The owner of a van in Cheadle, Greater Manchester, that was pictured earlier this week with spikes protruding from its nearside wing mirror has claimed that he made the improvised modification to deter vandals.
As we reported earlier this week, the vehicle, carrying the livery of a painting and decorating firm, was reported to a “sceptical” call handler at Greater Manchester Police by Twitter user OneAdultSwim1, who had also spotted two other vehicles in the area with similar spikes on the wing mirror.
Responding to the picture he tweeted, Surrey Police Roads Policing Unit said that it constituted an arrestable offence for possession of an offensive weapon.
According to the website Lad Bible the vehicle’s owner claims that he places the spikes on the vehicle while it is parked up over the weekend to prevent the wing mirror from being vandalised.
Jonathan Tomney, aged 41, said: “I’m sick to death of my property being vandalised.
“Every Saturday night when I park the van up somewhere I put the spikes on.
“I only put it on over the weekends to stop my property from being vandalised.”
“I just hope that if one of the little b******s tries to take my wing mirror again they’ll sever their hand,” he added.
OneAdultSwim1 originally posted to Twitter on Sunday, saying that there “Seems to be a growing trend in my area of adding crude spikes to the passenger side wing mirror … usually in the form of large screws through the mirror casing.
“Spotted one, and another and a third today all on different vehicles. I'm going to get a picture next time. Be warned.”
He subsequently posted a picture of it on Monday evening and, prompted by other Twitter users, many of whom wondered if the device was targeted at cyclists, reported it to police on Tuesday morning.
While the owner of the van insists the wing mirror is only covered with spikes when parked at the weekend, the other two vehicles spotted with similar devices were both in moving traffic.
Speaking to road.cc on Tuesday, OneAdultSwim1 said: “Last week I've seen three vehicles with this modification. The first two I saw were in the same line of traffic a few cars apart on Station Road in Cheadle, in the middle of last week.
“They were both rugged-looking vehicles with intermediate off-road tyres and air intake rams, rumbling down the small high street here.
“However the image I posted is on the side of liveried van (painter and decorator) which is also in the Cheadle area, I noticed this on Sunday, went past again yesterday and gave them a close-up inspection, just to check they weren’t rubber or anything.”
He reported the van to police on the non-emergency number 101 to what he described as “a very sceptical call handler.”
He continued: “I was reluctant to post as might give others ideas, but decided to post in the end after consideration.
“I also asked during the call if there was any way I could pass on the images but they don’t have that facility. The report was made about 08:30 and the lady said she would ‘pass it on’.”
We approached Greater Manchester Police for a comment on Tuesday but have not received a reply from them.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.