Following a public consultation in 2016, Stockport Council has introduced a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to combat car cruising in the borough.
Designed to allow people to use an area without fear of anti-social behaviour, PSPOs are implemented to deal with particular problems in a designated area that has become detrimental to the local community.
Car cruises have operated in Stockport for a number of years, mainly at Heaton Lane and Newbridge Lane car parks. They are large scale gatherings of car owners, often involving in excess of 200 vehicles and take place in car parks around the Borough. The organisers of these events have no permission or authorisation to use car parks for car cruising.
Dispersal orders have been previously served by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to help diffuse crowds attending the events, however it is hoped that PSPOs will enable Stockport Council and GMP to impose a range of measures to prevent anti-social behaviour and improve public safety in the Borough.
Councillor Sheila Bailey, Stockport Council’s Executive Member for Communities and Housing, said: “I welcome the introduction of this Public Space Protection Order which will provide a long-term solution to the problems created by these car cruising events. The actions of people attending these events are clearly dangerous and are having a negative impact on the Town Centre.
“The organisers have been told that these events are unauthorised and should not be taking place on Council car parks. Car parks should be available for residents and businesses to use without having to deal with the dangerous and anti-social activities currently taking place.”
Chief Inspector Richard Timson, from the GMP Stockport Division, said: “GMP is continuing to work in collaboration with Stockport Council to prevent car cruises in the borough. Despite numerous attempts, groups of individuals involved in car cruising have ignored advice and have continued to act in a reckless, dangerous, and antisocial manner.
“Over the past four weeks every Thursday evening dispersal orders have been put in place to deter car cruise meetings in Stockport. This has had a positive impact in reducing car cruise activity. However, by implementing the PSPO this will ensure a long term deterrent to stop any continuation of this activity. These measures are being put in place to send out a clear message that car cruising is not welcome in the borough and any future activity will dealt with robustly using the PSPO powers.”
Further information about the order can be found on the Democracy website.