Consequences for 16 reckless car cruise drivers

16 drivers who attended a car cruise on Southend-on-Sea seafront over the Easter weekend are facing the consequences of their reckless and dangerous driving behaviour.

Cars expelling large amounts of smoke watched by onlookers on Southend Seafront

Following a car cruise meet-up on Monday 18 April, Southend-on-Sea City Council are issuing 16 injunction letters warning the named drivers that they will be held in contempt of court if they are identified as undertaking any further breaches of the car cruise injunction.

Essex Police are pursuing section 59 warnings against all 16 vehicles involved, which means if the car is used for anti-social purposes in the next 12 months it can be immediately seized by police.

The drivers were all identified thanks to the CCTV system in place within our City. The concerning behaviour involved ‘burn-outs’ which is when the car engine is revved while the car is stationary, causing the wheels to heat up and create smoke. Releasing the handbrake can be incredibly dangerous as the driver has limited control over the vehicle, plus the smoke prevents other road users and pedestrians from being able to see.

Cllr Martin Terry, cabinet member for public protection, said: “We welcome anyone who wants to come to Southend and enjoy the delights of our City in a safe and responsible way. But if you are going to come and create trouble with anti-social behaviour, then we will use every power we have at our disposal to make sure there are consequences to your behaviour.”

Essex Police has worked closely with Southend-on-Sea City Council and the registered owners of those vehicles will also be receiving section 59 notices.

The notices act as a final warning to the owners that if the vehicle is witnessed by police to be driven carelessly or inconsiderately or in a manner which is likely to cause alarm, distress or annoyance to the public, it could be seized without warning.

Inspector Paul Hogben, who leads the Southend Community Policing Team, said: “Southend is a busy and popular location for many people, including those on the roads.

“We know the City’s seafront attracts many car enthusiast events throughout the year and our message to those who take part in them is that we are not, in any way, anti-car enthusiasts or anti-car cruise but we will not tolerate dangerous or anti-social driving in Southend.

“Our wonderful City is for all ages, and we won’t standby as a small number of people believe they can get away with dangerous or anti-social behaviour.”

Published: 13th May 2022

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