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“A young mother cycling on pavement for safety is anti-social behaviour?”: Police slammed for fining woman with child seat to tackle “cycling related anti-social behaviour”

“Maybe your time would be better spent working out why someone with a child seat on the back doesn’t want to ride on the road?”

Cyclists have blasted Stoke Newington Police after its social media account posted a photograph of an officer issuing a fine to a woman with a child seat on her bike for riding on the pavement, as part of its operation to tackle “cycling related anti-social behaviour”.

Stoke Newington Policing Team wrote: “Local officers currently conducting an operation on Stoke Newington High Street N16 targeting E-Scooter/ cycling related Anti-Social Behaviour, a Ward priority for Local residents.”

This has led to people questioning the use of the image in context with anti-social behaviour. Twitter user ChrisC wrote: “Was this the best "nab" you could photograph to show you tackling anti social behaviour? A young woman riding on the pavement, presumably because she thinks the roads are unsafe there.”

Another user @mattwardman questioned: “I wonder what antisocial behaviour the young mum on the bike was displaying. Cycling at 25 mph on the pavement?”, while Andy Waterman said: “Cracking down on the menace of mums with child seats on their bikes - that's definitely the demographic I think of when I think of antisocial e-biking/scootering. Jokers.”

> Why do cyclists ride on the pavement? New study explores why

According to the National Police Chief’s Council, cyclists can ride on the pavement as long as they are doing it responsibly. The re-issued guidance from 2014, first originally introduced in 1999, says: “The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of the traffic, and who show consideration to other pavement users.

“Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required.”

> Transport minister: Responsible cyclists CAN ride on the pavement

The reissue of the guidance came after Minister for Cycling Robert Goodwill’s reiteration in January 2014 that the official line from the Department for Transport (DfT) is that cyclists may ride on the pavements, provided they do so considerately, and that police officers need to exercise discretion.

Stop Killing Cyclists, cycling campaign group, hailed the minister’s clarification as its first major success and said: “Fining vulnerable cyclists for cycling responsibly on the pavement at extremely dangerous junctions like Vauxhall Cross, is a bedroom tax on two-wheels as there is no safe alternative for them to cycle on.”

> Local papers take aim at pavement cyclists as fines drop and pedestrian casualties rise - we take a closer look at the numbers

After the recent incident with Stoke Newington Police, cyclists and other members of the public have also raised questions about the police’s actions towards dealing with drivers speeding on roads and breaking other rules, and being callous to realising why cyclists feel the need to ride on pavements instead of the roads.

A few people even brought up the incident from Wimbledon where a driver crashed their Land Rover into a school building, claiming the life of an eight-year-old girl, with another eight-year-old and parent in critical care, and at least six more children and one adult injured.

The Met Police confirmed yesterday that the driver of the vehicle, a woman aged in her 40s, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

road.cc has contacted the Met Police for comment. 

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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84 comments

Avatar
miekwidnes | 9 months ago
2 likes

Same old thing

Loads of people complaining about bikes and e-scooter being riden recklessly around the area

So council amd Police talk to the local people and "do something about a matter of local concern"

Problem is - if you go down to the pedestrianised High Street and tell a teenage kid on a mountain bike to stop then he (normally a he) will laugh and ride off. So to nab the dangerous criminal you wil have to have several cars nearby waiting to give chase and hope they don't cut down a local lane or path and escape

Hugly difficult to catch them and very resource intensive.

Instead wait until someone older comes along slowly taking care to avoid getting in people's way and if someone ina  uniform asks them to stop then there is a good chance they will do so

BINGO - some stats to show the politicians

Bit like nabbing a motorist doing 25 in a 20 mph limit while the bank robbers go past at 90

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wtjs | 1 year ago
1 like

What the police say is of little relevance, now that police lying (in Lancashire, anyway) is routine

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CF@Wds | 1 year ago
3 likes

Yes, the police do appear to be uneven handed. As others have mentioned if you report untaxed, unlicensed and uninsured vehicles on the public highway they do nothing, or if you press really hard will go and 'have a chat' with the owner. They say:
the vehicle has to be moving for an offence to be committed,
any other matter is down to the DVSA.
Phone the DVSA and they say .... well you can guess...
I have no faith in the police to do anything and never report anything to 101 nowadays. They make it as difficult as it can be and you get the feeling you will end up doing their job for them in court.
I wish it wasn't the way I feel but then you read this and wish that they had an ounce of common sense. A caution maybe, but surely a verbal warning is better?
I'd say if you see a copper when in the pavement, stop, jump off and then declare that you we're not riding your bike at the time of the alleged offence. Ask to be arrested and taken to the station rather than accept a fine.
If necessary declare that there's a local by-law giving cyclists shared use of the pedestrian area. There's a chance you might be right.
They'll soon back off as an easy win becomes a bit of work.
But isn't it a shame that police are one by one alienating every section of society?

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Sriracha replied to CF@Wds | 1 year ago
7 likes
CF@wds wrote:

They say:
the vehicle has to be moving for an offence to be committed,...

Every day I see moving cars with illegal number plates, and no number plates. Its got to the point where they are a large minority. It is not possible that the police don't see them also, and drive on by.

That's just number plates, never mind tinted windows, smoking exhausts, illegal lighting etc.

As well as turning a blind eye, plod turns a deaf ear, safely ignoring the raucous cacophony of lary exhaust noises every evening.

So yes, plod is very easy going on moving motoring offences, even the anti-social ones.

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Adam Sutton | 1 year ago
0 likes

Once again this doesn't seem so simple as is being presented, and there is a lot of contradiction when you look.

Checking google maps the road is one way and no cycle lane. However as well as this the pavement doesn't seem very wide and this is a high street, so likely a lot of foot traffic and not really suitable to share with cyclists. Contradicting this though it can clearly be seen that numerous bike racks are located on the pavement, so cycling is encouraged.

If though, as claimed there is an issue with anti-social behaviour regarding cycling, then there is a chance of undermining authority by picking and choosing who to fine. Being a mother gives a free pass? The bike had a child seat on it, not a child in it.

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eburtthebike | 1 year ago
8 likes

"According to the National Police Chief’s Council, cyclists can ride on the pavement as long as they are doing it responsibly."

Grounds for appealing the fine?

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Benthic replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
0 likes

The National Police Chief’s Council does not make the law.

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Matthew Acton-Varian replied to Benthic | 1 year ago
2 likes
Benthic wrote:

The National Police Chief’s Council does not make the law.

No, but they are a Government (the law makers) funded agency, and it is their job to instruct how the law is enforced. Generally speaking, any information that comes from the NPCC constitutes as legal advice, in the same way as if it were to come from the courts, or from a solicitor's office. 

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wtjs replied to Benthic | 1 year ago
3 likes

The National Police Chief’s Council does not make the law

The police essentially do make the law, because they have been permitted, and possibly even encouraged, to choose who to prosecute for the offences also chosen by the police. When they choose to ignore certain people committing certain offences for reasons which are difficult to prove, and prosecute people they don't like for committing the same offences, you end up with the situation we face today.

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Hirsute replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
3 likes

VED and mot expired 31/01/20 and 20/02/20

handy saving in 3 years

 

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wtjs replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
2 likes

handy saving in 3 years

Pfff!! In Lancashire, that's nowt! In t'north we know how to save money at the cost of small contributions to various police funds.

I admit that's embellished, because I've only seen and reported this vehicle once- unlike the other one below, which is regularly seen and filmed around Garstang, and is there shown 20 yards from the police station.

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wtjs | 1 year ago
10 likes

Boy, our police are real tough guys, coming down like a ton of bricks on those anti-social offenders! Yet, when it comes to big Audis charging through a red light at 50mph, seconds after it changed (or any number of serious offences I have shown on here too many times) or Audis (other popular offending marques are available) reported without MOT or VED for over 3 years and regularly seen around Garstang, the police do nothing at all. It's pretty much impossible to fail to despise the police!

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OldRidgeback | 1 year ago
12 likes

The officer is the one guilty of anti social behaviour here. The charges should be dropped, an apology made by the local chief police constable and the officer involved given retraining.

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Hirsute | 1 year ago
7 likes
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chrisonabike replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
4 likes

Good new name for Nige...

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Hirsute replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
0 likes

I thought I posted that in another thread. Didn't mean to derail this one.

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Backladder replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
5 likes

Just shows how backward their opinions really are!

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hutchdaddy replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
2 likes

You won't be surpised to find out that she's a Conservative councillor.

She should read this https://twitter.com/standardnews/status/1678365342131707906

 

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to hutchdaddy | 1 year ago
0 likes

Classic example of why Bexley is so low down on that list. 
Follow the Cyclepath to BexleyHeath Town Centre. 
(Down Danson Road and turn Right at the end is the fast route).

If you do follow the suggested bike route, and reach the top of this road (which I think featured in a road.cc article once), this Streetview shows how much the council was bothered about keeping cyclists using the direct route. Watch the direction sign change over the years.

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Vo2Maxi | 1 year ago
8 likes

Clearly in this case the police have targeted this area because there has been problematic use of the pavement by (some) cyclists.
But it's the same old story, so often officers these days seem to display little or no common sense. There's a big difference between kids hooning around on the pavements frightening (or even knocking over) spooked pedestrians or little old ladies, and those who ride on them responsibly but are genuinely uncomfortable on certain busy roads or junctions.
I get that laws are there for everyone to obey, and if one person gets told off and then they see another being allowed to carry on, they will whine like Kevin the teenager. I also get that these days, the public are far more likely to challenge the police when they should just do as they are told and STFU. But until police officers on the street start showing some common sense and discretion, the situation will only get worse.
By the way, I wouldn't in a million years be a copper these days, it must be a nightmare.

Avatar
Roulereo replied to Vo2Maxi | 1 year ago
1 like

Ok, so you can't possibly profile suspects, but you can when it comes to Covid. Got it. Arrest someone for a Facebook post sure. Young black man breaking into houses, harrassing women in the street, smashing up a small business, all for social media fame, is ok. Got it.  

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CF@Wds replied to Vo2Maxi | 1 year ago
2 likes

The young lads will scatter or pretend they haven't heard.
The responsible adult is beckoned over by the smiley copper who then slaps a dooley on her.

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brooksby replied to CF@Wds | 1 year ago
3 likes
CF@Wds wrote:

The young lads will scatter or pretend they haven't heard. The responsible adult is beckoned over by the smiley copper who then slaps a dooley on her.

Catch the low hanging fruit.  The genuine antisocial cyclists are too much effort to catch.

Avatar
Born_peddling | 1 year ago
3 likes

Not being funny but when was the last time anyone met a cop who knew anything about full cycle law??? Last time I met one who claimed to know had only bothered to learn about the infractions that warrant a caution and or fine! Think it's time the force was split into divisions again..... example your average bobby doesn't cycle so they don't need to know the law they only need to be bothered with what they think applies. (Usually this is a biased thought basis race/gender/religion or they just don't like you) So a good tip is to never ask if they failed the mental stability exam for the armed forces 😂

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Rome73 | 1 year ago
11 likes

I was cycling into London a few days ago and at a usual bottleneck of motor traffic in Highgate a dude came hurtling past, skipped onto the pavement, shot past the queue and flew back onto the road.  He did it with some skill and agility. He was wearing a helmet and riding a full suss MB. I didn't imagaine any one was in any danger at the time but any pedestrian would have felt a bit shocked at the speed and size. I would have agreed with a fine in that case. 

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Adam Sutton replied to Rome73 | 1 year ago
2 likes

TBH in London it's justified to comment on cyclists jumping lights and riding like dicks. It's the norm.

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Hirsute | 1 year ago
6 likes

Lock Her Up

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Xenophon2 | 1 year ago
1 like

Question from someone not living in the UK:

I understand that in the UK, it is not mandatory to carry official ID.  So, if police want to fine you, how do they establish (and verify) who you are and what your address is?  

Where I am it's simple:  anyone age 12 and older has to carry official ID (ID card issued by the government) on their person at all times when out in the public domain.  Failure to produce it when asked by an officer is grounds for arrest until ID is established (maximum 12 hours, then they need to call a prosecutor, who can extend the period of detention for another 36 hours, beyond that you have to be brought in front of a judge).

 

Avatar
giff77 replied to Xenophon2 | 1 year ago
7 likes

The police can p-check you by asking for your details which they radio in. Name, DOB, Place or Birth, address. If refuse to give this information they can arrest you and verify your identity. I refuse to carry anything with my address on my person and if stopped will offer any info they want. 

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to giff77 | 1 year ago
16 likes
giff77 wrote:

The police can p-check you by asking for your details which they radio in. Name, DOB, Place or Birth, address. If refuse to give this information they can arrest you and verify your identity. I refuse to carry anything with my address on my person and if stopped will offer any info they want. 

Just to add to this, they can only arrest you for refusing to give your details if they can show reasonable grounds for suspicion that you have been involved in antisocial or criminal behaviour. They can't just stop anyone at random and demand details, if they do you're legally entitled to refuse to disclose and if they then arrest you they're in breach of the law, not you.

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