By WAYNE THOMPSON
Police have formed a database of more than 600 people in Auckland's illegal street racing scene and in the process have handed out fines totalling $290,000.
The tickets were issued during the stopping or noting of more than 1141 vehicles in the scene during Operation Bratz (Boy Racer Action Teamz), says a report by Counties-Manukau Police. Three vehicles earned average fines of $5218.
Sergeant Cory Ubels suggested in the report that adopting a "broken windows" policy of issuing fines for all identifiable offences could help deal with illegal street drags.
The most common offence was restricted drivers carrying an unauthorised passenger, and the second most common was speeding in a 50km/h area.
Mr Ubels suggested informing registered owners that officers had observed their vehicles in the street-racer scene and, perhaps, potting repeat offenders to insurance companies would help.
Heading his suggestion list was enforcing new illegal street-racing laws by prosecuting drivers and confiscating their vehicles for 28 days. Police national headquarters spokesman Jon Neilson said police would not be considering informing insurance companies about street racers.
Their activity was seen as a matter between them and their insurer.
But Insurance Council chief executive Chris Ryan said his organisation would welcome the idea of police supplying information above and beyond the present practice of making available accident reports.
Street racing and illegal modification of vehicles would put an insurance policy at risk, though most illegal racers did not have cars insured.
Recent accidents had revealed a significant insurance-cover problem with drivers under 25 using a parent's high-performance car for street racing.
Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis said he was not surprised by the police finding that South Aucklanders made up more than half of those stopped.
Residents of Howick and Pakuranga were high on the list.
"My own research found it's local people causing a lot of mayhem and damage in Howick, Pakuranga and Bucklands Beach.
"The sooner local parents come to understand and realise that and take some control over their young people then things will improve.
In Auckland, illegal racers came mostly from Mt Roskill and Mt Eden and on the North Shore from Glenfield and Torbay, and in Waitakere City, from Henderson.
Most of the 1255 tickets were issued in South Auckland (34.2 per cent) but Auckland City was close behind.
The chairwoman of the law and order committee of the Auckland City Council, Noelene Raffills, said the database of 627 street racers and 299 vehicles would be another tool used to stamp out illegal street drags.
She favoured the idea of the council writing to registered owners of vehicles about their vehicles being involved in illegal races.
Most common offences: 154 restricted drivers carried unauthorised passengers; 148 exceeded 50km/h in a restricted area; 147 exceeded 100km/h; 142 unlicensed vehicles; 114 learner drivers unaccompanied; 108 restricted drivers unaccompanied between 10pm and 5am.
The police report said street racers belonged to 12 performance car clubs:
BBK ( Bad Boy Killers), Xzecutivez, Chosen Few, KBS (Kura Bangin Stylz), Bros B4 Hoes, Invinciblez, Lunatix, Hot Boyz, Outlawz, Chan Sau, Instigator, Flyen Boyz Inc.
Illegal street racers
* Of 627 drivers in database, 77.5 per cent are male.
* Average age of drivers is 21.1 years.
* 23 per cent hold only a restricted licence.
* South Auckland residents made up 52.5 per cent of drivers stopped, Auckland City and West Auckland both 11.7 per cent, North Shore 10.7 per cent.
* Favourite car makes are Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota, Mazda and Honda.
* Average age of car, 14 years.
By WAYNE THOMPSON