Cars seized as West Midlands Police break-up “car cruiser” gathering in Sandwell
West Midlands Police broke up a large group of “car cruisers” last night as officers ramped up the pressure on street racers and large social gatherings.
Traffic cops and officers from the force’s Operational Support Unit were out in force on the lookout for gatherings of anti-social drivers.
They attended the Windmill Shopping Centre, Sandwell, at 6.45pm following reports dozens of cars had congregated and drivers were causing a nuisance.
Police vehicles were positioned to block the car park’s exit and a total of 21 motorists given what’s called a Section 59 Notice.
That notice lasts for 12 months and means if officers catch them driving anti-socially at any stage in the next year they will seize their car. Additionally, if caught driving irresponsibly in someone else’s car, police also have the power to seize that vehicle.
A BMW M140i was seized for being uninsured while a Vauxhall was seized after officers found the driver had previously been issued with a Sec 59 Notice.
PC Mitch Darby from the WMP Traffic Unit, said: “That goes to show that our Section 59 powers have teeth and cannot be ignored. They are a warning… and if people ignore that warning we will seize their vehicle.
“We take street racing and car cruising very seriously. They pose a danger on our roads to law-abiding motorists and plague communities with anti-social behaviour.
“Over the years we’ve taken strong action against offenders: hundreds have been taken to court and been landed with driving bans and heavy fines.
“We have also worked with councils in Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country to secure Street Racing Injunctions – and anyone caught street racing risks being jailed.”
The High Court injunction covers all of Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country and bans people from taking part in car cruising – including speeding, racing, driving in convoy, performing stunts and obstructing the highway – plus marketing or encouraging such activity.
West Midlands Police emphasised that they “have repeatedly asked” anyone thinking of socialising in large groups to think of the impact they have on the local community, especially with the added risk of spreading COVID-19.