Dangerous and irresponsible drivers will be found and made an example of, according to Ballarat's top road cop, after a spike in hoon activity across the weekend.
With more people on the roads for the first Friday night since restrictions began to ease, more reports were received regarding stupid behaviour and illegal car meets.
One Sebastopol resident blasted council for its handling, saying Friday night was the breaking point.
Natalie, who asked not to use her last name, sent a letter to mayor Ben Taylor and south ward councillor Des Hudson stating not enough is being done, and the problem of drivers hooning in residential areas was getting worse.
"I moved here about two years ago and I'm already thinking of selling," she told The Courier.
"We need a community response - I think the community's frustrated but powerless."
Ballarat and Moorabool Highway Patrol's Senior Sergeant Stuart Gale condemned the behaviour.
"We're aware of increasing hoon activity around the Ballarat area, including the illegal meetings, and we certainly action the information," he said.
"It decreased again during stage three and four restrictions, but I certainly do expect, from past history, these things will increase again, and I will not tolerate it."
Police need community intelligence to take action, he added - registration numbers or driver identification can help, but even noting when and where a driver commits alleged offences is a start.
"We're aware of organised meets, we're aware these are occurring on social media platforms and we're investigating those, we're looking at the organisers," he added.
"This time, if these meets are happening and people are coming from locked down areas, there's also the $5000 fine - last time we had people from Melton, Geelong, the western suburbs of Melbourne, coming into Ballarat and participating in these meetings.
The (Chief Health Officer's) COVID-19 restrictions still apply for these people, and they will feel my full wrath."
Cr Hudson said council will work with Victoria Police on strategies to stop hooning, but cautioned more speed bumps, for example, will just push the problem elsewhere in town.
"It's something where the community can play an active role - the Hoon Hotline, I know people might get a sense of frustration that that takes a little while, but if people can actually ring the hotline, they can report particular vehicles, even rego plates if they've got them, or partial, or even identifying driver," he said.
"They build a picture of intelligence that can be sent to Highway Patrol for follow up.
"Residents might know a particular vehicle, they can send that information anonymously, and help to build up the picture of predictable behavior."
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Cr Taylor said council is not the enforcer, but can support police and look at other infrastructure solutions.
"It's an illegal activity and it shouldn't be happening, it's a problem for everyone because they have to bear the consequences of bad behaviour - it's destruction, interrupting your way of life, and dangerous," he said.
"Council will work with Victoria Police to eliminate it, but it needs to be a community approach."
The outcry follows an incident on Dana Street on Friday night, which left a car hanging over the Yarrowee River.
A man was arrested after allegedly fleeing the scene, and two people were taken to hospital.
To report hoon behaviour immediately, phone Triple-0, the Hoon Hotline through Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.
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