Express & Star

Star comment: Time for cops to put brakes on menace of car cruisers

Anyone in the Black Country with their windows open on these warm evenings will have heard the revving engines, the screech of brakes, and the roar of cars as they race on our streets.


It is a nightly occurrence and has already caused tragedy – yet illegal car cruising has somehow become part of the routine.

Now Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris has written to West Midlands Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford demanding that “urgent reassurance” resources will be directed to tackle car cruising.

He is right. Anyone living near Manor Way, Penn Road, Birmingham New Road or the Black Country Route – and there are countless other examples – will know exactly when and where these problems are going to happen. And yet there never appears to be an unmarked police car with a speed gun handy to clamp down on this menace once and for all.

We pay a hefty price for local policing through various taxes and have a reasonable and legitimate expectation that officers will crack down on anti-social behaviour. All too often, that expectation is not met, whether that’s in the lack of assistance for burglaries or a variety of so-called petty crimes.

Yet those incidents are burdensome for law-abiding residents who simply want to live safely and in peace.

The police need to win our trust by working on our behalf and it doesn’t take world-beating intelligence-gathering to identify the location of cruising hot spots.

A short, sharp shock will deter all but the hardiest of cruisers – and that’s what we expect from police. Action is long overdue. We ought to be able to use our roads without risk of running into one of these lunatics.


An independent investigation will take place following the prison escape of a former Staffordshire soldier accused of terrorism charges.

Daniel Abed Khalife, 21, went missing in his cook’s uniform from HMP Wandsworth, prompting extra security checks at major transport hubs. He was in jail awaiting trial for charges that include planting a fake bomb at RAF Stafford.

Now reviews will take place regarding the categorisation and placement of all HMP Wandsworth prisoners and all those in custody charged with terrorism offences.

Prisoner escapes are rare. But sources from the jail talk of it being understaffed and that those who do work their have limited experience. This in a jail that is already well over its official capacity.

We can only hope that Khalife is caught promptly and that lessons are learned in the longer term.