A CRACKDOWN on rowdy engine revving in Abingdon could be rolled out elsewhere if it solves problems in the town.

Police officers patrolling the town are set to get new powers to punish noisy drivers making a nuisance with their cars.

Vale of White Horse District Council officially approved the new public spaces protection order (PSPO) last week, and one councillor said the powers could now be used more widely.

Eric Batts, the council's cabinet member for community safety, said: "If our attention was brought to similar problems elsewhere, we would certainly look to rolling it out across wider parts of the Vale.

"The sound does carry, especially at this time of year when people have their windows open."

Mr Batts said Abingdon residents had complained for 'several years' about antisocial behaviour with cars, particularly in The Charter car park and outside Tesco Extra in Marcham Road.

He said: "It's something we've not been able to tackle – we were very limited in our powers.

"This provides the power to eradicate it.

"Police will first give a warning to that person and will only fine if they keep doing it. It's not draconian."

The PSPO will be enforced in Abingdon from August, giving police the power to fine up to £100 for 'vehicle-related noise nuisance'.

It also reinstates powers police had under a previous order, which allows officers to fine antisocial drinkers in public areas.

Abingdon Town Council leader Mike Badcock backed the PSPO, adding: "Boys will be boys but there is no need to be noisy or irresponsible.

"Congregating and making noise can be intimidating. Usually it is completely unfounded, but it does frighten some people.

"Some sit there with these boom boxes in their cars, blaring out music.

"The sheer volume these days – the wattage in their car [radio] is probably more than The Beatles had on stage."

The Government created PSPOs in 2014 so councils could tackle specific problems in certain areas.

Critics have claimed they give local authorities too much power, but 89 per cent of residents who commented on a consultation for the Abingdon PSPO were positive.

Mr Badcock said the key to the new scheme's success will be enforcement.

He added: "I hope it could be rolled out elsewhere if it sorts the problem in Abingdon, but it might move the problem somewhere else and become an annoyance to another neighbourhood. I hope that will not happen."

June Stock, chairwoman of Grove Parish Council, said car-related antisocial behaviour was a problem at Millbrook shops in the village.

She said: "The kids tend to gather there and chat and scream and shout, radios blasting, and go round and round the car park.

"I would welcome something like a PSPO in places like the shops and the car park at Grove Rugby Club."

Didcot town councillor Steve Connel was equally positive about a rollout of the same powers, though this would be the responsibility of South Oxfordshire District Council rather than the Vale.

He said: "I don't think we have quite as big a problem as Abingdon does with boy racers but there are definitely places like Great Western Park which need to be clamped down on.

"I think giving police that extra power would act as a good deterrent to stop others from doing it."