The ground breaking injunction has significantly reduced instances of car cruising since its introduction in 2015 and will now remain in place until at least 2021.
It 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.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "The injunction has been very successful. It has acted as a deterrent to those previously involved in, or thinking about taking part in, car cruising, and has significantly reduced instances of car cruising throughout the region, eliminating it altogether in some of the former hotspots.
"We've also noticed a real drop off in the number of reports of car cruising since the turn of this year. Nevertheless, the problem has not been totally eliminated and that's why the injunction will remain in place until at least 2021 and enable the authorities to continue to tackle the nuisance, danger and anti-social issues caused by car cruising."
51 individuals have been subject to committal proceedings for breaching the injunction since 2015. One defendant received an immediate custodial sentence of 3 months, 14 were given suspended sentences of up to 6 months while others received fines of up to £2,000 and were ordered to pay costs. A further 13 respondents have given undertakings to the court.
In addition, over 100 warning letters have been issued, and in all but one instance no future offending behaviour has been reported. Meanwhile, police continue to undertake regular car cruise operations, supported by technology including drones which has enabled the authorities to secure high quality video evidence of gatherings.
The injunction, secured by the City of Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall councils and West Midlands Police in December 2014, defines car cruising as:
- 2 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 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.
For more information, please visit Car cruising injunction. Incidents of car cruising should be reported to West Midlands Police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.
Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Governance, added: "Car cruising is not only illegal but also dangerous, putting the safety of participants and spectators at risk. It also generates late night noise and disturbances for people living near to hotspots.
“The injunction is playing a crucial role in helping the authorities tackle the nuisance, danger and anti social problems it causes, and sends out a clear message that people who organise, promote or take part in a car cruise in the Black Country – whether they are a driver or passenger – will be in contempt of court and will face the consequences.”