An unauthorised ‘car cruise’ involving hundreds of motorists gathering in Banbury was disrupted by police and council officers on Sunday evening (February 17).
Around 400 car enthusiasts gathered at Halford’s car park on Southam Road after the original meeting place of Gateway Retail Park was closed off.
Officers were present to monitor and safeguard the public, a police spokesman said, while one man was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.
Neighbourhood Inspector John Batty said: “Overall those who attended this car cruise event were genuine car enthusiasts and were not looking to cause trouble.
“They engaged well with officers and worked with them to keep disruption to the local community to a minimum.
“Although anti-social behaviour was reduced on this occasion, we continue to ask that those organising large scale events work with the local authority to make sure we keep our communities safe.”
Police put out warning messages on social media on Sunday ahead of the meet which was organised on Facebook as it could involve ‘dangerous’ racing and anti-social behaviour.
The ‘car cruises’ attract hundreds of people from across the country and the location is released at the last minute.
Some criticised police for shutting down the event as it raised money for Help for Heroes and meant ‘angry’ car enthusiasts had nowhere to go safely.
Insp Batty said in the video that anyone who wants to organise such an event should get the permission of the landowner and Cherwell District Council.
Cllr Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing, said: “For anyone looking to organise a large public event, the council and its partners can offer clear guidance to make sure the safety of those attending is properly taken care of.
“This unauthorised event could have posed a real risk to public safety and I am delighted that we were able to work proactively with the police to minimise that danger on this occasion.”
A 26-year-old man from Bicester was arrested on suspicion of drink/drug driving. He has since been released under investigation.