Boy racers could face prison if they continue to make life a misery for residents and motorists at three notorious car cruising blackspots in Nottinghamshire.
Tough new measures secured through the courts today (Friday 16 January 2015) will ban large gatherings of ‘car cruisers’ in the streets of Hucknall and Annesley surrounding junction 27 of the M1, Chilwell Retail Park, and Victoria Retail Park in Netherfield.
Hundreds of vehicles meet up to race against each other, perform stunts and blast music from car stereos on retail parks and public roads in gatherings which can go on until the early hours of the morning.
Nottinghamshire County Council, with the support of Nottinghamshire Police and other community safety partners, has secured an Injunction Order which bans boy racers from a range of car cruising activity at the three locations.
Councillor Alice Grice, Vice-Chair of Community Safety Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Car cruising is anti-social for nearby residents and businesses and dangerous for those taking part and other road-users.
“I am delighted that we have been able to secure this injunction today, which provides significant, extra powers to the police to curb the ‘boy racers’. The success of the injunction in Netherfield should provide encouragement to businesses and residents in Chilwell and Hucknall that these powers do deter anti-social driving and car cruising.
“People who behave and drive recklessly in these locations in the future should be left in no doubt that they face the genuine possibility of prison sentence if they continue to behave in a way which is dangerous, intimidating and distressing to local people and road users.”
Andy Charlton of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “We find the way that some of those attending these events drive in a manner that can cause harm and risk to other road users and themselves. The large number of attendees can also be intimidating and lead to antisocial behaviour.
“These injunctions continue to give us powers to warn drivers about racing, riding in convoy, driving at excessive speed, watching or filming car cruising activity and other potentially dangerous action and raise awareness of the consequences. If they subsequently breach the warning they can be taken to court. Safety is our main concern and this injunction will prevent large numbers of vehicles meeting up at junction 27 of the M1, Chilwell Retail Park and Victoria Retail Park in Netherfield for the next three years.”
The Injunction comes into force with immediate effect and will remain in force until January 2018.
Anyone found to be in breach will be issued with an explanatory notice in writing warning that if they take part in car cruising activity in the areas identified they will be in contempt of court, which carries a maximum two year jail sentence and/or unlimited fine.
A spokesman said: “Actions that would be in breach of the injunction includes racing, riding in convoy, driving at excessive speed, drifting (driving sideways around traffic islands) and watching or filming car cruising activity. The order will be in place until 16 January 2018.”
Nottinghamshire Police has put considerable resources into tackling boy racer activity through increased patrols, special operations, the use of CCTV and ANPR cameras and dispersal powers. It is hoped that the more severe penalties available through the Injunction - including the threat of prison - will serve as an added deterrent.
The Victoria Retail Park injunction is an extension to an existing order, which has been in place since March 2012. Prior to the injunction being secured, up to 200 vehicles and spectators were known to congregate for regular Sunday night meet-ups. The gatherings, which often lasted late into the night, caused misery for local residents, retail park customers and businesses.
However, complaints have fallen dramatically since the injunction was secured and the County Council and its partners are hoping the success of the additional powers will have a similar impact at Chilwell Retail Park and roads at Hucknall and Annesley, near to junction 27 of the M1 motorway.