Date set for appeal to renew High Court car cruising ban in the Black Country

Councils in the Black Country will return to the High Court later this month to seek the renewal of an injunction banning car cruising in the region for a further three years.

The injunction banning car cruising in the Black Country came into force in February 2015
The injunction banning car cruising in the Black Country came into force in February 2015

At the hearing on January 27, they will request an extension of the existing injunction, as well as a variation to it – so it applies not only to people organising and participating in a car cruise, but to spectators as well.

The injunction has proved successful in dramatically reducing incidents of car cruising across the Black Country since its introduction nearly six years ago. It prohibits 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 areas.

The current injunction is due to expire in February and the four councils – Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell and Dudley – and West Midlands Police are working together to secure its extension until 2024.

Their application on January 27 will also ask the High Court to vary the injunction, so that those actively spectating at a car cruise are in future deemed to be participating in the event, and therefore in breach of the injunction.

'Incredibly effective'

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, Wolverhampton Council's cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: "The car cruising injunction has been incredibly effective since its introduction in February 2015, and we are naturally keen to ensure that it remains in effect for another three years.

"It has significantly reduced instances of car cruising across the region, though the problem still persists in some areas and so it's important that the injunction stays in place in order to crack down on the issue as and when it occurs.

"We also want to extend the scope of the injunction so that it covers spectators for the first time. As well as encouraging car cruisers to show off in the first place, we've also seen multiple cases of spectators getting injured at car cruises around the country. And they are not only putting themselves at risk, they are putting members of the public in harm’s way by standing in the road or blocking pavements.

"Spectators are covered by a similar car cruising injunction in force in Birmingham and Solihull, and so it makes perfect sense to vary the terms of our injunction and bring the Black Country injunction in line with that of our neighbours."

More than 50 individuals have been subject to committal proceedings for breaching the junction since 2015. One defendant received an immediate custodial sentence of three months, over a dozen were given suspended sentences of up to six months – while others have received fines of up to £2,000 and were ordered to pay costs.

In addition, more than 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 hearing on January 27 will take place remotely due to coronavirus restrictions and people are invited to submit comments and observations by emailing by 4pm on January 21.

Incidents of car cruising should be reported to West Midlands Police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.

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