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Illegal car cruisers warned they face losing their insurance

Scores of drivers have been sent official warnings by West Midlands Police after their cars were seen at an illegal cruising event.

The vehicles were seen at an event with more than 150 vehicles at Heartlands Parkway, Bickenhill and Bassetts Pole on Sunday (25 October), with those who flout the law being warned they could have their car insurance cancelled.

Around 180 drivers, registered to a total of 83 cars, have been contacted, with letters going as far afield as Falkirk in Scotland, and West Yorkshire.

The drivers are aged between 18 and 69 although not all would have been behind the wheel when their cars were spotted. 

The letters were sent earlier this week from officers on Operation Hercules, the policing response to the illegal gatherings.

Last month, the injunction banning them from taking place was extended by three years, to 1 September, 2022.

Drivers or passengers suspected of breaching it can be arrested on the spot and have to go to court within 24 hours. They can be fined or jailed for up to two years, and the ban also applies to people who go to watch the events.

During the last three years, 30 people have been arrested, with 16 defendants receiving prison sentences − and being given an immediate prison sentence.

Drivers contacted this week have been warned that if their cars are spotted at events in the future, police may tell their insurers − meaning policies could be cancelled or premiums shoot up.

Motorists who have their insurance cancelled could have their livelihoods as they might find it difficult to get policies in the future.

The letters warn: “We believe your vehicle was actively involved in street cruising, or was promoting it, by spectating.

“We receive lots of complaints from members of the public about the dangers, disruption and excessive noise caused by street cruising.

“It undoubtedly causes a significant risk of harm to members of the public and those participating in it.

“If you reside in local authority accommodation, you might wish to know that a proven breach of an injunction could lead to the local authority issuing legal proceedings to take possession of your home. This could lead to an eviction."

DC Mark Bates, from Operation Hercules, said: “It’s important that members of the public continue to report these offences to us. 

“We are taking them seriously and working with our partners to reduce the risk of death and serious injury on our roads. 

“We are not against hard working people who want to socially meet up however we would encourage them to do it in a safe and responsible manner." 

Anyone with information for Operation Hercules can ring 101, extension 8926010, or e-mail op_hercules@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk

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