EFFORTS to clamp down on illegal, dangerous street racing shifts up a gear as a new city-wide ban comes into force to deter anti-social driving and protect the public.
The High Court Order forbids any person from taking part in “street cruising” (racing or performing stunts, involving cars or motor cycles or any motor vehicle ) or from promoting or organising street cruising gatherings to take place on public highways or any area to which the public has access. This includes drivers, passengers, spectators and organisers.
The Order will be in force from 24th October 2016 for three years. It is important to note there is no time restriction on this order and offences can take place of any time of the day or night.
Offenders risk being arrested. If caught, participants can expect driving bans and fines of up to £5,000 fine and can have their vehicle seized and crushed! Adults breaching the High Court Injunction can face up to 2 years imprisonment and youths can be fined and have their assets seized for contempt of court.
Earlier this summer, police action saw 35 bikes seized and nine people arrested on suspicion of a range of offences including public nuisance and criminal damage following a series of warrants executed across the region.
Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police have been working together after residents and local businesses had endured months of dangerous driving in their local area.
Local councillors received regular reports of youths riding scooters, off-road motorbikes, quad bikes, unlicensed motorbikes and on occasion pushbikes been used in a manner that was causing distress to the general public and creating extreme danger to themselves and the public by riding on public highways, pavements, public park spaces riding carelessly disregarding those around them, riding in groups, swearing and being abusive to passers-by.
This is in addition to the mounting complaints and safety concerns raised by local residents, drivers and businesses who have been confronted with dangerous driving, noise levels and large congregations of spectators caused by car racing on public roads in their local area with total disregard for public safety.
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council have recently obtained a similar injunction across their borough in addition to an order already in force across the Black Country four local authority areas. West Midlands Police are working in partnership with the local authorities and neighbouring Alliance Police Forces and councils , to ensure that the activity is not being pushed from one local authority area to another.
Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transparency, Openness and Equality in Birmingham commented:
“Street cruising in the city has escalated recently posing a real threat to innocent, law-abiding motorists and pedestrians who are going about their everyday business as well as causing considerable noise disturbance and inconvenience for local residents and businesses. It would only take one vehicle to lose control for us to witness devastating consequences.
“Anyone who races on Birmingham’s roads and in public areas needs to understand they will be found and prosecuted and are likely to lose their licence, face a fine running into thousands of pounds and possibly imprisonment.”
Chief Superintendent Dave Sturman said: “This summer has seen a huge amount of work achieved in tackling illegal street racing and anti-social off-road biking. This is not always visible to the public, but everyone should be reassured we are taking action, through warrants, seizing bikes and working with the council to secure court orders such as this to curb this activity which is not only a danger to the offenders themselves, but to the wider general public.”
Birmingham City Council and its partners will also consider tenancy enforcement action for tenants or family members identified as being offenders in breach of this High Court Injunction.
Members of the public are urged to contact West Midlands Police on 101 if they have any information on those involved in street-cruising in the city.
Notes to Editors:
- Please contact Natasha Bhandal on 0121 303 8727 or Birmingham City Council Newsdesk on 0121 303 3287.
- Reports can be made anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Crimestoppers is a national charity who provide secure means for people to get information to the police, anonymously and without fear of retribution, making their families and communities safer.
- A copy of the signed order can be found here. A local authority map can be found here.