Seventeen people have been convicted of breaching a ground-breaking injunction banning car cruising in the Black Country since it was introduced three years ago.
The injunction bans people from taking part in a car cruise anywhere within Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall, or from promoting, organising or publicising any such event in the four areas.
And it has had a major impact since it came into force in February 2015, with 17 individuals being convicted of participating in or organising a car cruise and receiving fines or suspended prison sentences.
The authorities have also reported a significant reduction in instances of car cruising in many parts of the Black Country, with the problem being eliminated entirely in some areas.
However, there are still car cruising hotspots in the region and tragically there have also continued to be fatalities linked to car cruising in recent years. The four Black Country boroughs, led by the City of Wolverhampton Council and West Midlands Police, will therefore be applying for a continuation of the injunction for another three years at the Birmingham District Registry of the High Court at 10.30am on Tuesday 9 January, 2018.
Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "The injunction has undoubtedly been a success, dramatically reducing the menace of car cruising across the region and eliminating it from certain areas altogether.
"As well as securing 17 convictions, a number of warning letters have been issued to people who have participated in, or were planning, a car cruise, while numerous road traffic matters have also been tackled at the same time.
"However, the problem has not been entirely eradicated; car cruises are still being held in a number of areas, and sadly there have still been a number of fatalities linked to car cruising over the last few years.
“It is therefore vital that the authorities are able to continue using this injunction to not only bring perpetrators to book but, more importantly, deter would-be car cruisers in the first place."
Inspector Julie Mason, from West Midlands Police, said: "The injunction has been a success and drivers and the general public are now well aware of its existence.
"People in Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Walsall say they are seeing much less car cruising activity in their areas since the injunction came into force, while in Dudley it has ceased in some areas but instead moved to other parts of the borough. It is imperative that the injunction remains in place so that we can see a continued reduction in offending."
Joanne Mason, from Wolverhampton's Anti-Social Behaviour Team, added: "The injunction has undoubtedly had a positive impact, leading to a significant reduction in instances of car cruising in Wolverhampton. For instance, people living in the Springvale and Bilston areas, which were originally hotspots for car cruising, say the problem has virtually ceased.
“There is overwhelming support for the continuation of the injunction from residents who had previously suffered for many years from the dangerous, anti-social and nuisance behaviour of car cruisers."
The injunction prohibits activities typically associated with car cruising, including speeding, racing and driving in convoy, performing stunts and causing an obstruction on a public highway.
It also prohibits consequences associated with car cruising, including excessive noise, danger or risk of injury to other road users and pedestrians, damage or risk of damage to property and significant risk of harm, public nuisance and annoyance to the public.
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. In addition, police retain their powers in relation to traffic offences including driving without insurance, driving an unroadworthy vehicle and driving without due care and attention.
To read a copy of the injunction, and 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.
Since the Black Country injunction was brought in, injunctions have been introduced in other parts of the West Midlands, including Birmingham and Solihull.
Notes to editors:
1/ For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Paul Brown, Communications Advisor, on 01902 555497 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2/ 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 Area as defined on the map attached 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.
3/ The prohibited activities referred to above are:
driving in convoy
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.
4/ The prohibited consequences referred to above are:
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.
Issued by the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Corporate Communications Team.
For more information, please call 01902 555439.
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