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Thursday, 6 May 2021

Dispersal order after 300-strong car meeting – the second in a week in Nottingham

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

It comes after a report of 300 vehicles parked up at the East Midlands Parkway railway station – 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 has been taken by local neighbourhood policing teams in response to information and recent events of car meetings and anti-social driving.

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The force was called to a similar gathering to the A453 earlier this month and hundreds of car enthusiasts disrupted traffic.

The order has been in place from 9.13pm on Sunday across the entire city of Nottingham, the A453 including Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station and slip roads and will last 24-hours.

Neighbourhood Inspector Craig Berry said: “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.

“We have put this dispersal order on to provide officers with extra powers to deal with those breaking the law and causing antisocial behaviour.

“The authority enables us to seize vehicles as well as ban people from the area for up to 24 hours if they are causing or are likely to cause any issues.

“We are working with organisers, the local authority and other partners to make these events as safe and crime-free as possible.

“Where necessary, we will seize vehicles and issue fines under Coronavirus legislation. In addition to this action, we are working with nearby businesses to discuss changes that can be made to security arrangements which will prevent such gatherings in the future.

“We have issued tickets on various occasions in the past and we will continue to do so where appropriate.

“On this occasion, the force received intelligence that there was plans for an event and local neighbourhood policing teams and Op Reacher officers were dispatched to the location. No fines were issued and no arrests were made.

“Officers were able to engage with the organisers and deal with any individual driving issues.”

Around 50 car drivers had earlier attended a cinema car park in Lenton and were safely dispersed by officers before moving on to the railway station, before moving into Derbyshire.

Inspector Berry added: “These 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.”

The order has been granted under Section 34 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and allows police officers to direct a person to leave the area specified within the order if they have reasonable grounds to suspect their behaviour has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to members of the public.

Failure to comply with the order can result in arrest.

If anyone has information, CCTV or dash-cam footage which could help with our enquiries please call Nottinghamshire Police on 101.