The High Court has granted a full and final injunction banning 'street racing', also known as 'car cruising', in the Black Country.

It prohibits people from participating, as a driver, a rider or a passenger, in a gathering of 2 or more people at which some of those present engage in motor racing or motor stunts or other dangerous or obstructive driving.

Unlike the interim injunction which has been in place since 2022, the full injunction also covers organisers and spectators, prohibiting people from promoting, organising or publicising gatherings, or from participating in a gathering as a spectator with the intention or expectation that some of those present will engage in street racing.

The injunction covers the whole of the boroughs of Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall and anyone breaching it will be in contempt of court and could face penalties including imprisonment, a fine, or an order to have their assets seized.

Granting the final injunction at the High Court in Birmingham yesterday (Tuesday 27 February, 2024), Mr Justice Julian Knowles said: "Car cruising is a euphemism; it's organised dangerous driving and there have sadly been injuries and fatalities."

PC Mark Campbell, from the Operation Hercules team, West Midlands Police’s tactical response to street racing in the West Midlands, described the injunction as "highly valuable and a tried and tested means of prevention and resolution", without which "there will be a serious collision in which people are very likely to be seriously injured or killed."

He told the court: "It is only a matter of time before the high speed driving involved in organised races leads to another multiple fatality incident – this may be the driver of the vehicle, an innocent member of the public or any number of spectators actively taking part in the street cruising meet."

He said that he has witnessed "400 plus" vehicles at street cruises in locations like the Black Country Route in Bilston or Manor Way, Halesowen, and that the "potential for a very serious collision is massive" because of the speeds involved. When police are called, "the street cruisers drive off in a chaotic manner, over central reservations, along footpaths, sometimes travelling the wrong way down a dual carriageway into oncoming vehicles", and that is it "only a matter of time this will result in a fatal collision".

He also highlighted the police resources needed to deal with street racing, which are "therefore not providing policing to other parts of the community." In addition, traffic, police dogs, drone teams and helicopters are often required to intervene and add support, at huge cost to taxpayers.

He added: "The price paid by communities is incalculable. They are exposed to a high level of harm, noise, intimidation, disruption and threats. I have personally spoken to members of the public who are at their wits ends. One was assaulted after approaching a group of street cruisers performing stunts, one even had suicidal thoughts of the constant noise and intimidation."

The court was shown video footage of street racing meets in the Black Country and elsewhere, including an event in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, on 18 July, 2019 in which a serious collision occurred at a street racing event, resulting in 1 person suffering life changing injuries and 16 others being injured. Two drivers involved were convicted of dangerous driving and PC Campbell said: "The fact that no one was killed was purely down to luck".

Mr Justice Julian Knowles said the videos “show cars racing at high speed, organised dangerous driving, with spectators watching, filming, encouraging. Spectators are putting themselves at very considerable danger."

Team Leader for Wolverhampton Anti-Social Behaviour Team Pardip Nagra, who presented evidence including statements from councillors, MPs, residents and businesses across the Black Country, told the court: "I believe it is vital that we have an injunction in place across the Black Country to enable West Midlands Police and the 4 councils to continue to tackle the dangerous and anti-social activity of car cruising. 

"There is overwhelming support from local residents and businesses who, prior to the previous injunction being in place, had all suffered for many years and who are concerned that, without an injunction, the scale of the car cruising issue will return to the levels experienced previously."

The application was led by the City of Wolverhampton Council on behalf of Dudley Council, Sandwell Council and Walsall Council, and supported by West Midlands Police. Speaking for the claimants, Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing, said: "We are delighted that the High Court has seen fit to grant this full and final injunction which will help us continue to tackle the menace of street racing in the Black Country.

"The wealth of evidence presented to the court makes it clear the impact this anti-social, irresponsible and highly dangerous behaviour has had on people across our region, and the tragic incidents both locally and nationally which have caused serious injuries and even fatalities, and I would like to thank everyone who has shared their experiences so candidly."

For more information about the injunction, please visit the street racing pages of the applicants – Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell or Dudley – which are in the process of being updated. 

Incidents of street racing should be reported via or to West Midlands Police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.

The injunction and power of arrest will remain in force for a period of at least 3 years, and will be subject to an annual review. It will come into force in the coming days, once the claimants have completed certain service provisions. In the meantime, the interim injunction and power of arrest remain in force.

To contact the claimants, write to: FAO: Black Country Car Cruise, Legal Services, City of Wolverhampton Council, Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1RG. Alternatively, email or call 01902 556556.