Twenty-one vehicles seized in 'car meet' operation
A police operation targeting disruptive ‘car meets’ in south London has resulted in 21 vehicle seizures in just one evening
In one of the largest ever vehicle seizures made by police at a single event, officers working to disrupt a large scale car meet in Croydon seized 21 vehicles for anti-social behaviour [ASB] and dangerous driving.
Operation Crosshair, which has been running since April 2021, focuses on disrupting large scale car meets and associated anti-social behaviour in south London in response to their growing popularity in recent months.
The operation has involved more than 30 Safer Neighbourhoods Officers, as well as colleagues from the Roads and Transport Policing Command, Special Constabulary, and partner agencies outside of the MPS.
The cars taking part race at speed and perform stunts in public retail parks, housing estates and often disrupt public transport by blocking roads and junctions. These events present a high risk of injury to those taking part, spectators and members of the public within the area.
On Thursday, 16 September, at around 21:00hrs, officers assigned to Operation Crosshair deployed to Valley Retail Park, CR0, following reports of a substantial number of vehicles participating in illegal street racing, stunts, and other dangerous maneuvers.
Upon arrival, officers worked quickly to engage with crowds, vehicle occupants and business owners and manage the situation. There were approximately 300 vehicles involved in the meet.
The operation involves intelligence work to gather evidence of dangerous driving and the subsequent issue of warnings for anti-social behaviour. Vehicles that have received two warnings in a 12 month period are seized by police. Police also seize vehicles performing dangerous stunts and maneuvers.
Around 400 people had gathered in Valley Retail Park to watch or participate in the car meet on Thursday evening and officers worked hard to disperse crowds - managing to close down the event by 22:00hrs.
Police seized a total of 21 vehicles and 25 drivers are being investigated for racing on the highway.
Police Sergeant Mark Wells, from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “These events encourage lawless, irresponsible and totally unacceptable behaviour. They appear motivated by fictional films and games which do not represent reality in any way.
“Our message is clear, those involved in anti-social vehicle behaviour of any kind will face the consequences of their actions. Events such as this are a blight to the local community and put lives in danger due to reckless behaviour.
“We will continue to crack down on those involved in orchestrating and attending similar events with the help of local partners and agencies.”