A team of 50 police officers in several police vans, motorbikes and cars blocked off both carriageways of Fort Parkway in a carefully co-ordinated operation to stop the car cruisers on Sunday night.
During the operation, 167 injunctions were served by BASBU officers, 12 fixed penalties were also issued by the police for offences including vehicle disrepair, no display of licence plates and excess speed.
The racers had been gathering through the evening around the B and Q entrance, pairs of cars racing at high speed between the traffic islands. Then at 9.30pm, three police vans and a number of motorbikes emerged from the Chester Road and immediately blocked off the dual carriageway. The police team, co-ordinated by Acting Superintendent Richard Youds, issued drivers and passengers with copies of the injunction granted last month by the County Court. The 12-page documents state that a further offence could result in confiscation of the vehicle or imprisonment for the driver and passengers.
“These drivers should be in no doubt that we shall return if the car cruising activity persists,” said Superintendent Youds. One of the drivers they had stopped had no insurance, he said.
Jagveen Bagary of Birmingham’s Anti Social Behaviour Unit who had jointly co-ordinated the swoop with the police said that she was aware that the car cruisers might move on to another location. But, she said, they hoped the Courts would grant a pan-Birmingham injunction to ban the car cruising across the whole of the City. “These people drive dangerously and they intimidate other road users,” she said. “Their behaviour is unacceptable and we will not tolerate it.” She acknowledged that the courts have been cautious about granting injunctions in the past. “It is thanks to the Warwickshire Police, who effectively used the Section 222 Court Order to stop the racing at Hams Hall,” she said. “The courts want to distinguish between car cruising and speeding. Car cruising is a co-ordinated activity. A normal car user might be caught speeding, but we don’t want an injunction to deal with that. We needed the injunction to deal with the car cruisers.”