Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Motorists intimidated by ‘boy racers’ on border road

Those living in and driving through the border community of Killean are effectively being held “under siege” when dozens of youths regularly converge at the former customs post to hold ‘cruising’ events, a local councillor has claimed.

The events feature youths driving modified and high-powered cars in an aggressive manner, performing dangerous stunts and driving manoeuvres to the encouragement of crowds of onlookers.

During one such recent incident, a motorist was prevented from making their way along the road, the driver and passengers held “under siege” and subjected to intimidation by the youths, Sinn Fein councillor Liz Kimmins claimed.

She says the ongoing activity of the ‘boy racers’ involved has led to grave concern in the community and she has appealed for a coordinated effort by the PSNI and Gardaí to tackle the problem.

“These ‘cruising’ activities have, over time, mushroomed from small beginnings into a major organised anti-social event with websites dedicated to arranging the meetings and displaying videos and photographs of the night’s activities.  

“Anyone who is unfortunate enough to unwittingly drive into one of these meetings will be intimidated to either stop and wait to be allowed to pass, or to turn back and find an alternative route to their destination,” Councillor Kimmins added.

Her party colleague, Megan Fearon MLA described the situation as “a fatality waiting to happen”.

“Apart from the obvious danger involved, the noise level of screeching tyres has become unbearable for local residents and is having a detrimental effect on nearby businesses.  This type of reckless behaviour has become a fatality waiting to happen. It is a social menace,” Ms Fearon said.