By Tara O’Connor, local democracy reporter
Police have started cracking down on illegal car meets which have become unbearable for those living nearby.
Hundreds of cars gather every Thursday and Saturday night at Valley Retail Park off Purley Way.
Nearby residents, like Juliet Adu-Gyamfi who has lived in Maxwell Close for more than 20 years, say that the regular meets have been going on for many years but have become much larger and louder in recent months.
On Thursday (April 29), police descended on the area to issue fines, seize cars and make arrests in what the force is calling Operation Cross Hair.
Writing on the Nextdoor social media platform, Sergeant Karl Encott said: “Our residents and business users’ safety is of paramount importance to us and we will deal with this.
“Taking this action as many times as we need to to send the message. It is not legal and not acceptable in Croydon.”
Ms Adu-Gyamfi said she and her neighbours are cautiously optimistic about the action taken by police.
But she says the real test will be seeing whether cars gather again tomorrow (Thursday, May) as Thursday nights have been the busiest and most disruptive weekly gathering.
“It is really good to see it being taken seriously, everyone is pretty much celebrating” she said.
“We saw a few motorbikes and cars being taken away by tow trucks, I heard that there were 70 officers that came round to catch drivers.”
The 45-year-old said that on Saturday after the police action only a few cars turned up at the car park.
“We couldn’t believe it, we were thinking that a few of them might try it,” she said.
“Obviously word has got around. I think people who live around here couldn’t believe the peace.
“Since that night there have been a few cars but they weren’t causing the same disturbance.
“The real test will come on Thursday. We are cautious but at the end of the day we are just relieved.”
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