The Modified Truth

The North Yorkshire Police have proposed a Public Space Protection Order against “Car Cruising”. Anthony Hopcraft has pleaded guilty to causing £47k of damages to the seafront. The car scene in Scarborough looks like it is over.

But the picture the Scarborough News and North Yorkshire Police are painting is not the whole truth. Static Royals as the name suggests, organise static car meets that bring hundreds of people to the town. They work with the council and the police to make sure that these events are all above board and marshal the meet as best they can.

Yes, our cars are loud, low and look different to yours but that doesn’t make use a public nuisance. We are the public too, we have families, jobs, insurance and pay road tax. Just because our church has four wheels and an engine does not mean you can discriminate against us. Is our money somehow worth less than that of anyone else?

What happened at the weekend was not the individual officer’s fault, they were just doing their job. The chaos that ensued after was not our fault either. Did the person who gave the order not think that clearing that amount of cars off the seafront was not going to cause issues.

That the people attending who were parked up, keys out the ignition, enjoying the day were not going to feel harassed? Bully and discriminated against?

We want UK car culture to thrive, we want it to benefit the local area and we and open and honest conversation. Just because we do not look like you and enjoy the same things doesn’t mean you can’t work with us.

When these events are well organised and properly marshalled we bring in a lot of trade to the local shops. For what may have been a very quiet week for them. You may argue that it offers a platform for the dickheads, the yobs to cause damage but I hate to break it to you. These people exist with or without the car meets. They are burning through tires on other public roads and drive away scot-free. What this platform does is provide an audience, an audience of witnesses, video footage and a car group who will hand over a license plate to the police.

What? You didn’t know that these car groups police themselves and do not condone that type of behaviour?

You are quick to tar us all with the same brush but I will ask you this, is the entire labour party anti-semitic or is it a select few?

Static Royals worked with the police to ensure they had all the information they needed to prosecute Anthony Hopcraft. They do not want their name associated with that crime, they didn’t organise a burnout competition. They held a static meet and when the organisers left and a small group of people stayed who acted on their own.

I have had the pleasure to talk to many of these car groups and they all say the same thing, the majority get a bad name from the minority. These are the same groups that do charity work, help families whose loved ones committed suicide due to bullying. They visit hospitals to donate chocolate to children wards. Provide a big send-off for a fellow car enthusiast, even if they only knew him in passing.

We care, we have local garages work on our cars, we work for local companies and we shop at local stores. We are not car hooligans, we are people.

Mechanics, drivers, carers, mums, business owners and more.

We are a family, of sorts.

#IamModified

Here are the details of the order;

Details of the proposed Public Space Protection Order

The Order is intended to stop persons at all times within the restricted area from engaging in the following activities:

1. Participating in Car Cruising

2. Promoting, organising or publicising Car Cruising (including but not limited to via email, the internet, social media, or via any publication or broadcast medium)

3. Attending any meeting in a public place (as defined by the Act) either as a vehicle owner, driver, passenger or spectator where a reasonable person would consider that Car Cruising was or is taking place.

Definitions

“Car Cruising” is defined as two or more motor vehicles (including motorbikes) being on or in a highway or a public place (as defined in the Act), where any such vehicle or occupant of a vehicle performs any of the Prohibited Activities listed below.

“Participating in Car Cruising” means being the driver of, or being carried in (or on) a motor vehicle in circumstances where Car Cruising is taking place.

The “Prohibited Activities” are:

(a) causing danger or risk of injury to road users (including pedestrians)

(b) causing damage or risk of damage to property

(c) speeding or racing

(d) driving in convoy

(e) performing stunts

(f) sounding horns or playing music so as to cause a nuisance

(g) using foul or abusive language

(h) using threatening or intimidating behaviour, or

(i) causing obstruction (whether moving or stationary).

If you would like your say on the proposed Public Space Protection Order contact Sandra Rees, either in writing to Scarborough Borough Council, Town Hall, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, and Y011 2HG or by email saferscarboroughhub@scarborough.gcsx.gov.uk

You have until 12 midnight on 20 April 2018 contact her and be heard.

LD

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