Stoke-on-Trent City Council in Staffordshire has been granted a two year injunction against “car cruisers” on Festival Park.
The injunction, the product of 18 months work between the council and Staffordshire Police, means that anyone breaching the injunction could eventually face a fine or a maximum two year prison sentence.
Anyone breaching the injunction will first have their name placed on the injunction specifically, and a further offence will see them subject to a court appearance, fine and/or custodial sentence.
The injunction will operate initially on Festival Park alone, but can be expanded to other areas if the problem spreads to different parts of the city.
Starting with immediate effect, there will be a three week “education period”, informing anyone breaching the injunction of the possible penalties they will face, before enforcement action begins on 14 September.
“Car cruising” has been defined as a congregation of the drivers of two or more vehicles between the hours of 7pm and 7am within Festival Park. Additional rules regarding the injunction include:
Danger to other road users and pedestrians
Damage or risk of damage to private property
LitterCausing a nuisance to anyone not participating in the “car cruise”
Also covered by the injunction are activities such as driving at excessive speed, driving in convoy, racing, stunts, shouting, swearing, or other forms of anti social behaviour.
Inspector Shaun Kerrigan, City Centre Neighbourhood Policing Unit Commander, said: “The injunction will allow the people who live and work on Festival Park to feel a lot more secure about themselves and their community. There is a still lot of work to be done in addressing a problem that has become bigger not just here but in other parts of the country as well.
“Hopefully this is the first step in Stoke-on-Trent tackling that problem on a large scale, and we have the provision to extend the injunction if the problem displaces to other areas.”
Ross Irving, Stoke-on-Trent City Council Leader, said: “A lot of hard work has been done by us, Staffordshire Police and the residents and businesses of Festival Park to get this injunction. The injunction can be expanded to other parts of the city if it is needed to.
“This shows that the city will not tolerate any kind of anti social behaviour and take the strongest measures possible to make sure people are safe and secure in their communities.”