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Cllr Christian Chapman & Cllr Rachel Madden

Seven fixed penalty notices issued following illegal car meet

Nottinghamshire Police issued seven further fixed penalty notices last night following an illegal car meet.

Officers were called to Hucknall, close to the tram stop next to Tesco in Ashgate Road on Sunday evening, where it was reported there was a large gathering of car cruisers.

They then travelled up to Junction 27 of the M1, which is within a Public Space Protection Order zone.

Officers met them and began issuing tickets which deterred others from remaining in the area. 

Participants and spectators at a regular car cruising event were handed fines worth £700 – as the force continued to issue a clear warning about future gatherings.

Officers have been concerned for some time about regular Sunday evening gatherings off Junction 27, where large numbers of modified and high performance vehicles are parked up and driven recklessly around the area.

In response to complaints of anti-social behaviour and dangerous driving a PSPO has been in place in the area since 2018 – allowing officers to fine drivers, passengers and spectators who gather in the area.

After many weeks of visits to the site where warnings were given, officers returned on Sunday (6 December) and issued £100 fixed penalty notices to seven different people.

Sergeant James Flint said:

“We have been very patient at this site for many months now and have spent considerable time engaging with people and explaining the restrictions to them.
“Frankly we could have issued dozens of fines in this time, but our focus here isn’t about issuing tickets or making money – it is about public safety and anti-social behaviour.          
“Too many of the people who attend these gatherings end up driving in a dangerous, reckless or antisocial manner which poses a hazard to other road users and a noise nuisance to anyone else in the area.
“We have tried very hard in recent weeks to engage with them and to explain what will happen if they continue to congregate at the site.
“As many of them clearly haven’t listened we took firm action on Sunday and make issue the fines.
“We understand that many people are very proud of their vehicles, but these gatherings are a very clear driver of dangerous and reckless driving. As such we are now taking very firm steps to dissuade people from taking part or even standing and watching it.
“We’ll be monitoring the area regularly and will not hesitate to take similar action again, or to enforce government regulations.
"The very last thing we want to be doing as police officers is to be punishing people for gathering together and having fun. However, the current national restrictions are in place to protect the wider public from harm and we will keep enforcing them for as long as we need to.
“Whilst it is heartening that the vast majority of people clearly understand and are obeying the current restrictions, it is deeply disappointing that so many others needed such an expensive reminder that the rules apply equally to everyone.
“We understand that this is a difficult time but there really are no excuses for this kind of behaviour where people are blatantly ignoring the restrictions in such large numbers.”

Although most of the problem activity occurs in twin laybys, the Public Spaces Protection Order covers a larger area in and around Junction 27, taking in the length of Mansfield Road from the west side of the M1 to the Annersley traffic lights and Badger Box pub. It also includes the entirety of the Sherwood Business Park and both the north and southbound carriageways on the A611.

The order prohibits driving at excessive speed, aggressive acceleration, stunts such as drifting or wheel spins, the playing of load music, driving in convoy, sounding horns and congregating to spectate.

People found to be in breach of the order by Nottinghamshire Police are given Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) on behalf of Ashfield District Council that may lead to a summary conviction if they are not paid.

Cllr Helen-Ann Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety said:

“Ashfield District Council has been working closely with the police to tackle the ongoing issues at Junction 27. Car cruising is dangerous, not just for those involved but members of the public using the roads safely.
“The PSPO in place needs to act as a warning to those that think its ok to act in this anti-social way, we will not tolerate lives being put at risk and fixed penalty notices will be issued to those caught.
“The Council and police are committed to ensuring that car cruising does not become an issue within the District.
"We welcome the police action as this behaviour disturbs our local residents."