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100 ‘car cruisers’ dispersed by police in illegal gathering clampdown

More than 100 car cruisers were quickly broken up by police in Nottinghamshire as the force issued a further warning to those who continue to put public health at risk.

100 ‘car cruisers’ dispersed by police in illegal gathering clampdown

Officers swiftly attended Blenheim Park Industrial Estate in Hucknall at around 10pm on Sunday 9 May 2021 after multiple calls from members of the public.

Upon arrival, police dispersed the large gathering and quickly sent the drivers on their way. An investigation has now been launched to identify the individuals responsible.

It comes as the force has continued its clamp down on illegal gatherings, with quick attendance to disperse car meetings in East Midlands Parkway and Beeston in April 2021.

In another incident, £200 fixed penalty notices were issued to 15 people at a car meeting in Mansfield in January 2021.

Today, Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Mark Dickson has issued a firm warning to those who are not only causing issues for local residents, but also risking spreading coronavirus.

Inspector Dickson said: “These reckless illegal car meetings are a concern for local residents due to noise and the potential for irresponsible dangerous driving.

“Further to this, the government guidance is that you can meet up outdoors with friends and family you do no live with, either in a group of up to six from any number of households or in a group of any size from up to two households.

“The majority of large gatherings such as car meetings are not allowed during Covid-19. While we can of course understand people’s desire to want to be out with friends again, the government and our health colleagues remain cautious.

“We would like to remind people that we are not totally out of lockdown measures and Covid-19 still remains a threat.

“With any large meeting, there is always the opportunity to spread the virus and which in turn has a massive impact on local communities. It could lead to further restrictions and cause people to be seriously ill.

“Officers will be investigating last night’s incident thoroughly with a view to taking appropriate action against those responsible.

“The pandemic still poses as a threat to public health and to those who are organising these events I would say – think about the consequences of your actions.

“We will continue to quickly attend and disperse these events when they are reported to us and I am pleased that officers responded quickly to last night’s calls.

“I’d ask that anyone who has any concerns about car meets to report them to Nottinghamshire Police on 101 or in an emergency, dial 999.”

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Nottinghamshire Police put a 24-hour dispersal order in place in April to help tackle reckless drivers and prevent further potential Covid-breaching car meetings in the county following large gatherings.

It came after a report of 300 vehicles parked up at the East Midlands Parkway railway station on 13 April 2021 – with some drivers seen to be driving dangerously and at high speeds through nearby roads. Officers attended to engage with the people there and took footage so that the incident can be investigated and appropriate action taken.

The measure was taken by local neighbourhood policing teams in response to information and recent events of car meetings and anti-social driving.

Rushcliffe Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Craig Berry speaking at the time said:

‘ “These [car] meet-ups become a problem for us when people drive those vehicles in a way that puts other road users, and themselves, at risk of serious injury or death.

“There were reports of concern from residents over public safety, anti-social behaviour and dangerous driving.

“The issues surround the loud music, cars shutting down roads, both the noise and dangerous driving from drifting, antisocial behaviour which sometimes occurs at these events and the general litter and damage to the environment which often follows such a meeting.

“I would like to reassure the community that we understand of the impact of these issues and we will continue to work with our partners to do everything within our power to tackle them.”