Police crackdown on border ‘diffing’ events

June 17, 2019

The PSNI and An Garda Siochána are combining in an attempt to bring an end to ongoing vehicle ‘diffing’ events that take place on an almost weekly basis at former border customs site on the Old Dublin Road, Newry.

For years residents and road users have been plagued by groups of youths who converge at the site to race cars and carry out dangerous and reckless driving stunts, attracting dozens of onlookers.

Just last month two PSNI officers and a female pedestrian were injured by a hit-and-run driver who had been attempting a ‘donut’ manoeuvre.  It was the latest in a series of incidents relating to the regular ‘cruising’ events held at the border site where previously residents raised fears that they are “a fatality waiting to happen”.  

Sinn Fein councillor Liz Kimmins has previously criticized those taking part in such events: “Local residents are tormented on a regular basis with the noise from the large numbers of cars that gather in this border area for ‘diffing’ and other criminal anti-social behaviour, including obstructing the road, and disrupting other motorists who are trying to pass through safely.  This serious anti-social activity has to be challenged and those engaged in it need to face the full rigours of the law.  We have to ensure the safety and well being of our communities and ultimately tackling this ‘boy racer’ scourge will, I have no doubt, help save lives.”

Now police on both sides of the border are joining forces to monitor the area in a bid to end the problem and a spokesperson for the PSNI warned of the consequences for those involved.

“Drifting and doughnuts are examples of dangerous driving and could result in loss of driving licence,” the spokesperson said.  “Modifications to vehicles must be legal and covered by your insurance policy. The Dublin Road is used by others and is not a race track.”

They asked that those attending these cruises think about others such as the local residents and businesses.