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Councillor welcomes police crackdown on street racers

Motorists who are prepared to put people's lives at risk by racing on roads must accept they could end up in jail.

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Car cruising ban

That's the warning from West Midlands Police as it reiterates the consequences for any drivers who ignore a car cruising injunction in place across the Black Country, Birmingham and Solihull.

It comes after 4 drivers appeared at Birmingham County Court on Monday (15 January) on suspicion of breaching the injunction on Sunday night in Birmingham.

The 4 men − aged 18, 26, 27 and 31 − are alleged to have been engaged in street racing, weaving between traffic, aggressively undertaking other motorists and driving well in excess of the speed limits. They were bailed to return at a later date.

The Birmingham ban was introduced in 2016, a year after a ground breaking injunction was brought in across the Black Country, banning 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 4 areas.

Anyone breaching the Black Country injunction - secured at the High Court by the 4 Black Country councils and West Midlands Police - risks being in contempt of court, for which they can face up to 2 years in prison and a fine. The authorities can also seize assets such as vehicles. In addition, police retain their powers in relation to traffic offences.

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.

"It is great to see West Midlands Police taking decisive action against people suspected of car cruising; this week's activity follows on from the successful prosecution of 17 individuals for breaching the Black Country ban over the last couple of years.

"The message is clear - if you are caught car cruising, you could be jailed, fined and have your vehicle seized and crushed."

West Midlands Police Superintendent Dean Hatton, head of Force Traffic, said: "We've taken a really firm stance on street racers in recent years: more than 200 have been taken to court and handed heavy fines and driving bans.

"These arrests should highlight that it still an issue we take very seriously and anyone convicted of ignoring the injunction needs to understand we will take them to court − and the punishment can be very severe."

The Black Country injunction was extended for a further 3 years by the High Court last week, and now continues until 1 February, 2021.

It 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.

For more information, about the Black Country injunction please visit Car cruising injunction.

Incidents of car cruising should be reported to West Midlands Police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.

  •  released: Tuesday 16 January, 2018