Norfolk Police Update
23 July 2020
Police are warning those involved in illegal car cruising meets planned in Thetford over the coming weeks that if you take part or spectate you could be prosecuted or even have your vehicle seized.
Car cruising attracts thousands of people and causes noise for residents and anti-social behaviour issues. This impacts on calls to the police and resources and we will prosecute offenders. Norfolk Police will be targeting these gatherings under Operation Motorbike. The new coronavirus laws under health protection restrictions have come into force and mean that gatherings of more than 30 people are illegal in outdoor areas that are not COVID secure and where social distancing rules are being breached.
Officers recently attended Forest Retail Park in London Road, Thetford on Monday July 6 after reports of a gathering of around 2,000 people from around 7pm and again on Saturday July 18 in the evening when around 200 to 300 vehicles turned up for an unannounced vehicle cruise.
Although the meetings passed off mainly peacefully, four section 59s were issued, which can ultimately end up with vehicles being seized, various traffic offence reports such as speeding, a motorcyclist not wearing a helmet and licence plate offences as well as a dispersal order put in place requiring people to leave the area.
Sergeant Simon Jones of the Breckland South Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: "Whilst under normal circumstances we would look to support such events if they are responsibly organised, these are not normal times and such gatherings should not be taking place. I would appeal to those organising these events to put them on hold for now until the current restrictions are lifted further.
"We are seeking to minimise the impact these meets are having on local communities and businesses and we are working closely with key stakeholders at this time. I must remind those who still choose to attend in spite of this advice that we will deal robustly with any offences committed and we may be forced to close off access to such meets if it becomes apparent there will be large gatherings."