Warning after 2,000 people gather as part of illegal car cruising meet-up

PUBLISHED: 18:23 23 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:54 24 July 2020

Forest Retail Park in Thetford. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

Forest Retail Park in Thetford. Picture: Rebecca Murphy


Around 2,000 people gathered as part of an illegal car cruising meet-up, sparking a warning from police that participants could have their vehicles seized.

Police had to break up a fight between children in Cawston. Picture: James BassPolice had to break up a fight between children in Cawston. Picture: James Bass

Drivers who attend the gatherings could also be prosecuted, officers have warned, after reports of the planned meetings in Thetford.

It comes after police attended Forest Retail Park, on London Road, on Monday, July 6 to reports of an illegal gathering of around 2,000 people from roughly 7pm and again on Saturday, July 18, when around 200 to 300 vehicles turned up for an unannounced vehicle cruise.

A Norfolk Police spokesman said: “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.

“Although the meetings passed 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.”

Norfolk Police will be targeting these gatherings under Operation Motorbike.

And drivers are being reminded that gatherings of more than 30 people in outdoor areas - which are not Covid-19 secure and do not adhere to social distancing restrictions - is illegal under new coronavirus laws.

Sergeant Simon Jones, of the Breckland South Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “While 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.

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“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.”

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