POLICE DEFEND ACTIONS OVER CYCLING ON PAVEMENTS
POLICE HAVE defended their decision to start issuing fines to cyclists caught riding on pavements in the Crystal Palace Triangle area .
A police statement has been issued issued following reported abuse from pro-pavement cycling supporters on Twitter in response to the announcement.
In the statement Sgt Diane Hill, from the Crystal Palace Triangle Safer Neighbourhoods Team says: “Over the last few days the debate over cycling on pavements has been interesting, with some valid points raised on both sides of the argument.
“Whilst I’ve tried to answer some of the many tweets received, unfortunately there were too many to answer them all.
“Below is an extract from Section 72 of the Highway Act 1835, which shows that it is an offence to ride or drive on the footpath:
“If any person shall wilfully ride upon any footpath or causeway by the side of any road, made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers; … …every person so offending in any of the cases aforesaid shall for each and every such offence forfeit and pay a penalty over and above the damages occasioned thereby.
“One of the aims of Safer Neighbourhoods policing is to provide a truly local policing style: local people working with local police and partners to identify and tackle issues of concern in their neighbourhood.
“Cycling on the footpath is one of the priorities chosen by the Crystal Palace ward panel at our initial meeting in January and since then it has been one of our priorities. “I have also given talks to OAP groups and they have also said that they are concerned by cycling on the pavement.
“Since January the team has continued to use discretion on this matter and only one ticket has been issued to a cyclist for this offence.
“The rest of the time we have asked cyclists to either cycle on the road or push their bike. “We will continue to use discretion, as I believe this is fundamental to all police work.
“I would rather not have to issue cyclists with a fine for this, and my tweet was aimed to act as a deterrent to cyclists who might otherwise think about cycling on the pavements in the area.
“For those of you who are not familiar with Crystal Palace Triangle, it is a vibrant busy shopping area with narrow pavements.
“One particular problem area is that some cyclists choose to cycle on the pavement along Westow Hill against the one way system rather than cycle around the Triangle or get off and push.
“My officers and I will continue to look out for cyclists who are doing this and we’ll speak to them and encourage them to either use the road or to get off and push their bike along the pavement until they can rejoin the road further along.
“Furthermore, we are not singling out cyclists amongst road users. “One of our other priorities at the moment is dealing with traffic offences – in particular people using mobile phones whilst driving.
“We have issued numerous tickets for this, which is a £100 fine and incurs three penalty points on the driver’s licence and we’ll continue to hold enforcement days whenever possible.
“I am a cyclist myself and I fully appreciate the difficulties associated with cycling in and around London, but ultimately pavements are meant for pedestrians and we will continue to ensure this is the case in Crystal Palace.
“As always, we are happy to speak to any local people that are affected by this issue, or who have concerns about other issues of crime or safety in the Crystal Palace area.”
Main phone number: 0208 721 2906
(Source: Metropolitan Police website)
Further reading: VOTE: Are police right to fine pavement cyclists? Croydon Advertiser Posted: August 02, 2014
BODY-WORN VIDEO COMES TO FOUR SOUTH LONDON BOROUGHS
Police officers from four south London boroughs have begun piloting new ‘Body Worn Video’ cameras as part of an ongoing trial into using the technology by the Metropolitan Police Service.
The boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Croydon and Lewisham are amongst 10 that have been chosen to pilot the new video technology in London, which is thought to be the largest trial in the world of the use of such technology by police. (Source: Metropolitan Police website)