An extended injunction banning car cruising in the Black Country for another three years has come into force.
The injunction, first introduced in 2015, bans people from taking part in a car cruise anywhere within Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell or Walsall, or from promoting, organising or publicising any such event in the four areas.
Anyone breaching the injunction risks of being in contempt of court, for which they can face up to two years in prison and a fine. They could also have assets – such as their vehicle – seized and crushed.
The injunction has had a major impact on the problem since 2015, leading to a significant reduction in car cruising in many parts of the Black Country, and it being eliminated entirely in some areas – though there remain hotspots.
The four Black Country boroughs, led by the City of Wolverhampton Council and West Midlands Police, were successful in seeking a continuation of the injunction until 1 February 2021 at the Birmingham District Registry of the High Court last month, and the refreshed order came into force last week.
Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Car cruising is noisy, dangerous and illegal, causing damage to property and posing a risk of injury or worse to participants and the general public alike. It also takes up a lot of valuable time for our hard-pressed emergency services.
“Since its introduction in 2015, the injunction has helped to dramatically reduce the menace of car cruising across the Black Country. However, the problem has not been entirely eradicated and car cruises still occur in our region from time to time, sometimes with fatal consequences.”
Councillor Milkinder Jaspal, Cabinet Member for Governance, added: “We are pleased that the High Court has extended the injunction for a further three years, enabling the police and local councils to continue to crackdown on car cruising and to bring perpetrators to book.”
PC Stuart Hemming from West Midlands Police said: “We will continue to work with councils in the Black Country to eradicate this anti-social and dangerous behaviour and make our boroughs safer places to live, work and socialise.”
The injunction defines car cruising as:
- “two or more motor vehicles (including motorbikes) between the hours of 3pm and 7am being on a highway or in a publicly accessible place within the Black Country at which any such vehicle or occupant of a vehicle performs any of the prohibited activities listed below which causes, or is capable of causing, any of the prohibited consequences set out in below. Participating in car cruising means being the driver of, or being carried in (or on), a motor vehicle (including motorbikes) in circumstances in which the above applies.
The prohibited activities referred to above are:
- Speeding; driving in convoy; racing; performing stunts; sounding horns or playing music as to cause a significant public nuisance; using foul or abusive language; using threatening, intimidating behaviour towards another person; causing obstruction on a public highway, whether moving or stationary.
The prohibited consequences referred to above are:
- excessive noise; danger or risk of injury to road users, including pedestrians; damage or significant risk of damage to property; significant risk of harm; significant public nuisance; significant annoyance to the public.
For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/carcruisingban.
Incidents of car cruising should be reported to West Midlands Police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.