A witness whose evidence secured the latest convictions for car cruising in the Black Country has praised authorities for introducing a ground-breaking injunction which enables perpetrators to be brought to book.
Five more individuals were sentenced by the High Court in Birmingham last month after admitting breaching the injunction, which was secured by the City of Wolverhampton Council on behalf of the four Black Country councils and West Midlands Police in December 2014.
It came into force on 1 February 2015 and bans people from participating in or promoting car cruising throughout the Black Country.
The five who appeared before His Honour Judge McKenna on Monday 26 November admitted participating in a car cruise on Springvale Avenue in Bilston in March of this year and received sentences ranging from fines to a suspended jail term. They were also ordered to pay costs to the City of Wolverhampton Council.
The case included evidence in the form of dashcam footage filmed by a local resident who had been disturbed by car cruising in the area on numerous occasions.
He said: "Each weekend we suffered racing vehicles, wheel spinning and lots of noise and we called the police on a number of occasions.
"The High Court injunction which the council has obtained and the seriousness they took these incidents is truly remarkable.
“I would urge anyone who is experiencing this type of anti-social behaviour to call the police and report it every time so that the authorities can take action and put these people before the courts."
Councillor Hazel Malcolm, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “We are continuing to take action against anyone suspected of breaching the High Court ban, and we and the police rely upon the invaluable help and support of our communities to do this.
“I would like to thank the resident who took and supplied the dashcam footage which proved instrumental in securing these convictions, and I would urge anyone else who has witnessed any form of car cruising to report it to the police.”
Incidents of car cruising should be reported to West Midlands Police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.
The injunction 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 same area.
It will remain in place until at least January 2021 and 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.
Anyone breaching the injunction risks of being in contempt of court, for which they can face up to two years in prison and/or a fine. They could also have assets – such as their vehicle – seized and crushed.
For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/carcruisingban.