AUDACIOUS boy racers have claimed an abandoned police headquarters as a base for their late night meets.
A group of the speed-obsessed youngsters are regularly meeting at the old police HQ on Pitt Street in Glasgow – before racing around the city centre at top speed.
The huge command centre – which was emptied in March – now acts as the start and finishing line for races which can sometimes go on until three in the morning.
And many of the cars being raced around the residential streets at breakneck speed even have modified exhausts – pushing the sound of their rallies up to ear-splitting levels.
Residents and those staying in local hotels have said that they are regularly awoken by the irresponsible behaviour of the boy racers.
And some even say that they have been aggressively confronted by drivers and their passengers after asking them to slow down.
Earlier this month local business owners had a meeting with council chiefs in a bid to stop the madcap behaviour.
Janice Fisher, a general manager at the local Ibis hotel, said: “They park at the shutters of the former police station.
“I’ve counted at least 100 people gathering, There were three or four people to a car. If anyone goes to confront them you can guarantee that a crew of these drivers will turn up.”
Christophe Pfeilstucker, a general manager of the local Novotel, added: “One day it could end up in a fatality.
Police have already tried to stem the behaviour by pulling over some drivers for spot checks – but this has not been enough to put off the racers.
Murray Thomson, general manager of the Blythswood Square Hotel, said: “The police need more powers to tackle the problem.
“The challenge we have is that it’s a legislation change that is perhaps required.”
One local resident, who did not wish to be named, said that the drivers had started to use the station as a pit stop shortly after it closed.
She said: “It’s almost as if the police have abandoned the city centre to them. Their symbolic taking over of the old Strathclyde police HQ is very telling.”
Philip Goose, senior community engagement officer at Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Speeding and racing on public roads is incredibly dangerous, and has huge potential to seriously injure or kill the participants themselves or other road users.
“Dangerous driving needs to be tackled – there needs to be effective enforcement of the law, effective prosecutions and effective deterrents to ensure that this behaviour no longer loses a threat.”
Superintendent Fraser Candlish, of the Police Scotland road policing unit, said: “The priority of road safety and casualty reduction has never been higher in policing in Scotland and last year saw record numbers of offences detected.”