Officers would like to remind the public to respect the area following reports of anti-social behaviour at recent ‘car meets’ in Weymouth and Portland.
During the evening of Saturday 5 June 2021 there were large gatherings of cars in various locations across the area, including Mount Pleasant Park and Ride, Radipole, Portland, Swannery car park and Chesil Beach car park.
It was reported that some of the vehicles were driving dangerously at excessive speed and carrying out unsafe manoeuvres, while crowds gathered to watch nearby.
Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team and the traffic unit attended and spoke to a number of motorists. They also monitored the situation to ensure the safety of the public and keep disruption for residents and visitors to a minimum.
Due to reports of anti-social behaviour and driving, a section 35 dispersal notice was authorised for the area of Mount Pleasant Park and Ride and Mercery Way retail park, which ordered people to leave the area for a minimum of six hours.
Section 59 notices were issued under the Road Traffic Act to one driver at Mount Pleasant Park and Ride and another at the Swannery car park who were reported to have used their vehicles in a manner that caused alarm, distress or annoyance.
There were also reports of cars meeting at the King George car park in Swanage.
On Sunday 6 June 2021 there were subsequent reports of another car meet at the Mount Pleasant Park and Ride car park.
At around 7.30pm that evening a collision occurred involving a car and a lamppost in the car park. The passenger in the car – a 17-year-old girl from Dorchester – was taken to Dorset County Hospital with injuries that were believed to be serious, but not life-threatening.
Neighbourhood Chief Inspector Ged Want, of Dorset County Local Policing Area (LPA), said: “The majority of people who attended the meets were well-behaved, but sadly there were reports of anti-social behaviour by a minority.
“We fully understand the impact this activity can have on the community. Anti-social behaviour is not acceptable in our communities and we would like to reassure residents that patrols will be continuing in the area to try and disrupt this activity. Attempts will be made to contact the organisers of any future planned car meets in our area.
“Officers will be carrying out enquiries into what happened and reviewing CCTV footage from the town to identify any motorists reported to be driving in an anti-social manner or committing a road traffic offence.
“Enquiries will also be carried out to identify any suspected COVID-19 breaches. We would like to remind the public that the virus has not gone away and restrictions remain in place with regards to gathering indoors and outdoors and we would ask everyone to continue to stick within these rules to stop the spread of the virus and keep people safe.
“We will be working with the local authority, as well as local businesses, to collaboratively recognise any long-term solutions to reduce anti-social behaviour linked to driving.
“As part of the Respect, Protect, Enjoy campaign we would like to remind residents and visitors to respect each other and protect Dorset’s environment, while enjoying what the county has to offer.”