Jordan Evans, age 23, of Lakeside Close, Willenhall, and Jack Buchanan, 21, of Harthill Road, Wolverhampton, admitted taking part in a car cruise in Bilston in the early hours of Sunday 10 March, 2018.
A local resident reported hearing loud engine noises and witnessed a number of vehicles racing along Springvale Avenue, two-by-two, for approximately 15 minutes.
This is in contravention of the ground breaking injunction, granted by the High Court in 2014, which 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.
Evans and Buchanan had previously denied breaching the injunction but changed their pleas earlier this month and appeared in court yesterday (Monday 21 January, 2019) for sentencing. Evans was fined £1,000 and Buchanan £1,250, with both ordered to pay costs of £2,000 each. An application to commit a third defendant was dismissed.
His Honour Judge McKenna, sitting as a High Court judge, said: "Car cruising is a serious problem for a number of local authorities in the Midlands, and the seriousness of the conduct alleged against the 2 respondents should not be underestimated. In each case I bear in mind it is a first breach, and I am satisfied that there will be no repetition of the behaviour which took place on 10 March last year."
Springvale Avenue is a known hotspot for car cruising, with five individuals pleading guilty in November to participating in a cruise there on Saturday 17 March, 2018, an incident which was reported to police by the same witness. They received sentences ranging from a suspended jail sentence to fines, while all 5 were ordered to pay costs.
Both cases were brought by the City of Wolverhampton Council which, together with Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall councils and West Midlands Police, secured the injunction which came into force in February 2015.
Councillor Hazel Malcolm, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Street racing is completely unacceptable and, once again, the authorities have demonstrated a zero tolerance to car cruising.
"The activities are not only illegal but also dangerous, putting the safety of participants and spectators at risk. It is also anti social, generating late night noise nuisance and disturbances for people living near to car cruising hotspots."
Councillor Val Gibson, Cabinet Member for Governance, added: "People who think about taking part in a car cruise in the Black Country - whether as a driver, passenger or even spectator - will be in breach of the High Court injunction and should be very clear about the likely consequences. The same applies to people who either organise a car cruise or actively promote it."
Nearly 40 individuals have now been found to be in breach of the injunction. They have received sentences ranging from 3 months imprisonment to suspended jail sentences and fines of up to £2,000, as well as being ordered to pay costs. People who breach the injunction can also face having assets - such as vehicles - seized and crushed.
The injunction 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.