HUNDREDS of boy racers descended on Essex for their first car meet since lockdown.
Photos of the hastily arranged gathering showed enthusiasts chatting around modified vehicles, showing off driving skills in front of cops.
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Witnesses said that “social distancing was forgotten along with rules of driving safely” as hundreds met in Essex yesterday for the first large-scale car meet since lockdown measures were announced on March 23.
Starting at 10am in Barking, the car fans drove along the M25 to meet near Junction 30 before converging upon at several locations – including a service station – in Harlow, Essex.
Essex Boost Crew announced the event on Facebook, given just two hours’ notice of the convoy continuing at a shopping centre in Harlow.
They posted: “Just a little heads up… can you be in oaks retail park for 2 hours after 6pm.”
Essex Police said in a statement: “Officers attended The Oaks Retail Park on Howard Way, Harlow, on Saturday 4 July after receiving reports of a car cruising event with around 200 vehicles present.
“The majority of vehicles then moved to South Way in the town, and officers stayed in both locations to monitor the event.
“No arrests were made but one ticket was issued for careless driving.
“We would like to remind everyone thinking of attending a similar event that gatherings of this size could put extra pressure on our NHS and impact the health and safety of participants.”
One witness complained that “police attended but seemed powerless to stop the dangerous driving”.
They added there was “lots of wheel spinning and noisy antics carried on until the small hours”.
The Mail Online said that while in Barking, noise complaints were made after cars reportedly sped along the McDonald’s drive-thru.
Video and photos showed attendees blaring loud music, while empty canisters of nitrous oxide could be seen littering a car park in Harlow.
However, such comments were rejected by some car fans, with one pointing out on the Essex Boost Crew Facebook page that pals hadn’t “seen each other in like 14 weeks”.
Another rejected criticism of the event, posting on Facebook that it was, “OK for protesters to gather and break the social distancing rules but for [other groups]it is not OK, t***s.”
This was echoed by one woman who commented: “If they can have mass gatherings in London and no one bats a eyelid, then why can’t car enthusiasts, they wasn’t hurting anyone so don’t see the problem.”
And one hit out at being targeted by cops, saying: “Always the same, pick on the easy targets, rather than deal with the bigger issues at hand!
“We pay our taxes to make a difference, not for them to sit around at car meets on there arse [sic].”
And car fan Terry Dunmore added: “I’ve been down before with my young children – they loved it [as there were]some great cars.”
One bloke who admitted being approached by police, after doing a burnout in his American car, said he was given a “warning since I was respectful”.
He urged others to treat police with respect because “it goes a long way”.
Meanwhile in Bristol, cops were kept busy breaking up large street parties of rowdy revellers on ‘Super Saturday’.
After reopened bars shut for the night, streets became packed with pubgoers who weren’t ready to wind down.
One annoyed resident told Bristol Post she was kept awake by “200 young people outside my house until about 3am”.