Concerns raised about car cruising in the Black Country

Concerns have been raised about car cruising in areas of the Black Country, despite an injunction banning it on the region's roads.

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

Reports of car cruising in parts of West Bromwich and the Penn area, in Wolverhampton, have increased in recent weeks.

It comes despite an injunction banning car cruising across the Black Country was extended until 2021. Concerns have been raised with the police and Wolverhampton Council in relation to an area around the Penn Road, while West Midlands Police are looking into complaints about car cruising in Kenrick Way, in West Bromwich.

One Penn resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "We hear a lot of high-powered engines and big exhausts and what sounds like cars accelerating quickly. The turn from Goldthorn Avenue to Birchwood Road is like a racing turn and I have seen some people really hammer around that turn with no regard for what's coming up.

"It is scary to think that people race around here because there's a lot of families and young children and with there also being an exit out of Ryecroft Avenue, I'm amazed there hasn't been a serious crash yet."

A Wolverhampton Council spokesman said: "We have recently been made aware of an issue of car cruising along the Penn Road and we are looking into the matter.

"A High Court injunction secured by the council came into effect in 2015, banning car cruising in Wolverhampton and the Black Country. The injunction has proved very effective in addressing the issue across the region and the council and police take any breaches of the injunction very seriously, with over 50 individuals subject to committal since 2015.

"Residents can help us by reporting any incidents of car cruising to West Midlands Police by calling 101. In an emergency, always dial 999."

Sandwell Council's deputy leader, Councillor Maria Crompton, said: “We are aware of complaints relating to car cruising on Kenrick Way and we are actively working with West Midlands Police to resolve them. We have pulled together a working group to tackle the problem including representatives from highways, housing, police and others.

“The police have issued more than 100 warning notices to individuals involved in street racing and car cruising in Kenrick Way, the vast majority of whom were not Sandwell residents. They risk having their vehicles seized if they are found to be involved in anti-social behaviour again within the next 12 months. Police have shared details of these vehicles and their owners with the council and owners may face further action as a result.”

A West Midlands Police spokesman added: "Car cruising has been an issue across the wider West Midlands for a long time, with meet ups often attracting hundreds of cars and spectators. We are doing all we can to crackdown on this activity and are warning people that we will be on the lookout for street racers and anti-social car gatherings under Operation Hercules which uses traffic resources on our key arterial routes across the West Midlands, where we have a number of injunctions in place.

"The dangerous driving and excessive noise from car cruising always results in a number of calls to police and we are continuing to develop a number of plans to prosecute offenders.

"We don’t underestimate the distress it causes local residents and we are working with our partners to come to an agreement about feasible long term measures such as average speed cameras and CCTV.

"The West Bromwich police neighbourhood team have recently issued warning notices to several drivers involved in street racing and car cruising on Kenrick Way, which means that their car can be seized if they are found to be involved in further anti-social behaviour."

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