The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has not met the Secretary of State for Justice to discuss car cruising.
The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides the police, local authorities and other local agencies with a range of flexible powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to different forms of anti-social and nuisance behaviour.
The powers include the Community Protection Notice which can be used by the police or the local authority to deal with particular problems or nuisances, including noise related, that are having a persistent or continuing and detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality; the Civil Injunction which allows the police, local councils and other local agencies to apply to the court for an injunction against an individual or individuals in a range of circumstances where their behaviour is causing, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress; a Criminal Behaviour Order which can be issued by a court against an individual convicted of an offence to stop the behaviour of the most destructive individuals; a Public Spaces Protection Order which councils can issue to stop people committing anti-social behaviour in a public space; a Dispersal Power which can be used by the police to move-on problem groups or individuals; and a Closure Power which the police and councils can use to close premises that are a magnet for trouble.
The powers in the 2014 Act are deliberately local in nature, and it is for local agencies to determine whether their use is appropriate in the specific circumstances which apply.
The police also have the power under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 to seize vehicles. This can be as a result of using a vehicle in a careless and inconsiderate manner, contrary to the Road Traffic Act 1988, and in a manner causing alarm, distress or annoyance to members of the public. Before so doing, a constable is required to give a warning that the vehicle will be seized unless the behaviour stops. The only exception is where a warning is impractical, or has already been given on that occasion, or given to the same person within the previous 12 months. The requirement for a warning provides people with the chance to stop their behaviour of their own accord and ensures the power of seizure is only used when necessary. Seizure, if carried out, puts an immediate stop to the behaviour in question. The seizure is not permanent: the owner can reclaim the vehicle on payment of prescribed removal and storage charges.
Any assessment of the effectiveness of these powers would be a matter for the Home Office.