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Residents call for action against boy racers and anti-social behaviour at Whitstable harbour

Boy-racers and yobs binging on laughing gas are making living near a harbour a "nightmare", say fed-up residents.

Drivers have been accused of speeding and dumping dozens of nitrous oxide cannisters along the west quay in Whitstable.

A video seen by KentOnline shows a car racing along the harbour multiple times
A video seen by KentOnline shows a car racing along the harbour multiple times

It has become a popular spot for the reckless motorists to meet - mostly at night, but there have been reports of gatherings throughout the day too.

In a video seen by KentOnline, a car races up and down the harbour multiple times.

Tyres screeching and the loud engine can also be heard.

Terrified residents fearing retribution from the yobs would only speak to KentOnline on condition of anonymity.

"Police need to be doing more about this - the noise and anti-social behaviour is blighting the lives of people who live here," said one.

A video seen by KentOnline shows a car racing along the harbour multiple times
A video seen by KentOnline shows a car racing along the harbour multiple times

"We can hear them every night and they frequently wake people up at all hours, and I mean literally all hours."

The resident, who lives near-by, said the boy-racers are making it a "nightmare" to live in the town.

They added: "People are coming here from other areas and they think they can act with utter impunity due to the lockdown.

"There is filth, litter, broken glass and drug paraphernalia left all over the beaches and the harbour at night - all the same people who speed around doing doughnuts and racing their mates.

"It’s threatening and dangerous, and local people won’t stand for it for much longer."

Watch: Fight at Whitstable west quay on Sunday

Another neighbour said: "We have headlights running through our windows and the music is playing out loud too.

"Two nights ago there was a commotion and all the drivers were also running about shouting then getting back into their cars.

"I think a neighbour went out to have a word after which some of the cars left after being told to go."

Crowds gathering at the harbour during the day. Picture: Cathryn Epton
Crowds gathering at the harbour during the day. Picture: Cathryn Epton

The motorists turned their headlights off and drove down the road inconspicuously.

But they then returned with more people and cars to "escalate the situation" of the neighbours coming out.

Another resident said: "I have seen how the town has changed from week one of lockdown until now - it is palpable.

"It has got to the stage where locals don’t want to go to the beach because every night all they hear is loud music from expensive cars, with people standing on roofs, inhaling nitrous oxide and getting drunk.

"This is not an exaggeration - I see it every evening."

Drivers have been accused of speeding and dumping dozens of nitrous dioxide cannisters in the harbour area. Picture: Chris Davey
Drivers have been accused of speeding and dumping dozens of nitrous dioxide cannisters in the harbour area. Picture: Chris Davey

A seafront brawl broke out on Sunday leaving beach-goers shocked.

Two men can be seen squaring up to each other before a punch is thrown.

Canterbury and Whitstable MP Rosie Duffield said she is dealing with a "remarkable increase" in communication from locals about anti-social behaviour and drug use.

"Most complaints to us are about the huge rise in the drug nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas or nos," she said.

"You see rubbish - mostly empty canisters - every day on Whitstable beach and in Canterbury park spaces.

Rosie Duffield said she is dealing with a "remarkable increase" in communication from locals about anti-social behaviour and drug use
Rosie Duffield said she is dealing with a "remarkable increase" in communication from locals about anti-social behaviour and drug use

"It is clear that lockdown has - ironically - brought use of this drug further out into the open, with young people using and littering whilst schools are closed and there is little else for them to do.

"I believe the time is right for parliament to look again at the classification and reforms around the use of nitrous oxide and I will be raising the case in parliament."

Police were called at 2.45am on Wednesday to a report of two cars driving around Whitstable Harbour.

A spokesman said: "Local officers have been made aware of the incident and will be monitoring the issue."

To get the latest updates in ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Whitstable


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