9th Dec, 2016

Solihull boy racers could face jail following High Court change

Solihull Editorial 24th Aug, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

BOY RACERS in Solihull could now face jail time after a High Court Judge banned car-cruising in the borough.

A borough-wide ban on motor vehicle racing has been granted to Solihull Council by the High Court in Birmingham, meaning police can now arrest drivers and their passengers participating in car-cruising or racing motor bikes in Solihull.

The injunction follows ten years of problems with dangerous and anti-social car-cruise events, which sees drivers racing or showing off their vehicles on public roads.

Since 2006 the car-cruise events have been causing significant problems for local residents, businesses and road users from both motor bikes, and groups of ‘modded’ car owners and spectators in a variety of locations across the borough

The events are often advertised on social media and attract vehicles and their owners driving at excessive speeds, performing stunts, making dangerous manoeuvers and racing for crowds of spectators.

In Solihull some crowds have also reportedly behaved in a threatening and abusive manner, harassing residents, businesses and intimidating other people.

For years, the council has been trying to stop the events or shut them down quickly with the help of police, landowners, residents and businesses.

However, the powers available to the council and police prior to this injunction could only deal with individual acts of dangerous driving, anti-social behaviour and were therefore difficult to apply to large groups.

But this injunction means drivers and their passengers as well as spectators and anyone else involved in or promoting car-cruising activities can be arrested and could go to jail.

Councillor Tony Dicicco, solihull council’s Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, welcomed the injunction and said it would allow car-cruising to be dealt with in a ‘much more straightforward way’.

He added: “It sends a clear message to the car-cruisers; don’t come to Solihull if you want to stay out of prison.

“And to motor cyclists and those with quad bikes, to use them responsibly.

“We didn’t seek these wide-ranging legal powers lightly.

“But all our efforts have not curtailed this anti-social behaviour.

“This injunction is a powerful determent to anyone thinking about setting-up or being involved, in any way, with a car-cruise event.”

Coun Dicicco described the behaviour of those responsible as ‘appalling’ and said they didn’t care about how terrifying their actions were for Solihull residents or road users.

He added: “Car-cruising is not some harmless pastime, as some of its supposedly responsible proponents suggest.

“The events are blighting the lives of many or our residents, causing damage to businesses and they usually result in the council or landowners having to clean up the mess spectators leave.

“They also take up valuable police time that could be used keeping our communities safe.

“Solihull has said enough is enough and now we have to legal powers to make it stick.”

The injunction will come into force next Thursday – September 1.

Anyone concerned about car-cruising or anti-social motor bike activities should call police on 101 quoting ‘Operation Kickstart’.

Information can also be provided via the Safer Solihull website or given anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.