Injunction sought by council to stop noisy car meets in Enfield

Latest move to tackle antisocial behaviour by young drivers welcomed by campaigners

One of the 'A10 car meets' filmed for YouTube
One of the ‘A10 car meets’ filmed for YouTube

Enfield Council will seek a court injunction which would give police and council enforcement officers extra powers to deal with dangerous driving and antisocial behaviour at unauthorised car meets.

The injunction would allow the council to take borough-wide action which it hopes will stop events taking place on car parks where drivers with modified cars show off their vehicles and perform stunts – creating massive noise disturbance for Enfield residents across a swathe of the borough.

The council has said it will seek hefty fines and two-year prison sentences for offenders. It’s also hoped the injunction will, in turn, help reduce speeding and unsafe driving on roads such as the A10 dual carriageway.

The move has been welcomed by a Conservative councillor who has long campaigned on the issue. Bush Hill Park ward member James Hockney, who included an injunction on his five-point charter for tackling the issue, told the Dispatch: “I am delighted that the council has listened to my call for an injunction.

“Many other councils have successfully secured injunctions against unlawful car cruising and car meets.

“Having championed the issue for five years, one of the biggest challenges has been the multi-agency approach – the council, TfL [Transport for London], police and car park owners – needed to tackle the issues.

“It feels like at last we are now making progress.”

Last month, concrete blocks were installed at the car park of Colosseum Retail Park, one of the sites most commonly used for noisy car meets. Other measures such as more speed cameras and CCTV are also being called for by residents and campaigners.

The council says it is currently gathering evidence from the police, businesses and residents to apply for its injunction, which will be presented before the courts in early January 2024.

Gina Needs, the council’s cabinet member for community safety and cohesion, said: “Despite our continued partnership working with police, landholders and leaseholders to curtail car meets, we are still receiving reports from residents whose lives are being blighted by this illegal and antisocial behaviour.

“We have listened to residents’ ongoing concerns which is why we are going even further and applying to the courts to seek an injunction which will provide the police with extended authority and power to deal with the problem.”

Car meets are often organised at short notice on social media platforms. During one recent event, the council says that thanks to fast action from its enforcement team and the police, five cars were seized, two drivers were arrested, and 50 fixed penalty notices were issued.

The council says it is also working with TfL to address speeding on public highways, such as exploring different types of road surfaces to prevent drifting at roundabouts.

Residents can also play their part by reporting car meets to the police promptly by calling 101 during the event or by making a report on the Metropolitan Police website.

Additionally, the council recommends residents join the Met’s Online Watch Link (Owl) initiative. Owl provides local crime and safety updates via their website and app and sends messages and alerts from local neighbourhood policing teams.

Cllr Hockney added that he and Tory colleague Chris Dey are organising a follow up public meeting in Bush Hill Park on 8th February, to which all key agencies will be again invited. “We will keep holding these meetings until the issues are tackled once and for all,” said Cllr Hockney.

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