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24 September 2014
Inside Out: Surprising Stories, Familiar Places

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   Inside Out - South of England: Monday 16th September, 2002


Group of people gathered around a woman laid on a car

Upwards of 1,000 cars of people are attracted to Guildford on the first Sunday evening of every month.

But it is not the cathedral or the theatre which draws many in.

‘Boy racers’ congregate for ‘cruises’ in the town centre.

For the young car fanatics, these cruises are a chance to show off their cars.

They ‘cruise’ them through the streets as darkness falls.

Many of them have spent thousands of pounds and countless hours on car modifications.


The boy racers' cars are often very expensive models

These expensive car modifications add little to the resale value of the car.

The boy racers’ reward is admiration from their peers, self satisfaction and the ‘glamour’ of Guildford.

Adoration from the semi-clad girls who had a tendency to hang around the boy racers also appears to act as a reward.

Residents' anger

For Guildford's younger residents, hanging around the cruise is a cheap and entertaining night out.

Not all the locals feel so positive about the regular events. They complain of

  • Excessive noise from boy racers' and their cars until late at night.
  • Difficult driving conditions for others during 'cruises'.
  • General mayhem caused by the crowds cruises attract.

As there is nothing illegal about driving on a public road, the police cannot stop the cruisers if they are not breaking traffic regulations.

This is not always the case. One Guildford Police Officer told Inside Out;

"There is a lot of bad driver behaviour.

"We've tried numerous times to warn people about their behaviour but they do not head warnings."

Police tactics

During Inside Out’s investigation, the Police tried a new tactic.

Car wheel
Alloy wheels are worthy of respect amongst boy racers

Many of the boy racers’ cars are modified or ‘souped up’.

The police take pictures of the cars and send these possibly undeclared modifications to the owners' insurers.

Supporters of cruising say this is harassment and that the cruisers should be left alone to enjoy themselves.

One boy racer told Inside Out;

"They think that by slapping fines on people they will be able to stop it.

"All they are going to do is encourage more people to come and be awkward about it."


The Guildford police don't take kindly to such threats. One Guildford Police officer told Inside Out;

"I have not doubt that if we do not police this event, someone is going to get killed."

Hopefully, police intervention and common sense of the boy racers will stop such an incident happening in the future.

See also ...

On the rest of the web
Guildford Borough Council
Surrey Police
What Car site
Car stereos

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

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