"You will be arrested" was the stark warning given to suspected car cruisers stopped by police on Sunday night (22 February) following the introduction of a ground breaking injunction across the Black Country.

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The operation was conducted at a number of car cruising 'hotspots' including the Black Country Route in Bilston, the Birmingham New Road on the Wolverhampton/Dudley border and in areas of Walsall, Darlaston and Dudley.

During the 4 hour operation, officers issued 15 warnings and drivers were advised that if they were caught again they could be arrested and face a jail sentence.

Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall councils, working in partnership with West Midlands Police, secured the 3 year injunction from the High Court in Birmingham on Monday 1 December, 2014. The application was led by Wolverhampton City Council.

The injunction forbids people from participating in a 'car cruise' anywhere within the Black Country - and therefore within the 4 boroughs of Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall - or from promoting, organising or publicising any car cruising event within the same area.

Car cruising - the act of drivers meeting on the public highway on either an organised or impromptu basis to race or show off in their cars - is noisy, dangerous and illegal.

Inspector Tracy Meir, from Wolverhampton police station, said: "Sunday night's operation involved a lot of hard work and co-ordination by all officers and partners within the Black Country and is just the start of our work.

"We issued warning to drivers believed involved in car cruising with the promise that they will either have their cars seized and or be arrested if they are caught in our area again.

"The new injunction means we now have a power of arrest and those found engaging or participating in car cruising anywhere within the Black Country will be guilty of contempt of court and can be sent to prison for up to 2 years. Not only could they lose their cars but they could also lose their liberty."

Speaking on behalf of the partners, Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: "Car cruising has been a bone of contention for local residents and businesses for many years.

"The activities are not only wholly anti social, but also illegal and dangerous, putting the safety of participants and spectators at risk. We want to put a stop to the menace of car cruising which is making life a misery for so many people across the Black Country."

Inspector Meir added: "The injunction has been granted following considerable work completed by the 4 Black Country local authorities and West Midlands Police.

"It is expected that the issuing of the injunction will not only have a positive impact on the quality of life of local residents, it will also help to ensure the roads and public spaces across the Black Country remain safe and protected from car cruising activity.

"Many local residents have endured years of excessive noise from the poorly maintained and on occasion illegally modified vehicles as well as verbal abuse and intimidation from drivers and spectators.

"We will continue to run these operations for the duration of the injunction and ask for members of the public to report any incidents of car cruising."

Anyone affected by car cruising is urged to call West Midlands Police on 101. Alternatively people can leave information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers the independent charity on 0800 555 111.

For more information on the high court injunction, please visit Type=articles;Articleid=5901;Title=Car cruising injunction;.

  • released: Tuesday 24 February, 2015