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Court of Appeal says car cruising was "classic case for the grant of an injunction"

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal over whether a car-cruising injunction was properly granted, given what was said to be the alternative remedy available to Birmingham City Council of itself making a public spaces protection order (PSPO).

The background to the appeal was that by a claim issued on 6 September 2016 against "Persons Unknown" Birmingham City Council had sought an injunction pursuant to s 222 of the Local Government Act 1972 to prohibit street cruising throughout its local authority area.

On 3 October 2016 His Honour Judge Worster, sitting as a deputy judge of the Queen's Bench Division, granted the injunction for a period of three years.

On 24 May 2019 His Honour Judge McKenna, also sitting as a Deputy High Court judge, refused an application by the appellant, Harun Mansoor Sharif, to discharge the injunction.

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Mr Sharif appealed, arguing that Birmingham had the alternative remedy of a PSPO under Part 4 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

In Sharif v Birmingham City Council [2020] EWCA Civ 1488 Lord Justice Bean said: “Judge Worster and Judge McKenna were well entitled to conclude, in the words of Bingham LJ's third criterion in Bovis, that car cruising in the Birmingham area would continue unless and until effectively restrained by the law and that nothing short of an injunction would be effective to restrain them. I regard this as a classic case for the grant of an injunction.”

The Court of Appeal judge noted that no point was taken in the court below about whether the original grant of the injunction against persons unknown and the provision for service by advertisements and prominent local notices was open to challenge.

“Since the order was first made, this question has been considered (though not in relation to an injunction of the same type) in this court in Ineos Upstream Limited v Persons Unknown [2019] 4 WLR 100 and Canada Goose UK Retail Ltd v Persons Unknown [2020] 1 WLR 2802. It may have to be considered again in any future case about injunctions to restrain anti-social behaviour by persons unknown. I simply record that we were told by Mr Manning [counsel for Birmingham] that the 'persons unknown' issue was the reason why Birmingham did not apply for an anti-social behaviour injunction under s 1 of the 2014 Act,” Lord Justice Bean said.

Lord Justice Holroyde and Sir Terence Etherton, Master of the Rolls, agreed.

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