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Crackdown on 'illegal and dangerous' car cruising

Council leaders in the Black Country say 'car cruising' has been a "bone of contention" for people and businesses in the area for several years.

It comes as bosses team up with police in a groundbreaking bid to ban boy racers from the region's roads.

Bosses say car cruising is 'illegal and dangerous' Credit: West Midlands Police

Wolverhampton City Council's leisure chief Councillor Elias Mattu said they were "determined" to put a stop to the problem.

The activities are not only wholly anti-social, but also illegal and dangerous, putting the safety of participants and spectators at risk - indeed, it's only a matter of time until more people are seriously injured or even killed.

Black Country councils and the police have received numerous complaints about car cruising - from dangerous driving to noise, verbal abuse and intimidation, and we are determined to do all we can to put a stop to this menace.

Our application doesn't just seek to prevent acts of dangerous driving, it also looks to tackle some of the wider problems caused by car cruising, from criminal behaviour such as drug taking and littering and the burden on police resources and the emergency services in the event of accidents, to personal costs to residents and businesses like sleep deprivation, obstruction, fear, harassment and intimidation.

– Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council

Boy racers could face prison if injunction approved

Boy racers could face up to two years in prison if a legal injunction to ban car cruising events is approved, police have warned.

So-called car cruising events have sparked dozens of complaints from businesses and residents, with dangerous driving and excessive noise from revving engines or stereos top of the list.

The Birmingham New Road between Wolverhampton and Dudley is a well-known car cruising hotspot Credit: Google Maps

Other reports revolve around littering, verbal abuse, swearing and intimidation as hundreds of people flock to watch illegal road races and compare cars.

Councils in the Black Country have now teamed up with West Midlands Police and hope to secure an injunction against "persons unknown" at the High Court in Birmingham, to stop car cruising from taking place.

Anyone suspected of breaching the injunction would be considered to be in contempt of court, which carries a potential prison sentence.


Police increasingly concerned for missing 14-year-old

Police say they're getting increasingly concerned for the welfare of a 14-year-old boy from Sandwell who's been missing for a week.

Jacob Butler disappeared from his home in Rowley Regis on Saturday 4 October, but officers say he may have been seen on Kates Hill in Dudley since then.

Jacob is described as white, slim build, 5’2" with short straight blonde hair.

He was last seen wearing a blue Adidas tracksuit with a grey Adidas t-shirt.

His family are becoming increasingly concerned for his safety and wellbeing and urge him to get in touch as soon as possible.

Officers have been searching the local area and have also been speaking to Jacob’s family and friends to build a thorough understanding of the places he might visit.

Jacob, or anyone who has seen him, should call Sandwell police immediately on 101.

Black Country to benefit from £12m broadband project

It is hoped the project will help businesses across the region to become more competitive Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The Black Country will benefit from a £12m project to extend the reach of high-speed broadband to 98% of homes and businesses in the region within the next three years.

The scheme has been launched by the government, the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), BT and the government's Broadband Delivery UK.

It is hoped the project will help businesses across the region become more competitive and grow in the UK and abroad.

Small businesses across the Black Country identified slow broadband speeds as a barrier to growth so this partnership is great news for businesses in our area.

– Ninder Johal, Chair Black Country Broadband Group


Family of stab death teen Rosie Ross honoured by police

The family of a teenager who was stabbed to death in Birmingham has been honoured by police for their "tireless" charity work.

Rosie Ross, aged 16, was attacked at random in Centenary Square in 2001 by a man with schizophrenia. Since then, her family has raised around £300,000 through their charity Rosie’s Helping Hands, which helps raise awareness of knife crime in Rosie's home town of Walsall.

Karen Ross with Ch Cons Chris Sims at the ceremony on Wednesday Credit: West Midlands Police

Rosie's mother Karen received the award from officers on Wednesday.

Sgt Richard Jacques said she had also helped run a training session for young people on the issue.

Karen truly inspired all of our officers with her heartfelt and very personal story.

The training ran from November to February 2014 and during that time Karen came to every session. She gave up a lot of her own time over several months to attend the sessions.

She has given and continues to give a great deal of time and effort to benefit the police service and wider community of Walsall.

The award was given to Karen and her family in recognition of her courage and determination. She was determined to turn her grief into something positive and through the Rosie’s Helping Hands charity she continues to do so.

– Sgt Richard Jacques, West Midlands Police

30-stone man lifted through window of flat by fire crews

Specialist fire crews have had to remove a window from a flat in Oldbury so a 30 stone man could be taken to hospital.

A window had to be removed so the 30 stone man could be taken to hospital Credit: West Midlands Ambulance Service

A hydraulic lift platform was used to lift the man down from his bedroom to an ambulance and firefighters, from the apartment in Rowley Regis, so he could be taken to hospital for an operation.

He was stable with a medical condition but needed to go to hospital. It was impossible to carry him downstairs from the first floor flat. We put him on a specialist stretcher and he was brought down on the hydraulic platform before being taken to hospital in a specially-equipped bariatrics ambulance.”

– Spokeswoman for West Midlands Ambulance Service

Work underway on £1.9 million bus and rail interchange

Work is underway on a £1.9 million new bus and rail interchange.

It's being paid for through the £10 million Better Bus Area Fund Credit: Centro

The scheme to transform Cradley Heath bus and rail interchange will include improved waiting facilities and passenger information.

It's being paid for through the Better Bus Area Fund which is a £10 million pot to improve public transport in Brierley Hill, Merry Hill and Cradley Heath.

The work is due to be completed in the New Year.

The new project will include improved waiting facilities Credit: Centro
It's set to be completed in the New Year Credit: Centro
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