'Irresponsible' YouTube shows 180mph joyriders in stolen car

A FORMER government minister has attacked an internet video site after clips showing joyriders racing a stolen Bentley that was once owned by footballer Roy Keane appeared online.

Labour MP Nigel Griffiths hit out after the videos, which show the 100,000 car being driven up and down Niddrie Mains Road at speeds said to reach 180mph, were posted on YouTube.

Mr Griffiths, Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, today accused the popular site of not doing enough to control videos showing criminal behaviour.

The Edinburgh South MP said: "It is wholly irresponsible, encouraging not just antisocial behaviour but criminal behaviour.

"YouTube has to ensure it gives a responsible lead to impressionable people. They should stop this because it is not larking about teenagers having fun, it is irresponsible behaviour that leads to heartbreak and death. They should pull these videos immediately."

A Bentley Continental was stolen from the Glenvarigill Porsche showroom, owned by Bentley, in Fort Kinnaird in August last year.

It had been sold to the garage by current Sunderland manager Keane - an ex-Celtic and Manchester United player - and was later found burnt out in Greendykes.

Two video clips were uploaded to YouTube on Sunday by mum-of-three Gail Lafferty, 38, of Mount Lodge Place, Portobello. Ms Lafferty was sent the videos by her son, and today said they had been widely circulated around the east of Edinburgh via mobile phones and e-mails.

She said: "Everybody in Niddrie will have this. Someone sent it to my son at work and he sent it to my phone and I put it on YouTube."

In the clips, which have been shot from the side of the road and last 12 seconds and 19 seconds respectively, car headlights are seen approaching the camera at high speed before a car whizzes past.

Ms Lafferty, who is originally from Niddrie, entitled the videos, "Roy's Bentley 180 mile per hour, Niddrie Mains Road, Edinburgh".

She added: "The bairns said it was at those speeds - it's probably not accurate. But you can hear it going fast - like a rocket."

Her son Aaron Kidd, 16, who is on a building trade training course at Capital Skills in The Inch, told the News he had received the video on his phone several weeks ago. He said he did not remember who sent it.

He said: "It was sent to me two or three weeks ago. Loads of people got it."

Sergeant Gary Cunningham, who leads a team against auto crime in Craigmillar, said the stolen Bentley had been filmed by a group of youths.

He added: "This was the first time we were aware of people filming stolen cars in the area. Someone has now had the audacity to put it on the internet."

Last month, a local resident posted a video of burnt-out cars abandoned by joyriders in Craigmillar on to YouTube in a bid to make the city council and the police take action.

Neil McKenzie, of Greendykes, said joyriding had been a constant problem since he moved into the area around two years ago.

The 43-year-old compiled the short film - titled Arson Hall - using 30 still photographs taken on his mobile phone.

He said: "This area has been ignored. If something like this happened in Morningside there would be a big fuss.

"When they burn cars out the smoke can be very intense and envelop the entire estate. Burning tyres is not a nice smell.

"I ride a bike and if I'm on the street and this is going on I have to get off and scarper because they go up and down the kerbs and when the tyres blow they don't stop so the driver has no control."

YouTube were contacted by the Evening News but nobody was available for comment.

• Three teenagers have appeared in court to deny charges of stealing the Bentley and another luxury car from the garage.