cameras to deter troublemakers.

“Something needs to be done about it,” one man said. “I don’t want kids to be hit by a car.”

Cllr James agreed the authorities “shouldn’t be waiting for someone to be hurt”.

“What they’re doing isn’t working,” she said, adding that she had “asked for a speed camera” to be installed.

The meeting was told Sainsburys had recently started to shut a barrier on Sundays, after closing time, to prevent access to the car park.

Another resident said she estimated some drivers were travelling upwards of 70mph in Albany Street.

“On Sunday we can’t even open the back door”, she said of the noise from the cars.

“It’s like a grand prix.”

Inspector Priest urged residents pass on information to the police, and said the road safety scheme Operation Snap was a way in which footage of bad driving could be submitted.

But there was hesitation from some locals who feared for their own safety.

One man said he had been “verbally abused” after taking pictures of antisocial drivers, and another attendee said people “felt like filming [the culprits] but were scared of the repercussions”.

“They’re afraid to say anything or do anything,” she added.

There were also general calls for more CCTV cameras to be put up in the neighbourhood following claims of a spate of thefts from cars, drugs activity, and a shocking incident in which a group of people “got out of a car and attacked” a young boy who had been walking past their vehicle.

“I’m getting to the point I don’t want my child to go out,” one parent said.

Amid calls for a greater police presence, Inspector Priest said “I can assure you we are here… with a lot of regularity”.

But targeted policing would work better if officers received reports about specific problems, he told residents.

“We rely heavily [on your information],” he said. “I can assure you that if you give us that information, we will act.”