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Street racers warned they could lose car, job or liberty

Street racers are being warned they could lose their car, their job or even their liberty if they take part in a car cruise in the Black Country.

An injunction is in force banning people from taking part in a car cruise anywhere within the 4 Black Country boroughs - Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton - or from promoting, organising or publicising such an event.

And the authorities are warning they won't hesitate to take action against anyone who breaches it.

The injunction, introduced in February 2015, defines car cruising as the act of drivers meeting on the public highway on an organised or impromptu basis to race or show off in their cars. Anyone who breaches it risks being in contempt of court, for which they could face up to 2 years in prison and a fine.

Police can also take action against individuals for traffic offences including driving without due care and attention, driving without insurance - no insurance policy covers illegal street racing - or driving an unroadworthy vehicle.

Already 11 people have been convicted of contempt of court since the injunction came into force - including 7 earlier this month - and further prosecutions are pending. There has also been a significant reduction in car cruising activity across the Black Country.

Karen Samuels, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Head of Community Safety, said: "Street racing is completely unacceptable and we will not tolerate it.

"People who think about taking part in a car cruise - whether as a driver, passenger or even spectator - should be very clear about the likely consequences. The same applies to people who either organise a car cruise or actively promote it."

Chief Inspector Jed White from West Midlands Police's Motorway Policing unit added: "The injunction enables us, together with our partners, to continue to tackle those individuals who flout the laws of the road and pose a danger for innocent members of the public.

"Anyone who is convicted of contempt of court by breaching the injunction could face jail or be hit with a large fine. At the same time, by committing traffic offences they could be banned from driving or have their car seized."

The injunction was introduced last year to tackle the menace of car cruising, which was blighting the lives of residents and having a detrimental impact on businesses throughout the region. And it has had an instant impact, with police and councils reporting a significant reduction in car cruising across the Black Country, and the problem being eliminated altogether in many areas.

The injunction prohibits a number of activities and consequences typically associated with car cruising, including speeding, racing or driving in convoy, performing stunts, obstructing the highway, excessive noise, and causing the risk of harm to people or property.

The 4 Black Country councils and West Midlands Police secured the ground breaking injunction after receiving hundreds of complaints about car cruising from residents and businesses over a number of years.

They ranged from complaints about dangerous driving, speeding and vehicles and spectators obstructing highways or residential or business properties, to excessive noise, littering, verbal abuse and intimidation.

For more information about the 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: Thursday 21 April, 2016