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Woman arrested after teen robbed of bike at knifepoint

Youngster handed over bike after being threatened with Stanley knife in Cheltenham yesterday

A woman has been arrested by police in Cheltenham after a teenager was robbed of his bike at knifepoint.

Gloucestershire Constabulary say that the incident took place in the St Marks area of the town yesterday afternoon.

Police were called to Fairmount Road, a residential road close to Cheltenham railway station, shortly after 3.35pm after a report was received that a woman had threatened the teenager and his friends with a Stanley knife, before taking his bike.

She then headed away along Gloucester Road towards the junction with Lansdown Road.

Officers attending the incident undertook searches in the area and identified a woman matching the description of the suspect, and who was in possession of the stolen bicycle.

They subsequently arrested a 25-year-old woman from Liverpool on suspicion of robbery, and the suspect remains in police custody.

Gloucestershire Constabulary said that “None of the boys were physically injured but they were shaken by what happened.”

The force is requesting anyone who witnessed the robbery, or who has information, including CCTV or dashcam footage, to get in touch, quoting incident 266 of 19 January.

The past couple of years have seen a rise in reports of cyclists being threatened with violence to hand over their bikes, with robbers often using bladed weapons to force their victims to comply.

Last year, following a spate of such robberies in south London, British Cycling’s policy manager, Nick Chamberlain, said that the governing body was “deeply concerned” about the situation.

> “Deeply concerned” British Cycling steps in following spate of violent bikejackings across south London

He said that it was “extremely hard to discuss these sorts of issues without causing panic,” but “the last thing any of us would wish is to deter people from cycling … through a fear of being attacked.

“The sad reality however is that when these spikes in violent crime occur, and while we try to understand the pattern of incidents better, it is prudent for individuals, clubs and groups to discuss these concerns together and think carefully about the rides they have planned,” he continued.

“As with the incidents that occurred in Richmond Park last year [2021], we know that by working together as a cycling community to quickly pass relevant information to the police we can support them to quickly and effectively tackle the issue.

“Therefore, if any incident of this sort (including threatening behaviour that stops short of a crime being committed) occurs to you, your club or group, please report it to the British Cycling incident helpline after first informing the police so that we can better understand the scale of the problem.

“It is unclear to what extent, if any, the role of online training and tracking apps have played a part in these crimes or whether it is rather specific locations that are popular with local riders that are being targeted,” Chamberlain added.

“However, we would encourage everyone to be mindful of their privacy settings on all electronic devices.”

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Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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